bh

BUDDHISM VS. HINDUISM: A SIMPLIFIED SUMMARY OF BELIEFS

Buddhism

  • Buddhists believe that the Supreme is completely transcendent and can be described as Sunya, a void or state of nonbeing.
  • Buddhists believe in the Four Noble Truths:
    • 1. that suffering exists;
    • 2. that desire is the cause of suffering;
    • 3. that suffering may be ended by the annihilation of desire;
    • 4. that to end desire one must follow the Eight-Fold Path.
  • Buddhists believe in the Eight-Fold Path of right belief, right aims, right speech, right actions, right occupation, right endeavor, right mindfulness and right meditation.
  • Buddhists believe in dharma (the way), karma (cause and effect), reincarnation, the sangha (Buddhist monastic community) and the passage on earth as an opportunity to end the cycle of birth and death.
  • Buddhists believe that life’s aim is to end suffering through the annihilation of individual existence and absorption into nirvana, the Real.
  • Buddhists believe in the “Middle Path,” living moderately, avoiding extremes of luxury and asceticism.
  • Buddhists believe in the sanctity of the Buddha and in the sacred scriptures of Buddhism: the Tripitaka (Three Baskets of Wisdom) and/or the Mahayana Sutras.
  • Buddhists believe in the greatness of self-giving love and compassion toward all creatures that live, for these contain merit exceeding the giving of offerings to the Gods.
  • Buddhists believe that man’s true nature is divine and eternal, yet his individuality is subject to the change that affects all forms and is therefore transient, dissolving at liberation into nirvana.
  • Buddhist believe that just as one food will not appeal to everybody, one religion or one set of beliefs will not satisfy everyone’s needs, and that all genuine religious paths deserve tolerance and understanding.

Hinduism

  • Hindus believe in a One, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.
  • Hindus believe in the divinity of the Vedas, the world’s most ancient scripture. These primordial hymns are the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion which has neither beginning nor end.
  • Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.
  • Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, spiritual knowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.
  • Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.
  • Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.
  • Hindus believe that a spiritually awakened master, or guru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry and meditation.
  • Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practiceahimsa, “noninjury.”
  • Hindus believe that no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are facets of God’s Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.

We know this is greatly oversimplified and that these beliefs might not apply to every Hindu and every Buddhist. This is simply to provide a general overview of these two religions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *