Religion has been an important part of the culture in any country around the world. Some of the world’s major religious traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were born in India. In this article I would like to focus on Hinduism and Buddhism simply because I personally did not have much knowledge about them and wanted to learn the main principles as well as the differences between the two religions. All around the world Indian religions have influenced countries. There are so many Indian concepts that became so popular in the Western countries, such as Yoga, Karma, Meditation, that I wanted to learn of their origins, especially that I’m about to discover India for myself this summer.
The majority of Indian population is Hindu people, practicing Hinduism. They account for more than 80% of the total population. Hinduism is considered to be the oldest religion in the world. The religious rituals, songs and traditions were all recorded in the books called the Vedas. The Vedas were written in Sanskrit and were divided between the?ruti (“what is heard”) andsm?ti (“what is remembered”). Center to the beliefs of Hinduism is the idea of reincarnation. Reincarnation is a belief in that when you die, your spirit is reborn again into another life form. A person’s goal is to be reborn into a highest caste system than the life before. The higher you are in the caste system, the closer you are to Moksha – the liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth. Hinduism is polytheistic, which means that Hindi believe in many gods and goddesses. There are five primary forms of God: Shiva “The Destroyer”, Vishnu “The Preserver”, Devi “The Great Goddess”, Surya “The chief of solar deity”, and Ganesha “The Remover of Obstacles”, who are all seen as equal reflections of the oneBrahman “The Creator”.
Buddhism is actually based on Hinduism. Buddhists represent less than 1% of Indian population. Even though Buddhism was born in India, it is the most popular religion in countries like Japan, Thailand, China, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
The religion began with Hindu Prince Siddhartha Gauthama. He made it mission in life to figure out the way to end human suffering which he eventually did through intense meditation. He was enlightened and given the title of Buddha. He determined that there were four truths in this world that would help people end their sufferings in life:
1. Suffering exists in the world
2. Suffering is caused by desire
3. To eliminate suffering, you must first eliminate desire
4. To eliminate desire you must follow the Eightfold path.
Eightfold path is simply having the right understanding, speech, livelihood, concentration, mindfulness, effort, action, and intention. A common symbol in
There are many similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism. The first major similarity is the belief in Dharma, which is the teaching of your religion. The second similarity is Karma, which refers to your actions. Good action will earn you good Karma, bad actions will earn you bad Karma. The third similarity is the belief in reincarnation, which is mostly affected by your Karma. The better your Karma, the better your next life would be. Both religions have the common ultimate spiritual goal. Hindus have Moksha which I mentioned above. Buddhists believe in Nirvana, which means becoming one with the Universe. Finally both belief systems have a strong respect for life and it is against both religions to damage, or hurt, or kill any living being.