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By: Shanel Herrera

Religion in a technical definition is: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and
purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or
agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code
governing the conduct of human affairs. I really like how broad this definition is and that it
doesnt say always or ever, it says often or considered. In comparing the religions, Buddhism,
Hinduism and Chirality I feel that this definition is relevant to all three religions.
At first glance you one might think that Buddhism and Hinduism would have a lot in
common based on the ethnicity of the followers but there are almost more differences than there
are similarities. The next misconception that I am going to clear up would be that Christianity
has nothing in common with Hinduism and Buddhism. If you dive in deep enough and look at
the true meaning of each religion then finding similarities becomes easier. In the following
paragraphs you will find some back ground information on each religion then similarities and
comparisons of each religion to one another.
Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world which makes it the
fourth largest religion in the world. The word Buddhism comes from the word Budhi to
awaken. It began in Northeastern India and founded by Siddhartha Gotama, known as the
Buddha (563-483 BCE). Buddha is not a god he is a man that found enlightenment and lived his
life to teach others. The Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path are guidelines for Buddhism
to live their lives to reach Nirvana with the help of mediation. The Four Noble Truths are 1.
Suffering Exists 2. Suffering is caused by ignorance 3. Suffering will cease 4. The Eightfold
Path. Which includes 1. Right Understanding 2. Right Intention. 3. Right Speech 4. Right
Livelihood. 5. Right Action. 6. Right Effort. 7. Right Mindfulness. 8. Right Concentration. In
following this path you will reach Nirvana which will end the rebirth cycle.

Some Buddhist believe that the only way to really end the cycle of rebirth is to end the
suffering of all on earth. There are two major branches of Buddhism which are Theravada and
Mahayana. Buddhism is now present in the following places, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, China,
Japan, Taiwan, Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Korea, and Vietnam, and India. Meditation is a big part
of this religion, you breathe in and out and focus on those who are suffering and take away their
suffering. Hinduism has many similarities but also many difference with Buddhism and will be
elaborated on below.
The term Hindu was derived from the river of the northwest Sindhu. They were given the
name Hinduism by British colonialism, and Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world.
Religion is not a word that you would most likely hear from a Hindus mouth because they dont
think that they are a part of a religion, they think that they are just living a way of life. Hinduism
has no single founder and their teachings vary because people believe and teach things as they
are perceived. They believe in one god called Brahman, and that the one god can take on
multiple forms. Their main text is the Vedas, Veda is a Sanskrit word meaning knowledge.
Typically only the priest studies the Vedas so they have other texts that are read and learned
from by the common follower.
Hindus believe in reincarnation and that our reincarnation is determined by Karma. How
you acted in a previous life determines who or what you will be in your next life. Once you reach
the highest point in life which means youre a human male then you can reach enlightenment and
once this happens you die for the last time. Before you can reach enlightenment there is a
process that starts with yoga. When performing yoga you practice control over mental and
spiritual states. In doing this you create a connection or bond with Brahman. The point of yoga is
to gain knowledge which leads to enlightenment. There are different kinds of yoga that are

performed and each is used based on your ability to follow along based on your everyday life
and availability. Christianity also has different kind of practices that can be performed based on
your life and availability.
Christianity is one of the biggest religion in the world with approximately 2.2 billion
members. There are about 34,000 different churches within Christianity. Christians are
monotheistic and believe in God and that he created everything and everyone including Jesus
Christ. Some Christians believe that Jesus Christ was just a normal human blessed with the word
of god and others believe that he is a reincarnation of God while others believe that he is a
superhuman also blessed by the word of God. The Bible is the main text used in Christianity
which is composed of the Old and New Testament. They follow the 10 Commandments as a way
of life. They follow as 1. The lord is your god, you shall have no other Gods besides me. 2. Thou
shall not take the lords name in vain. 3. Keep Holy the Sabbath. 4. Honor thy father and thy
mother. 5. Thou shall not kill. 6. Thou shall not commit adultery. 7. Thou shall not steal. 8. Thou
shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 9. Thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife. 10.
Thou shall not covet anything belonging to thy neighbor.
Different Christianity religions could be compared drastically because of all the different
ways things are perceived in this religion. One thing that is pretty common is the belief in the
Trinity which is God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. They believe that sins are forgiven due to the
sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Most Christians are baptized at a certain age for an initiation so that you
continue to have guidance of moral and spiritual life. With a better understanding of Buddhism,
Hinduism and Christianity it becomes clear on what differences there are between the religions
and it also makes it somewhat challenging to find similarities without fully understanding each
religion and getting down to the core.

