Each religion of the East (classical Hinduism and Buddhism) teaches separate principles from one another. Every religion of the East may be similar in some way, but their rituals, books, and views of a higher being are different. Principles can be found in multiple religious traditions, but each religion has their own set of particular beliefs. This paper compares and contrasts the fundamental concepts and values of Buddhism and Classical Hinduism.
Buddhism has an established set of specific traits. They entitled these truths as the ‘Four Noble Truths’. These noble truths are: the truth that suffering exists, the truth of the origin of suffering, the truth of the ending of suffering, and the truth of the path leading to the ending of suffering.
Buddhism deeply relies on these Four Noble Truths within the practice and their execution (Dimmitt, 2012). Buddhism also entails the truth of the wheel of Samsara. Buddhists believe in the truth of rebirth and our state of being in the present affects where one will be placed on the wheel in the next life. If one follows the path of the Buddha, then one can achieve enlightenment and be removed from the wheel of Samsara (Stein, 2010). One will not be reborn, and be completely off of the wheel of Samsara forever.
The goal of one who is in the Hindu religion is basically to live a happy and simple life, and to seek Yagna. The truth of the Hinduism religion is found only within one God. This basically means that if one can explain God, the path, way, or principle, then it is not the eternal path. The truth in Hinduism is found mostly in the four main texts for the religion which are the Vedas, Gita, Upanushad, and Puranas. However, the truth in Buddhism is found in Tripotaka (Dimmitt, 2012).
Buddhism sees material goods as an aid to the betterment of life. Only the obsession and addiction to the materials presents a problem that must be dealt with in the mind. The virtues of money, power, knowledge, and success will present themselves once one’s mind is proper.
In comparison, the classical Hinduism religion notes that material property should not be glorified. Rather, mediation should be the main source of spiritual nourishment. The Hinduism and Buddhism religions believe that mediation calms the body, mind, and spirit in the busy world we live in today (Goodman, 2009).
Hinduism’s truth can only be found if one is on the path of non-violence. One must never cause any harm whatsoever to any living thing; whether it be a bug or a person no harm shall be caused. In Buddhism, one’s soul is believed to start out pure and full of truth. Throughout time, one attracts the favor of the god known as Avalokitesvara. A true Buddhist must do whatever it takes to rid himself of sin (Theravada).
In comparison, Buddha will facilitate achievement of truth if the path of complete non-violence is practiced by the classical Hindus (Dimmitt, 2012). Buddhism has a completely different set of truths as compared classical Hinduism. Buddhism consists mostly of Meitreya which is a guardian spirit. Meitreya is the manifestation of divinity found in places, nature, and even people. Meitreya is everywhere and in everything, and one can absorb the essence of truth from the Meitreya.
Hinduism shares similar truths with those of the Buddhist religion. Buddhists believe in eventually achieving enlightenment, and getting off of the wheel of Samsara, Hindus believe otherwise. The principles of the classical Hinduism religion believe in becoming the best option to be reborn on the wheel of Samsara.
They want to achieve the title of Brahman, and stay there for the rest of their time on the wheel of Samsara. Rebirth is a widely known truth in the Hindu religion. Buddhism and Classical Hinduism focus very much on ethical principles. However, classical Hinduism focuses extensively on the truth and potential within each and every individual. Most of the Aryan Brahmanism truths also fall into the personal finding of the truth.
Buddhism and classical Hinduism strongly believe that during the ‘Golden Age’ the truth was abundant. Centuries later they realize that they had lost their truth. Now, the constant seeking of the truth is found within the classical Hinduism religion and Buddhism religion.
They believe that one must search for the truth in oneself and also in history back to when they had an abundance of the truth. In comparison, the truth in Hinduism is that one must perform daily rituals to connect not only with the present day world and its Kalki, but also the ancestral world and its tenth spirit as well. Only then can one begin to find the truth in the Hinduism religion.
In summary, it is apparent that these religions are very different from one another, but at the same time very similar. The two religions of the East observe very different practices and believe in very different principles and values. However, they desire the same end result. This end result is truth and happiness.
Dimmitt, C. (2012). Classical Hindu mythology: A reader in the Sanskrit Puranas, New Delhi, India: Temple University Press.
Goodman, C. (2009).Consequences of compassion: An interpretation and defense of Buddhist ethics, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Stein, B. (2010). A history of India (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.