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World history

Course: world history   >   unit 2.

  • The rise of empires in India
  • Gupta Dynasty
  • The Maurya and Gupta Empires
  • Empires in India
  • The history of Hinduism
  • The history of Buddhism
  • Key concepts: Hinduism and Buddhism

Indian cultures: focus on Hinduism and Buddhism

"In the beginning, Ashoka ruled the empire like his grandfather did, in an efficient but cruel way. He used military strength in order to expand the empire and created sadistic rules against criminals.
During the expansion of the Mauryan Empire, Ashoka led a war against a feudal state named Kalinga … . The disaster in Kalinga was supreme: with around 300,000 casualties, the city devastated and thousands of surviving men, women and children deported.
What happened after this war has been subject to numerous stories and it is not easy to make a sharp distinction between facts and fiction. What is actually supported by historical evidence is that Ashoka issued an edict expressing his regret for the suffering inflicted in Kalinga and assuring that he would renounce war and embrace the propagation of dharma. What Ashoka meant by dharma is not entirely clear: some believe that he was referring to the teachings of the Buddha and, therefore, he was expressing his conversion to Buddhism."
  • (Choice A)   cannot be historically verified A cannot be historically verified
  • (Choice B)   showed his willingness to disband the Maurya empire’s army B showed his willingness to disband the Maurya empire’s army
  • (Choice C)   helped popularize Buddhism in India C helped popularize Buddhism in India
  • (Choice D)   was documented on a pillar edict D was documented on a pillar edict

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Hinduism vs Buddhism — 3 Major Similarities and 7 Major Differences

Hinduism vs Buddhism — 3 Major Similarities and 7 Major Differences

Hinduism and buddhism comparison overview, similarities between hinduism and buddhism, differences between hinduism and buddhism.

Hinduism, which emerged about 3,500 years ago, and Buddhism, which started around 2,800 years ago, are two of the world's main religions, both of which originated in India.

Hinduism worships Brahman — the supreme lifeforce from which atman (souls) and many other gods originate, however Buddhism worships incarnations of one god — Buddhas. Both believe in a continuing cycle of life, suffering, death, and rebirth , but for Buddhists the goal of enlightenment is call nirvana , while it is called moksha in Hinduism.

Hinduism and Buddhism are like twins sharing a lot of the same terminology and concepts, but each has its own distinguishing features.Let's learn the 3 major similarities and 7 major differences between Hinduism and Buddhism as below.

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It could be said that Buddhism emerged out of Hinduism because Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, grew up learning Hindu teachings before he became a traveling monk and gained enlightenment. Considering this overlapping background between Buddhism and Hinduism, it is natural that both share common ideas.

1. Similar Concepts

In both religions, you will come across similar vocabulary such as samsara (the cycle of rebirth), karma (cause and effect), or dharma (moral order).

Samsara refers to the endless cycle of birth and death. Both Hinduism and Buddhism see life as a cycle, which means that spirits are continually reincarnated into a new life after the end of their previous one. This cycle can only be broken by achieving enlightenment.

For Buddhists, enlightenment is referred to as attaining nirvana , while for Hindus this is referred to as moksha , or becoming one with Brahman, the supreme god. The concept of enlightenment is similar in the two religions, but they differ on the path towards achieving it.

Karma is the concept that any action or thought will directly result in a fitting consequence in the present or future life state. To put it plainly, if someone does bad things in this life, that person might be reborn in a less desirable state in the next life. Similarly, when good things happen to someone, karma states that it may be due to good deeds in a past life.

However, the idea of karma for Hindus and Buddhists is slightly different. Hindus see karma as fitting behavior according to the role of the person, often this includes religious rituals, while Buddhists see it as correct intent and ethical actions.

Dharma is a difficult word to translate and it vaguely means natural law, duty, moral order, right conduct, or role in the universe. This concept is central to both Hinduism and Buddhism, but the interpretations in the two religions are different. In Hinduism, it is tied closely with the duty of a person, or how a person is supposed to conduct oneself according to their caste. In Buddhism, it often refers to the teachings of Buddha.

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2. Similar Symbolism

Apart from similar concepts, there are similar symbols that occur in both Hinduism and Buddhism, including mudra and dharmachakra .

Mudra is a system of symbolic hand gestures with meanings, often used during meditation. Buddha is often portrayed using these hand gestures in statues or paintings. Mudra is commonly practiced in both Hinduism and Buddhism but the positions, meanings, and uses are different.

Dharmachakra is a symbol common to Hinduism and Buddhism that looks like a ship's steering wheel. The wheel appears in India's national flag as well as the Thai royal family's flag. It is also called the Wheel of Law. The number of spokes varies, but eight is most common , representing the Eightfold Path teaching for Buddhists. Dharmachakra commonly appears on Hindu temple walls as well, particularly in temples of the sun god, Surya.

