Buddhism and Hinduism

There are many arguments about the relationship between Buddhism and Hinduism. The fact that the Buddha was born in a Hindu family is source of the view: Buddhism is a reflection of Hinduism. But, many Buddhists don’t buy this view. It is widely known that Buddhism creates hope for those who have no freedom in a caste society.

In the development of both traditions, Hinduism and Buddhism couldn’t stand each other’s existence. Examples of Buddhist persecution by Hindu rulers existed for a long time. Despite that, Hinduism and Buddhism influence each other a lot, sharing some similarities and differences.

The Similarities of Hinduism and Buddhism

  • Both admit the unreal essence of the world and emphasize the significance of karma to bind living beings to the earthly world and the cycle of death and life.
  • In Buddhism, attachment and desire lead to suffering, and the removal of them will alleviate suffering, while Hinduism believes that bondage and suffering are the fruits of the desire and craving.
  • Both refrain from taking the life of all living beings.
  • Both believe that hells and heavens do exist.
  • Both have the practices of meditation, mental and physical concentration, and the cultivation of good behaviors and peaceful state of mind.

The Differences of Hinduism and Buddhism

  • Buddhism was created by the Buddha, while Hinduism was not created by any particular prophet.
  • Buddhism denies the existence of souls and Gods, while Hinduism does believe in the individual soul and the Supreme Creator.
  • Vedas exists for Hinduism, but not for Buddhism.
  • Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of one of the Hindu Gods, while Hindu Gods are considered superior to the Buddha by Buddhism.
  • Buddhism believes that the earthly world is filled with sorrow and suffering, and the ending of suffering is far more important than others. Hinduism believes that religious duty, material possessions, desires and salvation are one’s chief aim in life.
  • Buddhists have Sangha where monks live together, while Hinduism is just an individual religion.
  • Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha, the Sangha and Dhamma, which are 3 major requisites for the eightfold path, while Hinduism has various choices for its practitioners to attain self-realization.
  • Buddhist manners of karma and rebirth differ from that of Hinduism.

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