Hindus: Is Hinduism and Buddhism essentially the same?

This question is for the Buddhists and Hindus.

This is why I think it is, but if I wrong please tell me why.

Hinduism: God is everything and everything is god.

Buddhism: God is everything and everything is god.

So both are pantheistic philosophies. But I think that the difference between Buddhism and Hinduism is that Hinduism explains this poetically through the Bhagavad Gita where people are encouraged to see Krishna in everything. Buddhism explains it rather plainly.

The purpose of meditation is to transform the state of our hearts and minds and bring us back to ourselves so we can deal with reality with a clear mind. At least this is how I see it.

Each god in Hinduism symbolizes something. Ganesha symbolizes wisdom and intelligence. So when we meditate on him, we meditate to bring out the strength within themselves to study. I might be wrong so correct me if I am.


I'm not sure anyone read what I said lol.

Update 2:

Am I allowed to interpret it this way though? Don't want to offend anyone.

20 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Dear Friend,

    Lord Buddha is considered one of the incarnations of God in Sanatana Dharma.

    Actually if you read Ramayana by Valmiki (Especially Yoga Vaashistam by Valmiki) there are several references to Buddhism in it.That is why some even thought Ramaavataara was after Buddhaavataara.It is wrong.The Buddhistic thoughts and thinking was there long before Sri Rama came to earth,So Buddhistic thought is an integral part of Hinduism.No doubt about it.since Buddha totally rejected vedas ,there was not good following and gradually the buddhism disappeared almost in India and blossommed in Japan and Tibet like places.

    That is what I have read please.

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  • 4 years ago

    Buddhism is a prosletysing religion. Like Christianity, Buddhists are called to convert others to the faith "Go ye, O monks, wander around for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, good and happiness of humans and devas. Let not any two go in the same way. Proclaim, monks, the Dhamma which is beautiful in the beginning, good in the middle and good at the end. Be exemplars of the pure life perfected and purified in every respect. There are beings with little dust in their eyes who will surely perish without the Dhamma, but who can join those other Dhamma-farers. I myself, monks, will go to Uruvelaa to preach the Dhamma" Hinduism does not have a tradition of prosletysing.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It seems that to think of either as pantheistic or not pantheistic is to adopt a point of view from inside "maya" (Vedanta) or "delusion" (Buddhist"). Both traditions actually work from the experiential understanding that the human experience is actually god in form and not individual or personal, that is, not separate from each other individual. A gross generalization might be that Buddhists consider that god is a concept in the mind of human experience and the Hindu understanding might be that God exists separate somehow (Brahma) from the human experience as a first cause but infuses all. But then you know what generalizations are worth, so take my words here for what they are worth. This is the subject of a pretty fierce ongoing debate between Vedanta and Buddhism about the reality of Atman vs. Anatman which you can research online for a much better explanation than mine.

    Buddhism does it's only explanation of such in direct terms that are a kind of pointing out - which might seem plain except that they turn the attention back onto one's primal wordless/characterless experience of true self. (No golden chariots) There are no (or few) intervening characters to color things up. What it is pointing to is actually not describable in words but is .....well.....no adequae words for it. Practically speaking, the realization changes lives.

    Krishna is a wonderful access point for essentially the same thing which understanding can be taken as "far" as karma allows. Advaita Vedanta tradition (not actually mainstream Vedanta) follows the teachings of Adi Shankara whose intent was to restore Vedanta to its roots. Today, it looks a bit more like Buddhism, but this thought is controversial.

    In either case, it seems that the way through is the way out and that would be one similarity.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes ofcourse they are same.. Rather I would say that Budhdhism is just a portion of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma or to put it in a simpler manner- a branch of Hindu philosophy.Budhdhism is just an off shoot of Hinduism-nothing new or seperate as such- Budhdhist phiolosophy is based on and same as the Sankhya philosophy of Hinduism , a philosophy that is as old as creation itself- it was revived by Lord Kapila and taught by even Krishna in Geeta .Budhdhism too, just like Hinduism isnt doctrinal or anything.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There's no "theism" in Buddhism. Not regular theism, pantheism or even atheism.

    Buddhism doesn't really teach "all is one." (contrary to belief) Buddhism is about skillful action. Identifying oneself with the universe i.e. "I am one with the universe" is a form of self-identification and considered a cause for suffering. That is the main difference, since the Vedic(Hindu) teachings teach that Atman - the self, is the same as Brahman.

