Buddhism and Hinduism are two of the world’s prominent and most influential religions. Both of the religions developed in South Asia and thus originated from a similar culture and philosophy. While greatly contrasting with the Western monotheistic religions, Buddhism and Hinduism also significantly contrast with each other. Although similar in respect to the basis of philosophy, Buddhism and Hinduism undoubtedly differ on synopsis definition matters of social structure. While Buddhism underscores personal freedom as well as social and spiritual progress in the current life, Hinduism neglects it. Comparing two religions, it can be easily observed that Buddhism demonstrates humanitarian philosophy, while Hinduism shows a stable philosophy. Both Buddhism and Hinduism have more philosophical aspects than religious. Both characterize an all-encompassing philosophy and determine existence itself. For example, the considerable Hindu conception that defines an individual and his obligations is dharma that is a sense of responsibility. One must execute his roles in society and the whole world. Such obligations involve caste duties and reproduction but spread into the philosophical scope of peaceful acceptance of someone’s position. Both religions encourage a fundamental prospect of religious adoration. Still, Buddhism focuses on a person’s release from suffering. Hinduism is polytheistic, while Buddhism supports an unstructured belief in the independent and sensible nature.
The major fracture between two religions seems to originate from the role in social structure. The caste system of Hinduism perpetuates an apathy and fatalism towards social rights and advancement while consolidating the prevailing establishment.
The prominent example of Hinduism tendencies is the caste system, which divides the Hindu representatives into four basic classes: Shudra, Vaishya Brahman, and Kshatriya. Hinduism becomes an incredible force for stagnancy, destroying the initiative for progress in a philosophy of acceptance, which generates apathy for social justice. Such a profound philosophy is considered as an asset to the status quo and dominant formation, stabilizing the social structure at the consumption of individuals.
Buddhism, on the other hand, plays an insignificant role in the social or political structure of society. Buddhism has mostly appeared as a reaction to the violence of Hindu society, including the cruelty of the caste system. Buddhism focuses not only on society, but also on a human-being, thus separating religion from the interests of the ruling system. The pessimism of Hindu impersonation is replaced by less fatalistic and more optimistic cycle. Buddhism also seems to be less God-dependent and ritualistic than Hinduism. While Buddhism operates to inspire a respect for humanity through spiritual and intellectual abilities of a human, Hinduism has the human-shaped Gods to underscore human dignity.
A considerable indicator of the contrast between Buddhism and Hinduism emerges in their historical relationship. Buddhism, of course, originated as a reform movement out of Hinduism, which tends to put Buddhism in quite a positive light. Buddhism is a religion that integrated Hindu faith eliminating the most negative aspects of Hinduism. In this case, the caste system is examined. While Buddhism extremely rejects any system of caste, Hinduism does not only perpetuate but appears in the caste system. However, the historical relationship of Hinduism and Buddhism demonstrates a proper pliability and strength of Hinduism. Although both religions believe in rebirth and karma, they differ in the entity in which they manage and impact the existence of human beings. Although both of the religions suggest respect and a genuine concern for others, Buddhism is more liberal. Hinduism acts in a repressive and forced manner. Buddhism and Hinduism are very similar religions in comparison to the monotheistic Western religions. Both religions have certain basics, which make the Western vision a great to analyze. Still, only Buddhism lacks any large scale of negative reflection for its adherents. Basing on such criteria, Buddhism seems to have quite a positive character as a general life philosophy.
In the past centuries, Buddhism spread throughout Asia to become one of the prevailing religions on the continent. Estimates of Buddhists widely vary in the whole world. Asians observe more than one religion, and it is hard to find out how many people are practicing Buddhism in the Communist republics like China. The most common estimate is three hundred fifty million, which makes Buddhism the fourth largest religion of the world. Hinduism, in turn, remains the world’s oldest existing religion with a billion adherents, which makes it the third largest religion in the world. Hinduism is characterized by the belief in impersonation, one absolute being of multiple demonstrations and the law of effect and cause. The adherents of Hinduism follow the way of holiness and desire for liberation from the cycle of deaths and births.