3. Similar Practices

On the surface, you may notice that Hindus and Buddhists share a few common practices such as meditation and the use of mantras .

A mantra is the utterance of syllables or words in a melodic way, which is believed to have spiritual power and can bring the person to a higher spiritual awareness.

Hindus use mantras during rituals while worshiping gods. They also use it while praying. In Buddhism, mantra is more used as a meditation exercise to help the mind focus on certain things and let go of attachments.

Another shared practice between Hinduism and Buddhism is meditation . But again, the two religions have different perspectives on how to go about it and why you should practice it. Buddhists see meditation as a means of self-edification and attaining nirvana, while Hindus have varying purposes for meditation including physical, mental, and spiritual enhancement.

Both religions also have an inclination towards vegetarianism . In India, 33% of Hindus are vegetarians. While becoming vegetarian is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged in both Hinduism and Buddhism as an expression of non-violence.

Clearly, there are overlapping concepts and practices between these two religions, but while there are clear similarities there are even more differences. Some of Buddha's teachings were influenced by his disapproval of the Hindu practices at the time, especially regarding the caste system.

1. Different Perspective on God(s)

One of the most fundamental differences between Buddhism and Hinduism is their view on the existence of god.

Hindus worship numerous deities . A few of the most important include Lord Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu , Ganesh, and Lakshmi . Even though there are many gods in Hinduism, they are believed to all come from Brahman, the universal soul.

Hindus recognize that there is an individual soul inside each person, called an atman. Some Hindus believe that the atman and Brahman are ultimately the same, an idea that resonates with pantheism. However, views on this vary greatly.

On the other hand, Buddhists deny the existence of many gods . Instead, they believe in the existence of one god, but they do not believe it is necessary to seek god. This is reflected in their teachings which mainly talk about ethical behavior rather than worship towards a god.

Worshiping various different gods is very deeply ingrained in Hindu culture, but in Buddhism, followers are instead encouraged to focus more on self-discipline.

2. Different Morality

One of the most important teachings of Buddhism is the Eightfold Path . The eight practices are right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi (meditative union). This is believed to help a person achieve nirvana and release him/her from the cycle of rebirth, which is the ultimate goal in Buddhism.

Hinduism's view on morality goes hand in hand with their view of dharma. Hindus do not just focus on a person's moral behavior, but instead emphasize the fulfillment of duties and rituals expected for the person's particular lifestyle and socio-economic status.

3. Different Views on the Caste System

Although it is currently illegal in India, traditionally Hindus believe in the caste system which divides people into four hierarchical groups , or five if including the untouchables. Each caste has its own dharma, or expected behavior and actions. Historically, the caste system has been very prevalent in Hindu culture and determined many decisions such as who to marry.

Marriage with a different caste was highly discouraged throughout India and although older generations still may not approve, today, many young people participate in intercaste relationships and marriages.

The caste system benefits the upper castes but suppresses the lower castes. In fact, Hindus have to be of the Brahmin caste in order to achieve moksha, or enlightenment. The lowest caste, which is known as the untouchables, gets the worst end of it.

Disapproval of the caste system was one of the things that triggered some of Gautama Buddha's teachings. Instead of dividing the society into hierarchical categories, he taught that all people are of equal value , therefore there is no caste system recognized in Buddhism.

4. Different Views on Buddha

Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is a historical figure who was born a prince of India and lived in the 4th century BC. Buddhists see him as an admirable teacher who achieved enlightenment and founded the Buddhist religion.

Some denominations of Hinduism also recognized the figure of Buddha, but they perceive him as the 9th avatar of the god Vishnu , one of the three most important gods in Hinduism. They believe that Vishnu incarnated as Buddha in order to restore dharma, or moral order, in the world. Buddhists, however, do not share this view.

5. Different Architecture/Function of Temples

The differences in architecture between Hinduism and Buddhism can be found mainly in their temples. Hindu temples are architecturally dedicated to the worship a certain god: Lord Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Ganesh, or Lakshmi , etc., while Buddhist temples or stupas are used to honor (incarnations of) Buddha and for meditation.

Hinduism architecture can be found in simple shrine structures by the side of roads or in large temple complexes like Swaminarayan Akshardham (the largest) in Delhi.

The famous originally Hindu-style temples Angkor Wat and Bagan in Cambodia and Burma respectively were later converted to Buddhist-style temples!

Buddhism temples are designed to represent the pure land or pure environment of a Buddha. The largest Buddhist temple in the world is Borobudur in Indonesia.

