Buddhism and Hinduism are two of the world’s most influential and greatest religions. Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of the awakened one (Abrams), and Hinduism is the oldest of the world’s greatest religions (Rice). Both of these religions arose in South Asia, thus they share similar culture and philosophy; however, they also contrast greatly with each other in many other aspects. By comparing the rituals of worship of the two religions it is proven that Hinduism worships various deities, whereas Buddhism does not worship any. Rituals of worship such as puja and meditation are practiced in both religions, nevertheless the way and purpose of how they are done differ.
Although Hinduism and Buddhism have almost the same rituals of worship, the purpose of why they practice them varies. Hinduism rituals are more complex, and complicated than that of Buddhism. The main aim of rituals of worship in Hinduism is that one is able to reach a spiritual state, in which the worshipper and the deity are connected. On the other hand, Buddhist rituals are a “commemoration of the Buddha” (Iron); thus they are mainly done with the purpose of showing respect to Buddha, who is not considered to be their God. The reason why Buddhism does not practice rituals in the same way as Hinduism is because Buddhists think that the emphasis on worshipping is a distraction from the main spiritual goal: nirvana that is the “liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth” (Jones). It is true that both religions practice rituals for a religious purpose, which is either to worship, or to show respect.
One of the most important and common rituals of worship in both religions is called Puja, which means honour. “Puja is perhaps the central ceremonial practice of Hinduism” (Jones). This means that this ritual is very significant for Hindus because it not only involves the veneration of deities, but also an underlying feeling that flows from the worshipper to the deity, and vice versa. The purpose of puja is to worship, honour and host one or more deities. In contrast, in Buddhism puja is practiced as a sign of respect and humility for the Three Jewels: the Dharma, the Buddha, and the Sangha. Buddhists also practice puja to reaffirm their belief in Buddha’s teachings. Moreover, the main aim of this ritual is to offer prayers, request for blessings, and pray for someone in trouble.
Aside from all the differences, both religions share many similarities regarding to puja as well. This ritual is required to be done daily, it can be practiced whether at home, or at the temple. Likewise, the practice of this ritual does not always require the presence of a priest, or a monk; besides puja can be practiced individually or in groups. In addition, puja is also done during special ceremonies and festivals. The process of how this ritual is done is truly similar in both religions: first of all the worshippers need to remove their shoes and bow. Then, they make offerings, light a...