Similarities and Differences Buddhism Vs. Hinduism
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Similarities and Differences Buddhism Vs. Hinduism

A brief explanation of the commonalities and differences between the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Highlighting how Hinduism and Buddhist find commonality in their differences.

Historically the Indus valley saw the Vedic religion thrive.  In the time when the Veda’s were developing into what many call Hinduism the Buddha was teaching for what would become Buddhism.  This is what happened from an outside view.  From within Buddhism developed as a part of the Vedic tradition and was never necessarily separate from what would become Hinduism.  This is evidenced in the fact that Buddhism no longer resides in the place of its birth. Philosophically Hinduism and Buddhism are similar in their stark differences.

One of their vast nearly undeniable similarities is their ontological conceptions.  Both systems are based on the illusory nature of the physical world.  Some sort of error or miscalculation occurs in the human perception.

In Hinduism one is to understand Brahma or existence from within their own Atman, roughly soul.  The highest life is a process of removing the bodies distractions from life, allowing one to eventually understand the Brahma nature within.  The physical world is a representation of actual existence. In Buddhism we find the Anatman or not soul, but might be best understood as the antithesis of the Atman concept.  In Buddhism one follows a disciplined life to moved through and understand that nothing in ourselves is ‘me’ such that we dispel the very illusion of existence.  In so doing one realizes Nirvana.  This realization is presented as the understanding that no beings exist in this world, as much as, all being exist in the ‘paradise’ of existence free Nirvana.

I think it is safe to say that both are monist in nature.  Both ‘endorse’ or see ontology as a single unified thing.  Each sees all beings as a part of this unity.  Each are accepting of all life paths and though they survive on their population of monks; do not require or even ask people to change their lives.  Both see existence or life within the framework of reincarnation and karma. They are vastly difference in their theological aspects.  Hinduism is rich with gods, embracing the animistic gods previous to Vedic intervention on up to the pantheon most often presented as Hinduism.  In essence Hinduism has as many gods as people have a need to think up, though all are a single Ishtar or manifestation of Brahman. Buddhism on the other hand rejects metaphysical proclamations in so far as it warns against the nature of becoming attached to metaphysical ideas.  For this reason Buddhism is often called atheistic; despite theistic sects.

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Comments (10)


A little more precise criticism could allow me to revamp the article...

Just guessing here, but I think what "k" means is, what is the point in comparing Hinduism and Buddhism? They probably have as much in common as between a cow and a tree, and forcing a comparison between them isn't really giving us a better understanding of either.

Hinduism and Buddhism are very much a cow and a tree.... a cow and a tree that are the children to a cree(?). The two 'religions' both developed out of the Vedic tradition. In India today Buddhism is entirely consumed and a part of what was once its sibling... Hinduism... so yes they have nothing in common. If the sarcasm is missed I'm sorry. But, I stick to my understanding of Hinduism and Buddhism as having far more in common than a cow and a tree... unless it is that you are comparing the existence of life to that of non existence. An interesting comparison to be sure. In my opinion which stems from my study of world religions as a whole an the two religions specifically. The two religions are very very similar and understanding them as similar and yet completely different is very helpful in understanding them in their own contexts. Both often hold to ideas which seem contradictory. And yet like the 'trinity' of Christianity pose no contradiction to those who believe. As I said before more precise criticism allows me to work with you. Asking what is the point of 'x' to a philosopher is like comparing a cow and a tree... they could go on for ever and yet never answer your question because you didn't take the care to ask what you wondered. If you think Hinduism and Buddhism are not worth understanding I am saddened. I think religion is a very beautiful thing, so beautiful that it has spawned the most grotesque things to ever walk the earth... people who blindly follow religion. Without trying to understand what entire peoples believe how can we ever hope to survive in this micro-world of today?


hunduism and buddhism are focused on dharma and karma and rebirth. but hindusim realize more on dharma then buddhism does becasue in a texted i read it said that that we all need to follow our dharma meaning we need to follow are true path. and as for karma it says that no matter what we do may it be positive or negitive karma will come back to us. and if we dont fullfill our karma and dharma if we dont follow the path that we were supost to then we will be reincarnated and come back as something else and have to finish what we started. and our lives would keep on coming back intell we finished out our karma and dharma for its all aprt of life and we will never rest intell it fullfilled.

I've never come across a reading in either Hinduism or Buddhism that would seem so destiny centered as to say there is 'a' path which is ones to follow or not. I've come across texts in both which would support claims that there are 'paths' which can lead one to exit the cycle of rebirth within this life time. I'm not sure I would say Hinduism realizes more or less than Buddhism on the Dharma. I would stick to my statement that the difference between Hinduism and Buddhism are very clouded in the region of their origin. I appreciate the comment and if you had any thoughts or concerns about my statement please let me know.

Nice article. Thanks.

The relation between Hinduism (by Hinduism, I mean the religion of the Vedas) and what is called Buddhism at the present day is nearly the same as between Judaism and Christianity. Jesus Christ was a Jew, and Shâkya Muni was a Hindu. The Hindus have accepted Shâkya Muni as God and worship him.

Thanks for the comments, I always try and stay up to date in order to continue any open dialogue.

Fascinating read.... Modern Hindus still consider Buddha as the penultimate Avatara of Vishnu, the supreme God. What I mean is we do not see Buddhism as a different religion, but as another philosophy. Given the history of Hindusim which has thousands of sects and many thousand viewpoints, accepting Buddha was a natural act.... I still go to Buddhist temples as frequently as I go to Hindu temples and hardly differentiate between the two. Don't know what my Buddhist bretherns think....