Hinduism and Buddhism: History and Modern Appeal

1696 WordsAug 8, 20117 Pages
Introduction As two of the world’s oldest and most established religions, Hinduism and Buddhism have their similarities, as well as differences. Both religions are practiced in Southeast Asia, starting in India and have influenced each other. Hinduism dates back to 5,000 years ago, while Buddhism was created three centuries ago. I will explore what the two religions share and what separates the two from one another covering the origins, number of followers, the texts used, and the belief system followed. Origin of Hinduism Hinduism is one of the oldest religions still practiced in modern times. Hinduism originated in India, by several civilizations. The civilizations of the Indus Valley and Harappan present the first elements of…show more content…
Hindus worship everything around them. Hinduism is monotheistic, yet is thought to be polytheistic for the preceding reasons. The premise surrounding this belief is that the “Supreme Being” found in so many forms. Not placing limited parameters on the “Supreme Being”, as other religions are known to, is yet another modern appeal to Hinduism. Origins Of Buddhism Buddhism is one of the oldest religions. Buddhism dates back over 3 centuries. Buddhism was founded by an Indian prince, named Siddharta Gautama around 500 BCE. The prince was born into the high echelon of the caste system, and was Hindu. Since the prince was Hindu, it is told that before being born into this world, he saw the sufferings of people and was moved by this turmoil so much, that he vowed to manifest himself in the sentient world and relieve people from their sufferings. Reincarnation presents itself in the early beginnings of Buddhism. The transcending of the soul is present in Buddhism. Buddha and followers strive to transcend into “Nirvana”. Nirvana happens after one becomes enlightened and attains release from the sufferings. Sanskrit words and meanings are used in Buddhism as in Hinduism. Siddharta lived a lavish life as royalty, until one day while on a trip; he saw signs of suffering for the first time. He witnessed an old man, a sick man, a poor man, and a corpse. This event was the catalyst to Siddharta renouncing his royalty and family, to
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