Buddhism and Hinduism Comparison: Beliefs and Practices

Introduction

Religion is essential in society since it ensures that the people in the community maintain cohesion due to the shared beliefs, values, and practices. Every individual who is a believer or a follower of a certain religion is expected to observe the set religious norms and values. However, people differ based on their religious beliefs since there are many religions in the world. The following discussion compares Buddhism and Hinduism to determine their differences and similarities.

Differences between Buddhism and Hinduism

Hinduism differs from Buddhism in various ways. The first difference is that Hinduism entails the belief of Brahma existence within an individual’s soul or self, whereas Buddhism entails finding Anatman. The Hindus believe that one achieves the highest point of life after eliminating body limitations from his or her life. This process will allow one to experience Brahma in the soul (Faelli 191). Buddhists believe that one ought to live a disciplined life with an aim of understanding that nothing is in him or her. After this process, the Buddhists believe that one ought to realize Nirvana (Smith 102).

The second fundamental difference between Buddhism and Hinduism is that Buddhists worship in temples, nunneries, monasteries, and pagodas, whereas Hindus worship Mandir. Place of worship is crucial in religion since it shows the value attached to a place or a building by the people following a certain religion (Mangla 121). The places of worship are considered holy, hence the believers respect them. Buddhism originated from Nepal while Hinduism originated from India. The place or origin is crucial since it shows why there are more Buddhists in Nepal and Hindus in India compared to other parts of the world (Smith 46).

Buddhist and Hindus also differ based on their belief in life after death. Hindus believe that one undergoes a constant reincarnation cycle after death until enlightenment, whereas Buddhists believe that one is reborn into any of the different 31 planes until one attains Nirvana (Coomaraswamy 213). Hindus also differ from Buddhists since Hindus believe in many gods, whereas Buddhists do not believe in the existence of God. Buddhists follow Buddha’s teachings, whereas Hindus observe gods and goddesses teachings. In addition, Hindus pray different types of natural sources such as water, stones, and the sun, but Buddhists only pray Buddha (Mangla 81). The distinction is important since it shows their spiritual belief difference.

Hindus dedicate their prayers through Karma Yoga to seek God’s intervention in their daily life. However, for Buddhists, they have to get close to Nirvana for their prayers to be heard (Foulston 71). The process of achieving Nirvana involvement one has to accept suffering as a universal fact of human being. To avoid suffering, one ought to overcome bodily desire that mislead individuals to sinning. After one is clean from desire, it is possible to achieve Nirvana where one’s players are heard (Faelli 48). Buddhism acknowledges that no other religious beliefs can lead one to a state of Nirvana, however, the religion fails to condemn other beliefs in the society. In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism are condemned since they are considered atheistic. They believe that Buddhism failure to believe in any of the gods is immoral (Mangla 38).

Hindus do not give credit to any founder of the religion since they do not believe that there is a specific person who started the religion. However, Buddhists believe that Gautama Buddha started the religion by setting the standards to be met by anyone who claims to be a Buddhist (Brahma 87). In Hinduism, the religion restricts a man to marry one woman, whereas in Buddhism religion, marriage is not considered as a religious faction. Buddhists believe that marriage is a personal or an individual duty, hence the religion does not intervene (Faelli 108). However, one can seek Buddha’s advice to help him or her in marriage and to ensure one has a harmonious and a happy marriage.

Similarities between Buddhism and Hinduism

Both Buddhism and Hinduism religion are not gender bias. This is because they ensure that roles are allocated to both men and women. In addition, women can become involved in religious activities. For instance, women can be made nuns. In addition, both religions use statues for symbolic purposes (Coomaraswamy 172).

The symbols represent the religious beliefs and the important things in their lives. Hinduism and Buddhism are similar in the perspective that both have religious sects, which have different values. Buddhists have sects such as Vajrayana, Mahayana, and Theravada, whereas Hindus have sects such as Sharktism, Vaishnava, and Shaivaya (Brahma 141). The sects differ based on fundamental religious teachings in the religion. Buddhists and Hindus are also similar since they believe in a supreme power that can be attained by avoiding sins. In addition, one has to undergo suffering due to sins or desires (Foulston 117). After a believer repents and seeks to live a life with no sins, it is possible for one’s prayers to be answered.

Conclusion

Buddhism and Hinduism differ based on their religious beliefs and practices. It is essential for a believer to follow the set religious guidelines. However, some of the Buddhists and Hindus beliefs and practices relate to each other, such as both believe in the forgiveness of sin.

Works Cited

Brahma, Nalini. The Fundamentals of Religion. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India, 2007. Print.

Coomaraswamy, Ananda. Hinduism and Buddhism. Mountain View: Golden Elixir Press, 2011. Print.

Faelli, Rita. Buddhism: History, Beliefs, Worship and Celebrations. Clayton South: Blake Education, 2006. Print.

Foulston, Lynn. Hindu Goddesses: Beliefs and Practices. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2009. Print.

Mangla, Dharam. Buddhism Vs Hinduism: A Comparative Study. Delhi: Academic Excellence, 2010. Print.

Smith, Peter. Key Beliefs, Ultimate Questions and Life Issues. Oxford: Heinemann Educational, 2003. Print.