Buddhism and Hinduism Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 28 September 2016

Buddhism and Hinduism

There is a variety of belief systems practiced throughout the world today. Many of these beliefs have developed massive followings, and as a result, have had a considerable amount of influence on culture in the areas where they are practiced. These religions include Buddhism which is most prominent in East Asia and Hinduism which is most prominent in India although both religions is sometimes seen as a philosophy rather than a religion.

These religions are similar to each other but differ in some of their views. First, Buddhism was founded in the fourth or fifth century B. C. n northern India by a man known traditionally as Siddhartha (meaning “he who has reached the goal”) Gautama, the son of a warrior prince. Some scholars believe that he lived from 563 to 483 B. C. , though his exact life span is uncertain. The origins of Hinduism were somewhere in the Indian subcontinent region, at some point in the Neolithic stone age. The exact time and location are unknown. According to Hindu belief there was no origin; such things have always existed and will always exist infinitely. Second, Buddhists follow the beliefs of Buddha. The Four Noble Truths are one of the central teachings of the Buddhist tradition.

The teachings on the four noble truths explain the nature of dukkha, its causes, and how it can be overcome. The four noble truths can be summarized as: The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, and stress), the truth of the origin of dukkha, the truth of the cessation of dukkha, and the truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha. Buddhists also believe in Nirvana. Nirvana means “cessation”, “extinction” (of craving and ignorance and therefore suffering and the cycle of involuntary rebirths (samsara)), and “extinguished; it is also known as “Awakening” or “Enlightenment” in the West.

Third, Buddhism has an influence on the culture of the places where it is practiced. Buddha’s teachings influence Buddhists to follow their everyday routine so they can reach nirvana which is also known as a heaven. Also Buddhism drastically reduced the impact and influence of the stone cold caste system and social class structure that use to be apparent before Buddhism in India. Buddhism influenced the Indian art including many sculptures which were made in the image of Buddha. Fourth, Hinduism is not an organized religion and has no single, systematic approach to teaching its belief system.

Nor do Hindus have a simple set of rules to ollow. Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, and atheism among others; and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. Similar to Buddhists, Hindus also believe in karma and samsara. Karma can be described as the “moral law of cause and effect”. Samsara is the repeating cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. Fifth, Hinduism has an influence on the culture of the places where it is practiced. Hinduism influenced the Caste System rather than suppressing it like Buddhism did.

The Caste System is the social classes of India, and is still accepted by some in India, even though it is now illegal. Hinduism also influences how people eat since many Hindus are vegetarian. In conclusion, Buddhism and Hinduism are similar to each other but differ in some of their views and influence the culture of the areas in which it is practiced. Both religions believe in karma, samsara, and nirvana. Buddhism reduced the caste system in India while Hinduism influenced the caste system to be in place. Both religions are deferent yet they have many similarities.

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