Differences Between Buddhism and Hinduism


Difference Between Buddhism and Hinduism

Buddhism and Hinduism both have their origins in India and Lord Buddha, the prophet of Buddhism, hailed from a Hindu family. In fact, Hindus even consider Lord Buddha to be a part of ‘dasavatar’ or ‘ten reincarnations of Lord Vishnu’. However, there are quite a few fundamental differences between both the religions.

Hinduism strongly believes in ‘Atman’, the soul and ‘Brahman’, the eternity of self. As per Buddhism, there is no concept of the self or I and salvation involved in realizing this concept.

Hindus worship several gods and goddesses. While Buddha did not deny the existence of any god, he preached that it is futile to search or seek something which an individual is not even aware of.

After his first experience of the world, Buddha became disillusioned and went on to preach that life is full of sorrows and the only solution to end these sufferings was to seek nirvana. While Hinduism also recognizes that there is suffering in human life, the sorrows are attributed to previous karma or actions of the human being. However, one can attain divine bliss by discovering the Atman and Brahman.

In Hinduism, the followers pray all natural sources of the earth like stones, water, sun etc. However in Buddhism, this is not so. They only pray Buddha.

As per Hinduism, there are different ways to seek union with God – Raja Yoga or meditation, Karma Yoga – righteously doing all the duties as demanded in this human world, Bhakti – prayer and devotion and Jnana Yoga or the path of knowledge. Buddha preached the four noble truths and the eightfold path to achieve Nirvana. The four noble truths involve acknowledging the universal existence of sufferings, that these sufferings are due to the misleading desires of the ever changing world and that the search for eternity only worsens human suffering and in order to overcome sufferings and attain nirvana, one must suppress those false desires and follow the eight-fold path.

1.Hinduism is based on the concept of atman and Brahman whereas Buddhism denies the existence of an eternal soul
2.Buddhism emphasizes on sufferings in the existing world whereas Hindus believe that one can enjoy divine bliss through moksha or reunion with God
3.Buddhism believes in attaining nirvana through the four noble truths and eightfold path whereas Hinduism believes there are several ways one can reach to God.
4.Hinduism believes in the existence of several gods whereas Buddhism reasons as to why one should seek a God which nobody is aware of.

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Written by : Manisha Kumar. and updated on August 7, 2010

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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.

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