Buddhism VS Hinduism
These two religions by far were the easiest to compare and contrast and I feel there is a
good variety between similarities and differences. One similarity would be that the founder of
Buddhism was born a Hindu so there are common believes that were carried over from Hinduism
to Buddhism. In a very broad sense they both believe in reincarnation or in someone being
reborn after they die. The differences in this particular belief would be the reason for
reincarnation, the outcome, and the solution. In both religions people and animals are sacred and
in general people are more compassionate towards others. This make them more accepting to
other people and beliefs. Both religions are not just black and white there are a lot of different
things that are interpreted differently which I would say is also a similarity. One last similarity
between the two religions would be that they both started in India and typically the followers are
a common ethnicity of Indian here in America, but that is not always the case.
With only basic knowledge of Hinduism and Buddhism one might think that there arent
may difference, but there are more than one may think. One major difference is that Hinduism
does not have one known founder of the religion, where Buddhism does have one founder,
named Buddha. Both religions believing in reincarnation may be a similarity but the details of
the belief is what causes differences. In the Hindu religion in order to stop the cycle of
reincarnation for one you have to rid yourself of all karma and you have to be a man. In the
Buddhist religion anyone can reach enlightenment and but this doesnt happen until there is no
more suffering in the world. They both believe in Karma in the sense that how you act gives you
positive or negative karma which effects your current and next life, but for Hindus their end
goal is to get rid of all good karma in order to reach Samsara. One last difference would be that
Hindus worship many gods and their statues while in most Buddhism religions they dont.

Hinduism VS Christianity
As expected there are many differences that were easy to point out between these two
religions and it was much harder to find similarities. To start with differences one major
difference would be that Christians believe in one god while Hindus believe in many. Which is
why in Christianity there is one specific path that leads to God and in Hinduism there are many
paths and different ways to perceive things. They practices are really different between the two
religions and one thing specifically is the things or prayers that are done not at the temple or
church building. Hindus use meditation and yoga to be spiritual and Christians pray and read
passages from the bible or their personalized book. Christians believe that when you die your
soul goes to an afterlife but Hindus believe your soul is reincarnated until you reach
enlightenment. Bad sins or acts in Christianity are forgiven by confessing to a priest or a
representative in their religion. Hindus believe you are punished for your bad choices by
receiving bad Karma and it possibly effecting your next life. One last big difference would be
that every Sunday Christians go to church in order to feel spiritual and Hindus dont always go
to their temple every week because they are always in touch with their spiritual side.
Similarities may have been hard to point out at first but there are some and I feel these
similarities are mostly common in all religions and that is to give love to others and be peaceful.
This is a great attribute that both Christians and Hindus strive for. It may be reached in different
ways but in general they both have one common goal and that is to find peace and reach the
outcome they want by the end of their life. Christians may believe in an afterlife and Hindus
may believe in reincarnation but they both believe that your actions made while alive affect what
happens to you in your afterlife and same with what happens to you when you are reborn.

Christianity VS Buddhism
In comparing these two religions I was surprised it was easier to point out more
similarities than differences. To start with they believe in and believe their teachings came from
someone that does not claim to be God themselves but someone that has the words of wisdom. In
Christianity this is Jesus Christ and in Buddhism this is the Buddha. There are two
sayings/paths/beliefs that are similar in the sense of the outcome or the reason behind them or
even just the same amount of words. The first one is Christians follow the 10 Commandments
and Buddhist follow the 8 fold path and the 5 precepts. All of these could be categorized as steps
or rules to follow. Another thing that is similar is with Buddhism there is The Buddha, The
Dharma, and the Sangha. In Christianity there is the Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. One last
similarity would be that Christianity and Buddhism believes can be widely different just based
on the location of the followers. For example Christians in Utah compared to other places in
America may be very different. Same thing with Buddhist is America as compared to Buddhist
in China.
One major difference between Christians and Buddhist is that Christians believe that one
God created everything here on earth and Buddhist do not believe that. They essential believe in
one God but that the one God can take many different forms but not one creator God. Another
difference would be that Buddhist believe in reincarnation and being reborn where Christians
believe you have one life here on earth and then the afterlife where you soul goes when you die.
Their services and beliefs are very different and also use different methods in worship and
finding peace. For example Buddhist use silent meditation in their services while Christians use
vocal prayer and singing.

To sum up my observation and learnings of all three religions I will point out similarities
between all three. To start all three believe in peace and respect for others. They all three believe
in what you do in your life effects how you will live in the future. For example there is
Reincarnation, Nirvana, After Life (Heaven/Hell). They all have texts and books that they read
and they follow. They all have lots of different denominations which make each religion very
expanded and perceived differently based on time period and location. Last but not least they all
have a place of worship to go to whether it be a temple or a cathedral or maybe just a church. In
their places of worship they all have shrines that are important/spiritual to the followers. All
three religions are very well known throughout the world and I hope that they continue to strive
and grow. I respect each one of their religions for their own believes and I love how there are
similarities to tie all of us together as one big community striving for the same goal.