Buddhism and Hinduism

Essay by hitmeq3mHigh School, 10th gradeA, April 2003

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Buddhism and Hinduism

Buddhism and Hinduism are two of the primary religions that came into existence in India beginning in 700 B.C. and continuing throughout history to 400 A.D. Both Hinduism and Buddhism are based on the same principles, but differ in their ideas as a whole. Buddhism occurred when a monk named Guatama reached enlightenment after meditating underneath a tree for over forty days. He is the sacred God-like being in Buddhism, known as Buddha. After his enlightenment, he went to teach his beliefs to his companions and friends, who eventually began to grasp his concept.

Hinduism and Buddhism are different in many ways. The first difference is the fact that Hinduism did not originate from one particular person, but a group of people who used the Vedas as a primary source. Another contrast is that Hindus are a polytheistic society, meaning they believe in many gods. However, in truth, the Hindus mainly focused on Brahman, the chief God.

It was believed that Brahmin was the all- powerful god that created all the others and the universe. Besides Brahman, there were other important Gods the Hindus served. Siva was viewed as the second most powerful, as he was the god of destruction. Vishnu came next along the line as the god of life. It was believed that the gods could become seriously angry with the people and punish them with horrible events. To prevent this from happening, the Hindus would occasionally sacrifice to please their gods.

Buddhism also contrasts the Hindu beliefs in many forms. Buddha taught the people to follow four basic principles known as the Four Noble Truths. These were as follows: all human life contains suffering and sorrow, a greedy desire for only pleasure and material things causes suffering and sorrow, renouncing desire frees people from...