Two Religions Research Paper

Submitted By oniekah18
Words: 879
Pages: 4

Assignment 1: Comparison of Two Religions


Having general knowledge of every religion can change the way you look at certain aspects of life. Two religions I choose to broaden my knowledge on are Buddhism and Hinduism. Buddhism originated in North East India. Today it has spread throughout the world having over three hundred and seventy-six million followers. Buddhism does not believe in a personal creator of God or a higher power. Buddhism main goal is to stop all suffering. Siddhartha Gautama was born into a royal family and was not exposed to the outside world until later in his life. He was the founder and the inspiration behind the Buddhist tradition; he was referred to as the Buddha. For the first time in his life, Gautama was exposed to an old man, a sick man, and a corpse outside of his palace walls. He saw this as a sign to enter the outside world and help the people that are suffering. He left his wife, child and family behind to in search of the meaning and purpose of human existence. On his path that lasted for many years he tried extreme self-deprivation, which was not the right path for him. He decided that he would try mediation until he found the answer. “After a long night of meditative visions and insights, he was enlightened, becoming "The Buddha or the Awakened One (J. Hardy pg.2)”. Within Buddhism, they practice mediation, mantras and morality. Mediation is done to help with concentration, having a clear mind and also to help one detach from the outside world. “Mantras are sacred sounds that are believed to possess supernatural powers. Mantras are believed to embody the power and attributes of particular deities (MacArthur pg.1)”. In Buddhism morality, I believe is a major practice. Five morals they have to live by, do not kill, steal, participate in sexual misconduct, do not lie and do not use drugs or alcohol. In today’s society people are drawn to Buddhism and its practices. People are more interested in learning how to meditate to cope with everyday stress and anxiety. Today there are over thousands of Buddhist centers and study groups in different countries. This allows people from other cultures to learn mediation and other practices. “Buddhists from around the world gather for meditation festivals in the USA and Europe, including two in England, where they receive special teachings and empowerments and enjoy a spiritual holiday (Gyatso pg.5)”. Hinduism is the third popular religion throughout the world with over seven hundred and fifty million followers. Hinduism was first originated in Northern India. It’s said to be on the world’s oldest religion. Hinduism has no known founder, but it developed out of Brahminism.” It is the practice of different religious groups which comes out of India (Barrow p.1)”. Hindus have four goals in human life starting with Mosksha which means release of the soul. This is done through mediation and yoga, which is also similar to Buddhism. Dharma is the code for living one’s life and to respect your elders. Artha is the pursuit of material gain by lawful means and also karma. Hindus practices consist of worship, cremation and sadhus. Worship or Puja is done every morning after taking a shower and getting dressed. They worship before they eat breakfast. Puja is practiced so that Hindus can have a connection with the Gods or Goddesses. The simplest form of Puja is done by looking at an image which is also called darsan. Hindus believe in cremation after death.