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Hinduism and Buddhism

Throughout the world, different nations have different believes or religion. Some religions evolve from others, and others are combination of other religions. Religion is a way of life, a life style; it should dictate how you live your life. For instance, in India, Buddhism evolved from Hinduism, a religion were people believe in 300, 000 gods. Even though, Hinduism and Buddhism have different similarities such as believes in god, soul, and rituals, which in some ways connected to each other, both religions believe of what happens after life.

Although Buddhism evolved from Hinduism it differs from Hinduism in god beliefs. According to Buddhists there is no God, but they reverence the Buddha and his teachings as though he were one. Buddha, believe in no Atman’s, nor is there a Brahman or supreme being because all is not permanent. They believe that to have faith in a higher power is nothing more than illusion. The Buddhist “athirst” in fact think that life is not a reality. In Buddhism, a person strives to reach the Nirvana through mediation. The Nirvana is the “blowing out” of the fame of desire by ending the vicious cycle of reincarnation.

By not going with their instincts and ending all desire for the illusion of this world, one is able to reach enlightenment and finally rest from his suffering. The Buddhists worship the Buddha and follow the four noble truths in order to reach salvation. The four noble truths are: life is suffering, all suffering is caused by ignorance of the nature of reality and the craving, attachment and grasping that result from such ignorance, suffering can be ended by overcoming ignorance, and the path to the suppression of suffering is the Eightfold Noble Path.

The Eightfold Noble Path is divided into three categories: morality, wisdom, and concentration. In contrast, Hindus say, “that thou art. ” This statement means that Brahman is the same as one true self, or his Atman. Not only do the Hindus worship Brahman, they also worship several other gods as well. The other gods are in the reincarnation series, or the samsara, they are not ultimate but they help to bring liberation throughout the grueling cycle. All Hindus believe in three most popular gods, which they are: Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. Shiva is the deity of the renounces, especially of the many shiava sects that imitate him.

These are Kapalicas, Pashupatas, and Aghoris. Shiva is also the deity that is said to have appeared on earth in various human, animals, and vegetable forms. Vishnu, to his worshipers, is all-powerful and supreme. He is believed to be to god from whose navel a lotus sprang giving birth to Brahma, the creator. Vishnu created the universe by separating the heavens and the earth and has rescued it on a number of occasions. As Hopfe and Woodward state “Vishnu is known as a god of love, benevolence, and forgiveness (Hinduism 94). ” ” In some incarnations, he has come as a man. ” (94). The third popular god is Brahma, the creator of the world.

Since Buddhism and Hinduism have different believes they also have different holy days. Moreover, because Hindus worship variety of gods they have a variety of festivals. The three main festivals of Hinduism are: Holi, Divali, and Dasehra. Holi is the most popular festival. This holy day is celebrated each year during February-March to welcome spring. “Holi is dedicated to god Krishna and it was once a fertility ceremony (104). ” Throughout the days of Holi, many of the casts and taboo restrictions are set aside and pleasure is emphasized. The second ceremony Divali, celebrated in November, is a festival to welcome a new year.

Finally the third festival, the Dasehra, celebrated up to nine days in October, in honor of Durga, a consort of Shiva. On the other hand Buddhism is divided in many ways according to philosophy and geography. The major festivals that are celebrated by most Buddhists are New Year, Buddha’s birthday, the festival of souls, and robe offering. In many Buddhist countries the New Year is celebrated in April. It usually lasts three days. Another festival is Buddha’s birthday. During this festival the birth of Gautama, celebrated on April 8 in China and Japan and on the last full moon on May in Southeast Asia.

Buddhist communities celebrate by washing the statue of the infant Buddha and a basin of fragrant water filled with flower petals to honor the gods who bathed the Buddha immediately after his birth. The festival of souls id celebrated during July (in Japan), and August (in China). Buddhists believe that purgatory is opened and the souls of the dead are allowed to wonder about the world. The last festival celebrated by Buddhists is robe offering. This festival is celebrated in November at the end of rainy season. During this festival the laity present new yellow robber to the monks of their region.

This robe is one that has been made in a single day or night. Hindus believe in souls and Buddhists do not. In Hindus religion it is believed that an individual should abolish all once and desires in addition to refraining from any temptations of sin in order to discipline himself or herself. Once all of these things are done, the perfect joy and harmony with the infinite spirit is reached. The infinite spirit refers to Hinduism belief that the soul never dies. Hindus believe that each time a body dies the soul is reborn into a new body. On the contrary, Buddhism believe in the Anatman or no soul.

Buddhism sees human existence as made up of five bundles or Skandhas. These are material body of feelings, perceptions, predispositions or Karmic tendencies, and consciousness. Buddhists deny the permanent soul. Buddhists believe that as long as they follow the four noble truths they would be freed from the life sufferings. Eventually, today both religions are still greatly worshiped and have millions of followers. Buddhism and Hinduism are connected in many ways and still continue to flourish after many, many centuries. Both religions have a similar goal, and path to achieve that goal.

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