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Hinduism and Buddhism - Comparison of Two Religions

Autor:   •  February 5, 2019  •  Essay  •  1,154 Words (5 Pages)  •  76 Views

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Comparison of Two Religions

Mark Nzamsa

Institution Affiliation


Introduction

                Human beings, throughout history, have always sought to answer to a higher power and a greater calling than humanity. In pursuit of answering some of the world’s most complex questions, such as the origin of life and the final destination of the human soul after death, people came up with various theories on the existence of a Supreme Being that controls the events of nature and is responsible for the creation of the universe and life beyond death. This is the basis and foundation of every religious group in the whole world. Religion arises from the desire to be accountable to a higher and incorruptible power, immortal, and devoid of all human weaknesses, God. Religion, therefore, is the worship, reverence, and service of a person regarded as supreme to humanity and the creator, sustainer, and governor of the universe. It is the set of codes of conduct, values, practices, and beliefs based on the teachings of a pious leader.

                Every culture and community has its own view of the Supreme Being and gives the being several names that seek to show His power, might, and superhuman abilities. Among the Jews, He is Yahweh, in English God, in Arabic Allah, among others, but the consensus among religious scholars is that all these terms refer to the same being, only that different people have different ways of worshipping Him, hence, the emergence of different religions.

Thesis

                This paper will address Hinduism and Buddhism, by a means of comparing and contrasting the two religions.  Focus will be on the origins of both religions and their foundational spiritual beliefs, as well as, the spiritual practices of both religions. In addition, there will be a discussion how each religion is practiced at the present time, and give an illustration of the religion’s practices in the world.

                The methods used to identify the responses addressed in this paper include reading from research material, as well as, consulting members of the religions in concern. This way it is easy to verify the information collected from online guides and research work from scholars.

Hinduism and Buddhism

                Hinduism is a religious practice that is common in India and Indians spread across the globe. The name Hinduism comes from the name India the origin of the religion in the Indian subcontinent, a religion that has been in existence for thousands of years, although no exact date of origin is known and no founder is known. Buddhism, on the other hand, is based on the teachings of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama from Nepal in 6th century BC (Stewart, 2005). The term Buddha is assigned to Siddhartha Gautama and literally means “the awakened one”.

                Some of the fundamental spiritual beliefs of Hinduism include the belief in reincarnation, in a continuous process until an individual has reached the level of true enlightenment. Hinduism holds that, after death, an individual is reborn over and over in the 31 planes of existence to the point where they reach Nirvana, or enlightenment. Nirvana is the extinction of all ignorance and human cravings, hence, the end of sufferings that accompany rebirths (Chopra, 2007).  The plane to which a person is born is dependent on the person’s karma. Both religions share the goal under which they were founded, which is to break the cycle of rebirths, in Buddhism, and reincarnation, in Hinduism, after one has reached a level of enlightenment (Eliade, 1985). However, the difference between Buddhism and Hinduism is that the Buddhists hold the core belief that the Buddha was the teacher who came to show his followers the four noble truths and eightfold path to nirvana or enlightenment (Stewart, 2005) while the Hindu have different beliefs based on different sects of the religion.

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