Great experience of Hindu

Meditation Hinduism Buddhism

In this article I will be discussing some points, which make up Hinduism and Buddhism a comparison.

As regards Buddhism and Hinduism they differ only in the way the doctrines are presented. Certain points are emphasized in Buddhism, which are mentioned in the Hindu scriptures but not stressed by them. Similarly the Buddhism teaching ignores certain other aspects of the Hindu teaching. So as far as Hinduism and Buddhism a comparison is concerned the difference lies in the emphasis of certain points.

These comments below apply to the Buddha’s original teaching on the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. All the comments may not apply to the Mahayana and the Zen Buddhist traditions.

Hinduism vs Buddhism on philosophical questions

1) Philosophical questions: The Buddha discouraged philosophical pursuits and questions regarding the nature of the Universe, the existence of God and the like. His position was that such pursuits do you no good at all. His message was simple. You are suffering today in this life – so walk the path to the end of suffering.

The Hindu scriptures however contained detailed descriptions of the Brahman or the experience of oneness with God. Hinduism also presents many philosophical arguments proving the existence of the Brahman.

The Buddha kept a Noble Silence on these questions and the nature of the experience of Nirvana.

Discussion of philosophical questions is present in Hinduism. Buddhism has a more pragmatic approach.

Bliss emphasized by Hinduism. Buddhism stresses suffering

2) Stress on suffering versus stress on bliss: The Buddha stressed the unsatisfactory nature of human existence. He pointed to the suffering inherent in birth, sickness, old age and death and urged his followers to walk the path to the end of suffering.

The Upanishads also acknowledge the suffering inherent in the human condition. But they lay greater stress on the bliss enjoyed on experiencing a union with God or the Self. Since we are all manifestations of God, bliss is an integral part of our nature. The Upanishads stressed on this experience of bliss to motivate the Hindu devotees to experience Moksha.

So, these different methods of motivating their followers are one of the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism.

Buddhism vs Hinduism on the Middle Path

3) The Middle Path: The Hindu scriptures also taught the middle way. In the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita Sri. Krishna says :

“Yoga is not for him who eats too much or does not eat at all, nor sleeps too much or does not sleep at all.”

And again

“But Yoga becomes the discipline for the destruction of sorrow for him who moderate in eating and recreation, moderate in work and sleep and walking.”

However, the Buddha’s teaching on the Middle way carried a force and an authority born of personal experience. He himself had experienced extreme indulgence and extreme austerities. He became enlightened only when he forsook these extremes. Hence by his example his teaching on the middle way had a far more convincing effect.

So this is another of the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism.

Different skillful means in Buddhism and Hinduism

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