Of Mahayana Buddhism

Comparison of Buddhism and Hinduism

There are many different religions in the world today. In Asia, Buddhism and Hinduism are the most popular beliefs in the general population. Hinduism is the oldest known religion and is very rich with literally hundreds of gods, symbolistic rituals and beliefs. It is believed to have been established around 1500 B.C. but one person never founded Hinduism as it evolved over a long period of time. Buddhism on the other hand has a definite founder, Siddhartha Gautama who is otherwise known as the Buddha or Enlightened One who lived from 565 to 483 B.C. Both these religions originated in India. Siddhartha Gautama was a Hindu who found Hindu theology lacking and after years of searching for truth created a religion now known as Buddhism. Because of these basic similarities, the two religions have much in common, but in the same light they differ immensely.

Hinduism and Buddhism both have numerous gods and both follow the same paths to ultimately achieve Nirvana (a place where all the enlightened beings reside). “He set himself forty-eight vows to fulfill, which, he proclaimed, would allow him to reach Nirvana.” (Encarta 98, “Amitabha, ”) This is about one man who makes rules for himself so that he can get into Nirvana. The concept of a god or gods in Buddhism is almost void and therefore in the eyes of some not even a religion. Hindus have many gods governing different aspects of Hindu life. The three main gods in Hinduism are Vishnu who is the sustainer; Brahma is the creator and Shiva the destroyer. They are referred as Trimuti. Most Hindu gods are associated with animals and therefore Hindus feel that being a vegetarian is vital. Cows are sacred in Hinduism and are worshipped as the divine mother, making eating beef taboo. Buddhism involves meditation and prayer. In Buddhism, one must understand the four noble truths which are the truth of suffering, the truth of the origin of suffering, the truth of cessation, and the truth of the path. These all follow the Eightfold path, which describes the ways in which one must live. Hindu scriptures advocate the pursuit of many goals in ones life including righteous living, wealth, prosperity, love and happiness. The ultimate goal is to achieve Nirvana.

Memories of perfect harmony  — Free Malaysia Today
We respected one another's values and beliefs, so much so that I filled my chest with teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Atheism and so on, in addition to the compulsory Islamic classes for all Muslim girls.

The Justifications for War and Peace in World Religions: Part II: Extracts, Summaries and Comparisons of Scriptures in Indic Religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism)
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