Hinduism, Buddhism, And Shinto Essay

1321 words - 5 pages

Hinduism, Buddhism and Shinto, while vast in differences there is much to learn about these three religions similarities as well. Some facts and history of Hinduism include, Hinduism (being the oldest of the three) is dated back in pre-history before 10000 BC even believed to predate the Indus River Valley Civilization! The Vedas (the holy text of Hinduism) is the foundation for Indian culture and also the basic belief system of Hinduism. The basic belief structure of Hinduism is as follows, the three doctrines; Samsara (1) which means “successive rebirths” indicating the belief in reincarnation started by ATMA or the spark of life given by the god Brahma. This cycle continues until the soul collects enough good Karma (2) to break from the cycle of samsara and achieve Moksha (3) which is when the soul can finally reunite with Brahma after its final life. Hinduism is also the only religion you can NOT convert to. Therefore Hinduism believes in the cycle of reincarnation as its afterlife belief. Buddhism developed much later is highly influenced by Hinduism. The story of how Buddha became enlightened tells that Buddha was actually a Hindu prince by the name of Siddhartha. Unlike Hinduism ANYONE can become enlightened and reach Nirvana in Buddhism whereas in Hinduism traditionally only those of the Brahman cast could achieve moksha. Also in Buddhism there is no actual god originally Buddha is a state of enlightenment anyone can become the Buddha. Only later did Buddhism split into Mahayana Buddhism (which made Buddha into a deity) and Hinayana Buddhism (which stick to the traditional belief that Buddha was not divine just simply a teacher). Buddhism has a type of day to day guide to reaching enlightenment called the 8-fold path this encompasses all the things that Siddhartha learned on his journey to becoming enlightened and puts them together as a sort of guideline. It could somewhat be compared to the 10 commandments of Christianity. This is a way to move closer to nirvana by following these simple actions in your everyday life. This differs from Hinduism in that you do not need to accumulate good karma to move closer to breaking the cycle of reincarnation. A distinct difference between Hinduism and Buddhism is that Buddhism rejects the concept of extreme asceticism. Buddhism follows what is called the “middle way” or “middle path” which, in a nutshell, means balance not too much of any one thing. Not over indulging or under indulging. Just what you need no extras are needed. Whereas in Hinduism the main goal is extreme asceticism as well as great wealth. Buddhism also does not have any type of gender bias. Although in its texts it does mention gender roles or duties it does not go to such extremes as Hinduism. Some similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism include that both believe in reincarnation. Also both have more than one path to enlightenment. Also both religions practice meditation and certain forms of yoga. Lastly both believe that...

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