Many individuals with little knowledge on the subcontinent history of India fail to find the connection between Buddhism and Hinduism in the ancient days, and how they enriched and affected each other. This paper discusses the differences and similarities of these two religions prior to the year 1500 AD.
Practically there are many similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism religions. Both of these religions are polytheistic in nature. Hindu had three gods whose functions were defined. For example, the reproduction and destruction God was Shiva. Vishnu was the god of order, and the highest Goddess was Maha-Devi. Similarly, Buddhism had its main “bodhisattvas” who also performed various functions, for example, the compassion bodhisattva, “avalokiteshvara”, and “manjushri”, bodhisattva responsible for wisdom.It is believed in Hinduism that every human being is an element of the impersonal world, thus his or her soul reincarnates into a different being based on the present life. Buddhist religion also holds the same view, since there is also belief in the reincarnation process based on what someone does in the present life.Hinduism and Buddhism both had the same notion about salvation of the humankind (William & Jackson 42). People believed that one’s salvation was determined by one’s actions, as he or she interacts with other people in the society. Those who did what was good throughout their entire lives received salvation.People were to liberate themselves from world desires, since it was the source of suffering. There is a view that both religions held prior to the year 1500AD. The extreme attachment to people and material things in the world we live causes a lot of pain and torment. It was a reason why both the religions encouraged their followers to work hard and prevent this attachment to avoid suffering.