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6. Different Distribution "Homelands" for Hindus and Buddhists

Buddhism and Hinduism are the third and fourth-largest religions in the world after Christianity and Islam. In fact, 15% of the world's population is Hindu and 7% is Buddhist.

Hinduism is mainly focused in India . 92% of all Hindus come from India , which makes it an ethnic religion. The second largest populations of Hindus outside India are in Nepal and Mauritius. Less than 1% of Hindus live outside Asia and the Pacific.

Buddhism originated in northern India, but it is a religion that is distributed more widely. China has 18% of the world's Buddhists, the largest percentage. Thailand and the neighboring countries of Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia and other East Asian countries have the greatest numbers of Buddhists. Small numbers of Buddhists are found outside Asia.

7. Different Religious Festivals

All festivals in Hinduism are predominantly worshipful in character and significance. They usually combine with religious ceremonies of sacrifice and washing, semi-ritual spectacles, deity worship and prayer, and processions. The main festivals for Hindus include Diwali , Holi , Onam, Maha Shivaratri, and Ganesh Chaturthi. See The 12 Most Popular Festivals in India .

Festivals are also an important aspect of Buddhist practice . At festivals, Buddhist will go the local temple or monastery and offer food to the monks, honor Buddha, concentrate on the Five Precepts (refraining from killing, stealing, sensuality/fornication, wrong speech, and intoxicants), listen to a Dharma talk or chant of the Buddha's teachings, and meditate. The major Buddhist festivals are Vesak (Buddha Day), Nirvana Day, Magha Puja, and Dharma Day.

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  1. Buddhism And Hinduism Compare And Contrast

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  2. Differences between Buddhism and Hinduism

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  3. ⇉The Idea of “Religare” in Hinduism and Buddhism Essay Example

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  4. Buddhism And Hinduism Compare And Contrast

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  5. Hinduism

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  6. Amazon.com: Buddhism & Hinduism: (A Comparative Study) eBook : Mangla

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COMMENTS

  1. PDF Name: Date: Document Based Essay Question: Hinduism and Buddhism

    Document Based Essay Question: Hinduism and Buddhism This question is based on the accompanying documents. The question is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents. Some of these documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account the source of each document and ...

  2. PDF Buddhism DBQ Documents

    Question 1 (Document-Based Question) Suggested reading and writing time: 1 hour It is suggested that you spend 15 minutes reading the documents and 45 minutes writing your response. Note: You may begin writing your response before the reading period is over. Directions: Question 1 is based on the accompanying documents. The documents have been ...

  3. Hinduism and Buddhism, an introduction (article)

    Unlike Christianity or Buddhism, Hinduism did not develop from the teachings of a single founder.Moreover, it has diverse traditions, owing to its long history and continued development over the course of more than 3000 years. The term Hindu originally referred to those living on the other side of the Indus River, and by the 13th century, it simply referred to those living in India.

  4. The Comparison Of Hinduism And Buddhism

    Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism was created by one person, Siddartha Gautama. Hinduism was created more by the culture of the Aryans and the ancient Indians blending. Buddhism was largely based on Hinduism. Hinduism is an older religion than Buddhism; Buddhism was created about 300 years after Hinduism.

  5. Hinduism and Buddhism Essay

    Goals: Write a five-paragraph analytical essay that accurately describes the similarities and differences between Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, practices, and social impact. Include in-text citations from sources provided by your teacher. To write clearly and coherently, using proper tone, structure, vocabulary, and mechanics. Tasks to complete:

  6. Compare and Contrast Hinduism and Buddhism Essay

    In particular, the faiths do not sustain correlative Gods. Hinduism leaps into millions of Gods and Goddesses. In comparison, Buddhism also has multiple Gods, but not a massive amount of them. Meditation is highly regarded in both religions because they believe real truth and spirituality are inward, not outward (Caron 1).

  7. Hinduism and Buddhism

    In Hinduism the concept of reincarnation refers to an eternal element that travels from one life to another. This element takes different forms and shapes of different living things among its eternal life. This is the soul, or the atman as it is called in Hinduism. In contrast, Buddhism has the concept of rebirth which is the continuation of ...

  8. Indian cultures: focus on Hinduism and Buddhism

    Indian cultures: focus on Hinduism and Buddhism. Before answering the question, read the following excerpt. "In the beginning, Ashoka ruled the empire like his grandfather did, in an efficient but cruel way. He used military strength in order to expand the empire and created sadistic rules against criminals. During the expansion of the Mauryan ...

