Hindus: Is Hinduism and Buddhism essentially the same?
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.