The Goals of Hinduism and Buddhism Essay

1368 WordsSep 25, 20086 Pages
2. Hinduism and Buddhism are traditions that originated from the Vedic sacrifice practice, and they share a common foundation in their view of existence. What are the similarities, and very importantly, the differences in their respective focuses and goals? Also included in this topic: For a time, Buddhism became a dominant tradition in much of India, but then Hinduism rose to become the dominant tradition. There are relatively few Buddhists in India today, especially in comparison to the number of Hindus. Why did Buddhism "lose favor", and Hinduism become dominant? Discuss this historically (what happened and when did it happen) and analytically (why did most Indian people find Hinudism more attractive). The world has many different…show more content…
Buddhism has a similar concept, dhamma (note even the linguistic similarity). Dhamma does not imply specific biological or social obligations, but maintains a comparable philosophical construct. The Buddhist definition of right conduct and personal obligation, dhamma is the path which must be taken to escape the suffering of worldly life. Other similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism are more apparent. Both religions maintain a broad perspective of religious worship. Hinduism is polytheistic while Buddhism maintains no structured belief in an independent, sentient god-like entity (especially in human form). Either of these concepts yields a malleable religion which can adjust and conform to local tradition and fluctuations in intellectual and spiritual thought. Both religions believe in a system of reincarnation, and both religions emphasize the community over the self. The major rift between the two religions seems to stem from the role of social structure in the two religions. Hinduism's caste system perpetuates a fatalism and apathy toward social rights and advancement while reinforcing the ruling establishment. Buddhism concentrates on the individual's release from suffering, implying no overriding social definition. The outstanding example of Hinduism's establishment tendencies is the caste system. The caste system divides the Hindu people into four major classes, Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra, and "untouchables," or people outside of

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