    It's the anatman (not self) teaching that really splits Hinduism from Buddhism, IMO.


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  • 1 decade ago

    If Buddhism and Hinduism are essentially the same, then there is no purpose of the very birth of Buddhism. Buddhism was basically a rebel child of Hinduism which came to refute the theories of Hinduism. While Vedas dominated the masses with the power of the Sanskrit language mastered by the Vedic pandits, Buddhism made a revolution by informing the masses that Vedas are nothing but mere blabbering and will not help people to attain salvation. It communicated with local language of the masses, gave them simple solutions to life, a practical way to follow and above all Buddhism did shun bigotry and was against chanting of numerous mantras on numerous gods. The Buddha refused to accept the very authority of the Vedas which was in high esteem among the priestly class of the Hindus. While Varnashrama Dharma or the discrimination based on skin colour of the Vedic religion was hailed by the top class Hindus, Buddhism embraced all the people without discrimination. Because of the simple and easy to follow rules of Buddhism, millions of people in India coverted to Buddhism until the treachery of including Buddha as one of the avatars of Vishnu took place. This slowly led to the decline of Buddhism in India.

    Source(s): Religious history of India
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  • 1 decade ago

    Ways in which Buddhism differs (is different) from Hinduism:

    1) No need for priests (brahmins) or rituals.

    2) Anyone can enter Nirvana, no matter how lowly, whereas in Hinduism only the brahmins could achieve moksha.

    3) In Theravada Buddhism, there are no gods. The Buddha is not a god.

    4) Karma is not earned by following the dharma of your caste. Instead you can move toward entry into Nirvana by following the eightfold path.

    5) As the "middle way" Buddhism rejects extreme asceticism as well as great wealth. The ideal in Hinduism is extreme asceticism.

    From one other source the following difference


    1. Hinduism is not founded by any particular prophet. Buddhism was founded by the Buddha.

    2. Hinduism believes in the efficacy and supremacy of the Vedas. The Buddhist do no believe in the Vedas.

    3. Buddhism does not believe in the existence of souls as well in the first cause, whom we generally call God. Hinduism believe in the existence of Atman , that is the individual soul and Brahman, the Supreme Creator.

    4. Hinduism accepts the Buddha as an incarnation of Mahavishnu, one of the gods of Hindu trinity. The Buddhist do not accept this.

    5. The original Buddhism as taught by the Buddha is known as Theravada Buddhism or Hinayana Buddhism. Followers of this do not worship images of the Buddha nor believe in 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.

    6. The Buddhists consider the world to be full of sorrow and regard ending the sorrow as the chief aim of human life. The Hindus consider that there are four chief aims (arthas) in life which every being should pursue. They are dharma (religious duty), artha (wealth or material possessions), kama (desires and passions) and moksha (salvation.)

    7. 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.

    8. Buddhists organize themselves into Order (Sangha) and the monks live in groups. Hinduism is basically a religion of the individual.

    9. Buddhism believes in the concept of Bodhisattvas. Hinduism does not believe in it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Nearly Same. You can say 90%.

    While Buddhism proposes a way to Moksha without mentioning "God", Hindus do it by mentioning "God" as an useful entity to reach Moksha.

    Here Buddha taught 8 Noble truths. Vedas teach the same. Yoga and Meditation are part of both. But Yoga is predominantly Hindu.

    Only Difference is mentioning the word "God" or not.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You are absolutely correct. Buddhism owes its philosophical roots to Hinduism, but the essence is the same. It would be rather wrong to categorize Hinduism as a religion since it is so vast in its wisdom that you cannot confine it as a mere religion. It touches all the aspects of a human life both physical and metaphysical which probably no other religion can claim to achieve.

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  • cancan
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    CaptAnil you seem to lack the knowledge of Hinduism. I think you are a Paki troll.

    Yes there are similarities, but there are differences too.

    Hinduism is multi limbed tree, with multiple paths, and beliefs. This gives great divergence in practice. Hinduism is Sanatan Dharam and has no one individual as prophet or Messiah.

    Buddhism was mainly developed by Buddha, and his teachings. Later Buddhism was influenced by Taoism, and other religions.

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