Eastern philosophy is a terminology referring to the philosophies in the Asian continent, these philosophies have their origin in China, India, Kuwait and other countries in Asia. Unlike the rest of the world most philosophies in Asia revolve around their religion that happens to take three very dominant perspectives; Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism contrary to the rest of the world that embraces Christianity a alongside any of the other religions. Buddism is not as old as Hinduism and it’s said to have its origin in Hinduism. Both the two have their origin in India and are considered a part of the shramrama religion. Hinduism has no definite founder unlike Buddhism founded by Gautama also called Buddha. Gautama initially embraced Hinduism but is said to have found it lacking in various aspects and thus defected in search of a religion could unveil more truthful meaning to the followers unlike Hinduism. The two philosophies have common aspects but differ in a number of aspects as well cited among the followers.
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Similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism
Both Hinduism and Buddhism foster their belief in there being a supreme being that keeps human beings bound on earth and the existence of life and death, this belief is coupled with the fact that there exists a transformation of life from birth into death and thereafter. Gautama however redefines salvation from the Hinduism perspective , his perception that the belief in the supremacy of a being does not bring salvation which according to him can be individually attained was geared towards describing the middle path. One is not under any obligation to try embracing any supremacy in an attempt to attain salvation for the human race (Moore, B.N, &Bruder, K, 2005). The two embrace compassion and abstinence from violence for all living creatures. In regard to the belief in life after death both Hinduism and Buddhism believe in the existence of different heavens and hells with regard to ranks.Their belief in gods is based on the fact that their different gods are also called deities and are based on varying planes. Meditation, cultivation of different psychological states and concentration are emphasized by both Hinduism and Buddhism. The two philosophies are based on desire as a precursor to many forms of suffering. Advaita a Hinduism ideology is also common to Buddhism (Gombrich, 1988).
Differences between Hinduism and Buddhism
As previously stated the Hinduism philosophy has no definite founder unlike Buddhism that was founded by Gautama. Hinduism is based on the effectiveness and power of Vedas unlike Buddhism (Moore, B. N. & Bruder, K, 2005).
. Buddhism is not vested in the existence of a supreme soul and its creator. Hinduism recognizes Buddhism as a form of incarnation a factor that is denied by Buddhists who believe that the founder is the most superior soul and being. Buddhism is based on the fact that life is filled with sorrow whose only remedy is found in terminating it.
Hinduism on the contrary is based on the roles of life that should be realized by the entire human race and they are; the religious obligation, the possession of wealth, salvation for mankind alongside passions and desire. Hinduism unlike Buddhism addresses life in four stages contrary to Buddhism that is based on the readiness of an individual to attain any order in life. Buddhism is said to have offered a ray of hope for those who could not meet the standards in Hinduism as its fundamentals were not limited to standards in life but best on individual effort (Randall, 1999).
The founder of Buddhism is said to have found Hinduism inferior in addressing the truth. Hinduism has its truth hidden in a number of aspects that may not be clear or easy to comprehend to the follower. Buddhism is easy to comprehend unlike Hinduism that is based on individual attributes and perspectives that are truly different for all people. Buddhism thus acknowledges the diversity of faith and is not demanding that a follower limits himself to a particular aspect of life or belief. Though both have emphasis the on various aspects of life Buddhism has a stronghold in the sense that unlike Hinduism Buddhism gives a particular directive in the attainment of truth and fulfillment in life. Hinduism emphasizes very many ideologies and standards that may be confusing and not easy to attain. Eastern philosophies are equally influential on people’s lives just like majority of western philosophies especially in the Middle East where Hinduism and Buddhism have taken root alongside other philosophies.
Moore, B. & Bruder, K. (2005), Philosophy: The power of ideas (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
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Randall, Collins. (2000). The Sociology of Philosophies: A global theory of intellectual change. Harvard University Press.
Richard, Gombrich. (1998). Theravada Buddhism: A social history from ancient Benares to modern Colombo. Rutledge and Kegan Paul publishers.