Hinduism and Buddhism - Hinduism - Oxford Bibliographies
Buddhist Relations with Brahmanism and Hinduism by Cheng Jianhua Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China. (1) Jainism = Mahavir tried to reform Hinduism and set up a religion. Hinduism is calling them their 'sect'. (2) Buddhism = Prince Sidhartha tried to reform. ISSN Facets of the relationship between Buddhism and. Hinduism*. Perry Schmidt-Leukel** in an interview with Frank Usarski. Could you give us an .
The Dharma Chakrawhich appears on the national flag of India and the flag of the Thai royal family, is a Buddhist symbol that is used by members of both religions.
These are beads that devotees, usually monks, use for praying. Many Hindu devotees mark their heads with a tilakwhich is interpreted as a third eye. A similar mark is one of the characteristic physical characteristics of the Buddha. It can be either clockwise or counter-clockwise and both are seen in Hinduism and Buddhism. The Buddha is sometimes depicted with a sauwastika on his chest or the palms of his hands.
Their use varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra. They are primarily used as spiritual conduitswords or vibrations that instill one-pointed concentration in the devotee. Other purposes have included religious ceremonies to accumulate wealth, avoid danger, or eliminate enemies. Mantras existed in the historical Vedic religionZoroastrianism  and the Shramanic traditions, and thus they remain important in Buddhism and Jainism as well as other faiths of Indian origin such as Sikhism.
Yoga[ edit ] The practice of Yoga is intimately connected to the religious beliefs and practices of both Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, the term "Yoga" commonly refers to the eight limbs of yoga as defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjaliwritten some time after BCE, and means "yoke", with the idea that one's individual atmanor soul, would yoke or bind with the monistic entity that underlies everything brahman.
Yoga in Hinduism also known as being 'complex', based on yoking integrating. Yoga defines a specific process: The technique of the different forms of yoga is what makes the practice meaningful.
Yoga is not an easy or simple practice, viyoga is what is described as simple. Yoga is difficult in the fact of displaying the faith and meaning of Hinduism. Many Hindus tend to pick and choose between the five forms of yoga because of the way they live their life and how they want to practice it in the form they are most connected to.
In the early translation phase of the Sutrayana and Tantrayana from India, China and other regions to Tibet, along with the practice lineages of sadhanacodified in the Nyingmapa canon, the most subtle 'conveyance' Sanskrit: A contemporary scholar with a focus on Tibetan BuddhismRobert Thurman writes that Patanjali was influenced by the success of the Buddhist monastic system to formulate his own matrix for the version of thought he considered orthodox. Most notable in this context is the relationship between the system of four Buddhist dhyana states Pali: Differences[ edit ] Despite the similarities in terminology there exist differences between the two religions.
Hinduism and Buddhism
There is no evidence to show that Buddhism ever subscribed to vedic sacrifices, vedic deities or caste. This section does not cite any sources.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Various sources from the Pali Cannon and others suggest that the Buddha taught that belief in a Creator deity was not essential to attaining liberation from suffering, and perhaps chose to ignore theological questions because they were "fascinating to discuss," and frequently brought about more conflict and anger than peace.
The Buddha did not deny the existence of the popular gods of the Vedic pantheon, but rather argued that these devaswho may be in a more exalted state than humans, are still nevertheless trapped in the same samsaric cycle of suffering as other beings and are not necessarily worthy of veneration and worship.
The focus of the Noble Eightfold Pathwhile inheriting many practices and ideologies from the previous Hindu yogic tradition, deviates from the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and earlier works of the Dharmic Religions in that liberation Nirvana or Moksha is not attained via unity with Brahman the GodheadSelf-realization or worship.
Rather, the Buddha's teaching centers around what Eknath Easwaran described as a "psychology of desire," that is attaining liberation from suffering by extermination of self-will, selfish desire and passions.
This is not to say that such teachings are absent from the previous Hindu tradition, rather they are singled out and separated from Vedic Theology. According to Buddhologist Richard Hayesthe early Buddhist Nikaya literature treats the question of the existence of a creator god "primarily from either an epistemological point of view or a moral point of view".
In these texts the Buddha is portrayed not as a creator-denying atheist who claims to be able to prove such a God's nonexistence, but rather his focus is other teachers' claims that their teachings lead to the highest good. Buddhist cosmology recognizes various levels and types of gods, but none of these gods is considered the creator of the world or of the human race. Hinduism though proposes detachment from fruits of action  and stresses on performance of duty or dharma, it is not solely focused on it.
In Hinduism, Lord Shiva explains 'death' to be journey of the immortal soul in pursuit of 'Moksha' and therefore a fact of life. While Buddhism says retirement into forest was open to everyone regardless of caste, and although according to the vinaya the code of conduct for the Sangha it is not possible to take ordination as a Buddhist mendicant a Bhikkhu or Bhikkhuni under the age of 20 or adulthood, this is still viewed as escapism by Hinduism.
Pre-Buddhist, non-brahman forest mendicants are criticised in the earliest group of Upanishads. Buddhism by contrast emphasises realisation by the middle way avoiding extremes of luxury or austeritiesseeing limited value in the rituals and tapas and the danger of their mis-application.
Buddhism explained that attachment is the cause of sorrow in society. Therefore, Buddhism's cure for sorrow was detachment and non-involvement non-action or negative action. However, in establishing the basic tenets of Dharma the Buddha made a radical departure from the commonly held belief that all living beings possessed an eternal and indestructible and omniscient soul.
He declared that beings did not possess eternal souls. Instead they embodied an unstable, impermanent reality or not-self, which was a formation or an aggregation like the body itself and which was subject to desires, attachments, karma, bondage and transmigration. It disappeared when desires and attachments were suppressed, and karma was fully resolved on the Eightfold Path.
Unlike the other renunciant traditions, which admitted only qualified members, the Buddha had admitted all classes of people from all backgrounds since he felt that everyone was bound and subject to suffering and rebirth.
He ignored the caste barriers and the social injunctions imposed upon certain classes of people by the Vedic laws, which prevented them from seeking liberation. Most importantly, he advised people to focus upon experiential reality with mindfulness to understand the source of suffering and states of consciousness rather than upon transcendental reality that could not be verified by any physical or mental means. Thus, you may regard the Buddha not only as a teacher and proponent of the Buddhist doctrine but also as a social and religious reformer within the Vedic fold who challenged the basic principles and practices of the Vedic religion and freed people from the shackles of a discriminatory and unfair social structure.
He suggested a practical philosophy of liberation which could be practiced and verified by anyone. You may also regard him as the founder of a new religion, which was organized and systematic and claimed no divine source, but the common wisdom which was within the mental and intellectual realm of the human mind. In these undertakings his purpose was not to propagate a new religion or undermine the Vedic religion, but to help people find relief from ignorance, delusion and suffering.
Hindus attitude towards Buddhists in ancient times Since the early days of Buddhism, Hinduism or its various sects had a checkered relationship with it.
Many Vedic texts such as the Puranas and the Shastras betray subtle animosity towards Buddhism and the Buddha. Over time, the chasm between the two traditions grew in depth, as Buddhism capitalized on the vulnerabilities of Vedic beliefs and offered a practical and verifiable alternative, forcing the latter to respond with justifiable negativity. The differences between the two continued, despite halfhearted attempts to recognize the Buddha as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
On a closer examination, it becomes evident that it was done for all for all the wrong reasons to undermine the Buddha and his teachings rather than elevate them. The Puranas abundantly make it clear that Buddha Dharma was an aberration or perversion to distract people from the path of liberation rather than liberate them.
They narrate that Lord Siva and Vishnu manifested as a Jina and Buddha respectively to mislead the demons through their teachings and sow the seeds of their destruction.
By following their false teachings, when the demons ceased to be the true devotees of gods, the gods had little moral or spiritual compunction to attack them and destroy them. Thus, the purpose of including the Buddha and some Jinas in the Hindu pantheon was intentionally parochial. This line of thought is well illustrated in a story which is mentioned in the Chandogya Upanishad 8.
Hinduism and Buddhism
According to the story, Vairochana, the leader of the demons went to Brahma along with Indra to know about the Self. He returned with the deluded conviction that the physical self was the true Self.
Indra on the other hand spent a long time with Brahma and eventually learned that the eternal Self was his true Self. By juxtaposing him with Indra in the same story, the Upanishad aims to establish the superiority of the Vedic belief regarding souls to the Buddhist belief in the not-self.
Therefore, although religious tolerance was the hallmark of ancient Indian society, the relationship between Buddhists and Hindus was at times less than cordial as they tried to outsmart each other.
When Buddhism was on decline, many caves, monasteries and sacred places of Buddhists were either occupied or converted by rival groups into places of Hindu worship removing or replacing the Buddhist deities with Hindu counterparts.
It is possible that the opposite might have happened in areas ruled by Buddhism, when Hinduism waned and Buddhism gained ascendance. Differences The following are some of the differences, which we can see in the principles and practice of these two religions. Hinduism is not founded by any prophet seer or guru.
Buddhism was founded by the Buddha. Hinduism is not an organized religion. In many respects, Buddhism is well organized into three divisions namely the Buddha, the Sangha and the Dharma. Hinduism believes in the inviolability and supremacy of the Vedas in validating metaphysical truths.
The Buddhist do not believe in the Vedas or for that matter in any Hindu scripture. Buddhism does not believe in the existence of souls as well in the first cause, or the creator God. Hinduism believe in the existence of Atman, the individual self, and Brahman, the Supreme Self. The Buddhists do not accept any Hindu god as an equal or superior to the Buddha.
In Buddhism all gods who go by the same name as in Hinduism are considered mortal and subject to gradual decay and impermanence.
Its followers do not worship the images of the Buddha nor do they believe in the idea of the Bodhisattvas. The Mahayana sect considers the Buddha as the Supreme Soul or the Highest Being, akin to the Brahman of Hinduism and worship him in the form of images and icons. However, it is doubtful if they consider the primal Buddha eternal or unchanging. Hinduism recognizes four chief aims of human life, namely dharma religious dutyartha wealth or material possessionskama desires and passions and moksha salvation.
Buddhism considers the world full of suffering and resolving it as the chief purpose of human life. Therefore, it recognizes only two aims, namely the practice of Dharma Buddha's teachings and liberation Nirvana.
Hindus also believe in the four ashramas or stages in life. This is not followed in Buddhism. People can join the Order any time depending upon their spiritual preparedness. However, in both traditions people have a choice to become renunciants according to their inclination or at the behest of their parents or teachers.
Buddhists who take vows and enter monastic life organize themselves into an Order Sangha of monks. They live in groups and abide in strict monastic discipline according to a set of rules that are well codified to the last detail.
Hinduism is not a monastic religion as Buddhism. It does not have an organized Sangha or a set of rules that can universally be applied. Individuals have a lot of choice and freedom to choose their paths and follow their own discretion. Buddhism believes in the concept of Bodhisattvas, who are highly evolved beings and who postpone their own salvation to help others.
Hinduism does not have a similar concept. Buddhism acknowledges the existence of some gods and goddesses of Hinduism. However it does not consider them to be immortal or indestructible. It also accords to them a rather subordinate status. Refuge in the Buddha, the Sangha and Dhamma are the three cardinal requirements on the Eightfold Path. In Hinduism you do not find a similar approach.
It offers many choices and alternatives to the followers to practice their faith and work for their salvation. Although both religions believe in karma and rebirth, they differ in the manner in which they operate and determine the course of transmigration.
In Hinduism, karma and rebirth keep the eternally pure souls bound to the cycle of births and deaths until they are fully liberated. In Buddhism it is the being or the not-Self which is bound to the cycle of births and deaths and which suffers from the consequences.
Hinduism, Buddhism and Yoga Yoga is essentially a Hindu tradition with its roots in the Vedic ritual symbolism and its internalization. Yoga is mentioned and explained in several ancient Upanishads, long before the emergence of Buddhism.
Before the Buddha, yoga was practiced in many forms by the ascetics and ascetic traditions of ancient India, including Jainism. The rudiments of yoga practice are found in the Katha and Svetasvatara Upanishads, while a more advanced version in the Maitri Upanishad.
The epic Mahabharata makes many references to yoga. According to Edwin F. Bryant, the terms yoga and yogi occur about times in the epic. By all accounts, Patanjali did not invent the wheel of yoga. He codified it and standardized its teaching. During his wanderings as an ascetic monk, the Buddha practiced various forms of austerities and yoga.
His enlightenment was a direct result of dhyana, an ancient form of meditation. The ascetic practices of both Buddhism and Hinduism draw heavily from ancient Yoga traditions in their respective ways to practice self-transformation. Both rely upon Yoga to restrain human nature and overcome desires and attachments. They use many common terms to explain the practices of yoga or stages in self-absorption. However, yoga has a much wider connotation in Hinduism than in Buddhism.
Hindu yoga aims to achieve liberation through union with the inner Self and in some yogas through union with the Supreme Self, whereas in Buddhism it is meant to suppress the modification and disperse the formation of ego.
In Buddhism self-absorption denotes the end of all desires and modifications and an experience with emptiness. In Hinduism also it denotes the end of all desires and modifications but an experience with transcendence or union with the transcendental Self. Hindu and Buddhist meditative practices Apart from some similarities, there is a main difference between Hindu and Buddhist meditative practices, although they share a common history and geographical influence.
In Buddhist meditation and contemplative practices, the focus or the emphasis is mainly upon the Not-self, which in Buddhist parlance means anything other than the Self. It includes the mind, the body, the world and all the objects in them such as thoughts, feelings, emotions, images, objects, etc. According to Buddhism, the not-Self is just a temporary formation.
It exists both externally and internally. By knowing it and dissolving it from within, one can reach Nirvana. By practicing mindfulness upon the Not-self objective realitythe monks realize the impermanence of things and the important aspects of Dharma such as the Four Noble Truths.
Thus, the Buddhist contemplative practices are outward. They keep the mind engaged with things through mindfulness practice, until peace and happiness are attained through equanimity, discernment and enlightenment. In contrast, the Hindu meditative practices are inward oriented. They are meant to know the subjective reality, or the reality which is self-existent and free from objective reality. Therefore, they focus the mind upon the Self rather than the Not-self and aim to disengage the mind and senses from the Not-self or the world within and without.
By withdrawing the mind and senses from worldly things the Not-Self and silencing them, a yogi concentrates his mind upon the thoughts of the Self or God to experience peace and equanimity. Thus, in Hinduism Samadhi is achieved by silencing the mind and senses, rather than keeping them mindful and actively engage with the objective reality.