Asia has been an abode to many religions that define the morality and ethics of the people who follow them. The origin of both Hinduism and Buddhism can be delineated to ancient times.
Hinduism, the world’s 3rd largest religion, is largely based on the pre-Vedic and Vedic religious philosophies. On the other hand, Buddhism is said to be originated from the ‘Shramana school’-one of the religious movement parallel to the Vedic religion.
Comparison between Hinduism and Buddhism
|Founder||No specific founder can be traced back to the Vedic period (1500 BC-600 BC)||Siddharta Gautama came to be known as Gautama Buddha. At the age of29, he left his home to find the truth of life.|
|Concepts and Philosophy||According to Hindu traditions, one should seek dharma (righteousness) after the goals of kama(pleasure) and artha are achieved.||The basic doctrine is explained by the 4 major truths:1. The truth of agony(dukkha)2. The truth of the dawn and agony (samudaya)3. The truth of getting rid of suffering(nirodha)4. The truth of the path to the end of agony(marga)|
|Prevalence across the world||3rd largest religion in the world||4th largest religion in the world|
|Terminology for the followers||Rishis, Gurus, Yogis for male monks, and Sadhvi, Sanyasini for female monks are the most prevalent terminology for the followers.||Male monks are called Bhikkus while female monks are referred to as Bhikkunis in Buddhism|
|Major branches/sects||There are four major sects under Hinduism:Vaishnavism(followers of Vishnu)Shaivism( followers of Shiva)Shaktism(followers of Devi or goddess)Smartism( followers of five deities, all treated as equal: Shiva, Shakti, Ganesh, Vishnu, and Surya)||There are four major schools under Buddhism:HinayanaMahayanaTheravadaVajrayana|
|Primary language used||Sanskrit is the sacred language of Hinduism||Sanskrit was the primary language in Hinayana and Mahayana schools, while Pali language was the most prevalent in Theravada schools.|
|Important scriptures||Vedas, Bhagavat Gita, Ramayana, Upanishads and Puranas||Gandhara and Tripitaka texts|
|Famous places of worship||Jagannath temple in Puri, Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh, etc.||Mahabodhi temple in Bodh gaya , Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu, Borobudur in Indonesia etc|
differences between Hinduism and Buddhism
What exactly is Hinduism?
Hinduism, with a variety of sects and cults within its purview, is one of the biggest religions in India and the 3rd largest all over the world. Its fundamentals are deduced from pre-Vedic and Vedic religious philosophies. In the Upanishads, four stages of life are specified:
- Brahmachari: A celibate student
- Grihastha: A householder
- Vanaprastha: A hermit
- Sannyasi: An ascetic
After achieving asceticism, one should strive for the achievement of moksha or salvation.
What exactly is Buddhism?
The chronicle of Siddharta, who came to be known as Buddha, is regarded as the inception of Buddhism. Buddha had been ascribed with various traditions, beliefs, and practices. Buddhism recognizes the existence of a single god and stresses human ethics more.
According to Buddhism, life is full of agony and grievances(dukkha), our aspirations are the root cause of our agony, and we’re caught in a vicious cycle of samsara, that is, the endless cycle of repeated resurrection, dukkha, and dying again.
Buddhas’ teachings have been assembled together in the form of Pitakas (Vinaya, Sutta, Abhidhamma- when combined, were called Tripitaka).
The contrast between Hinduism and Buddhism
Idols or images of worship
Hinduism: Every festival has some relation to a specific God, and there are numerous festivals of Hindus; these include Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami, etc.
Buddhism: There are plenty of Buddhist festivals too, namely Vesak (Buddha’s birthday), Buddha Purnima, Losar( mostly celebrated by Tibetan Buddhists), Parinirvana Day, etc.
Perception of the Vedas
Global percentage of followers
Prevalence across the countries
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q.1 What are stupas, and explain their construction?
Stupas had acquired center stage in Indian architecture since the Mauryan empire. It is an orthodox representation of a cremation lodgement in which relics and ashes of the deceased were kept.
King Ashoka is regarded as the admirer and patron of stupas, constructing almost 84000 stupas during his span.
The stupa’s core was composed of unburnt brick, while unburnt bricks were used to construct the outer surface, covered with a thick layer of plaster.
Examples: Sanchi Stupa in India, Asia, is a place of tourist attraction in India.
Q.2 What are the causes of the origin of Buddhism?
Buddhism is alleged to have been a consequence of Kshatriyas against Brahmanical supremacy.
It was patronized by the Vaishyas and other mercantile groups who wanted a better social status and peace regime.
Moreover, Buddhism’s simple, ascetic, peace-centered principles attracted the general people.
Q.3 What does Hinduism preach?
According to Hindu traditions, kama (pleasure) and artha are goals to be aimed at, but once they are achieved, one has to look towards attaining dharma(righteousness).
The ultimate goal of Hinduism is to break free from the clutches of the vicious cycle of birth and rebirth and attain moksha.
Q.4 Why do some Hindu Gods have animal features?
Hinduism has been endowed with a rich culture, tradition, and a wide range of beliefs.
Each god is associated with a distinct personality and appearance, which is largely based on its depiction in stories and epics.
Ganesha, Hanuman, Varuna, Kamadhenu, and the Nagas are some of the Hindu deities that have animal features.
Q.5 Apart from the differences, are there any similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism?
Hinduism and Buddhism do share some similarities; they are:
1. Both religions have their roots in Asia, the Indian subcontinent.
2. Idol worship is prevalent in both Hinduism and Buddhism (Mahayana).
Both religions condemn discrimination of any kind, and both men and women enjoy equal rights.
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