  9. PDF Hinduism and Buddhism Develop

    Buddhism and Hinduism. TAKING NOTES Hinduism only both Buddhism only 66 Chapter 3 MAIN IDEA WHY IT MATTERS NOW TERMS & NAMES RELIGIOUS AND ETHICAL SYSTEMS The beliefs of the Vedic Age developed into Hinduism and Buddhism. Almost one-fifth of the world's people today practice one of these two religions. •reincarnation • karma •Jainism ...

  10. Buddhism and Hinduism

    Buddhism and Hinduism have common origins in the culture of Ancient India. Buddhism arose in the Gangetic plains of Eastern India in the 5th century BCE during the "second urbanisation" (600 BCE - 200 BCE). Hinduism developed as a fusion or synthesis of practices and ideas from the ancient Vedic religion and elements and deities from other local Indian traditions.

  11. Dharma

    dharma, key concept with multiple meanings in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.. In Hinduism, dharma is the religious and moral law governing individual conduct and is one of the four ends of life. In addition to the dharma that applies to everyone (sadharana dharma)—consisting of truthfulness, non-injury, and generosity, among other virtues—there is also a specific dharma (svadharma) to be ...

  12. Hinduism vs Buddhism

    6. Different Distribution "Homelands" for Hindus and Buddhists. Buddhism and Hinduism are the third and fourth-largest religions in the world after Christianity and Islam. In fact, 15% of the world's population is Hindu and 7% is Buddhist. Hinduism is mainly focused in India. 92% of all Hindus come from India, which makes it an ethnic religion.

  13. Buddhism Vs. Hinduism

    3. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples. Cite This Essay. Download. Buddhism and Hinduism are 2 out of 5 major religions. As of now, Hinduism has 900 million followers and Buddhism has 376 million. Both of these religions originated in India.

  14. Essay on Comparing Hinduism and Buddhism

    Both Judaism and Buddhism have lots of differences beliefs and practices and only few similarities. Judaism was started in 2000 B.C.E, led by Abraham. Buddhism was started in 560 B.C.E, by Siddhartha Gautama. Both religions have different point of view. Buddhism don't believe in deity and Judaism believe in deity.

  15. Hinduism And Buddhism Essay

    Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. It is the oldest and fourth largest religion in the world with around 500 million followers. Buddhism focuses on teaching people how to come to terms with and end the suffering of themselves and others by cutting out greed, hatred, and ignorance from their lives.

  16. Essay on Hinduism and Buddhism

    Hinduism and Buddhism The idea of "religare" or binding oneself back to one's religion is key to many religions. In Christianity, we bind our selves back to the truth unveiled through scripture, myths, tradition, and the church's teachings. Hinduism, however has a much different interpretation of the idea of binding oneself back.

  17. PDF The Comparative study between Hinduism and Buddhism

    1.1. Basic Hinduism Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, following Christianity and Islam. Hinduism stands for the faith and the way of life of most people who live in India. It is unknown where Hinduism was started and by whom. The beliefs of the Hindu's is very different then that of Christian's. Hinduism is based on beliefs in

  18. Hinduism

    Hinduism (/ ˈ h ɪ n d u ɪ z əm /) is an Indian religion or dharma, a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, it has also been described as sanātana dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit. ''the eternal dharma''), a modern usage, based on the belief ...

  19. Hinduism and Buddhism Essay

    The Question of Origin is answered by the Hinduism Worldview as "everything has always been in existence and is a part of god" (Weider & Gutierrez, 2011). A part of the worldview is that the universe and god is one in the same thing. Hinduism believes that itself has always existed, that it did not have a creator.

  20. Indian philosophy

    It also defends the doctrine that there are limitless number of Buddhas throughout limitless numbers of universes. These Indian traditions are the main source of modern Tibetan Buddhism and of modern East Asian Buddhism. The main Indian Mahayana schools of philosophy are: Madhyamaka ("Middle way" or "Centrism") founded by Nagarjuna.

  21. Buddhism And Hinduism Essay

    For instance, in India, Buddhism evolved from Hinduism, a religion were people believe in 300, 000 gods. Even though, Hinduism and Buddhism have different similarities such as believes in god, soul, and rituals, which in some ways connected to each other, both religions believe of what happens after life.

  22. PDF Document Based Essay Questions Hinduism Buddhism Free Pdf

    Hinduism And Buddhism - Weebly The Oldest Religions In The World, And Today It Is The Third Largest. The Basic Principles Of What Is Known Today As Hinduism Were Already Formulated By 1500

  23. Hinduism and Buddhism Essay

    Hinduism and Buddhism The concept of God It is first of all necessary to establish what is meant by the term "God". This term is used to designate a Supreme Being endowed with the qualities of omnipotence and omniscience, which is the creator of the universe with all its contents, and the chief lawgiver for humans.God is generally considered as being concerned with the welfare of his human ...