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Differences between Buddhism and Hinduism

Last Updated : 13 Mar, 2024
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Differences between Buddhism and Hinduism: Hinduism and Buddhism are the world’s oldest religions which have their Origins in India. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, meaning that it believes in many gods. Buddhism is a monotheistic religion, meaning that it believes in one god. While they have the same geographical roots still both are completely different they have different philosophical principles, religious practices, and views on the purpose of human existence.

In this article, we will understand the origins of Hinduism and Buddhism, their characteristics, and the major differences between Buddhism and Hinduism.

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism originated in the 6th century BCE. The founder of Buddhism is Siddharth Gautam who is known as Gautam Buddha or the “Enlighted one” he was born into the royal family in Lumbini (now called Nepal). He wanted to find answers to human suffering, and that’s why he decided to leave his Kingdom and become a saint. Then by deep meditation, understanding, and meeting different people, he shared what he understood. The teachings of Buddhism include the four noble truths. It emphasizes the empowerment of everything. Its sacred text includes Tripitaka (Pali Canon), which includes the Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, and Abhidhamma Pitaka. Symbolisms of Buddhism are the Dharma Wheel, Lotus Flower, and Bodhi Tree.

Characteristics of Buddhism

Four Nobel Truths: The Buddhist philosophy is based on the Four Nobel Truths. These truths describe the fundamental nature of human existence and provide a path to liberation. They include

  • The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
  • Truth of cause of suffering (Samudaya)
  • Truth of end of suffering (Nirodha)
  • Truth of the path to the end of suffering (Magga)

Noble Eightfold Path

According to Buddhism, suffering can be overcome by attaining enlightment and the noble eight fold provides the guide for attaining enlightenment with includes:

  • Right understanding- Means developing a good understanding of 4 Nobel truth.
  • Right intention- Living with attitude of non-attachment and goodwill.
  • Right speech – Being Truthful and kind in communication.
  • Right action- Engaging in things which are ethical and not doing any harmful.
  • Right livelihood – choosing a place to live with good ethical principles.
  • Right effort – making continuous efforts to overcome negative things and engage in positive deeds.
  • Right mindfulness – It means having awareness of self thoughts actions and feelings.
  • Right concentration- Developing focused mental state with help of meditation.

Sansara and Nirvana

Sansara means this world and the journey of the humans which includes the cycle of birth the times pants on earth death and the birth which is controlled and R15 Karma during this part while nirvana in Buddhist is the ultimate goal which means celebration from this world and getting away from the suffering. Time in sansara Buddhism mention three jewel Dharma with me teachings of and Sangha the community of all practiceners


Buddhism focuses on living in an ethical way it does not follow the belief one single non changing soul but believes in change of self. Meditation is a central part of Buddhist practice which provides them inside concentration and focus. A lot of meditation techniques such as Vipassana and meta meditation are practiced in Buddhism. It helps them in understanding the right and wrong for Nirvana.

What is Hinduism?

Hinduism is one of the most oldest religions which is based upon set of rules which have been developed over a 1000 of years there is no single founder of Hinduism. It is originated in india, its major beliefs include reincarnation, a caste system, karma, and a multitude of gods and goddesses. Hinduism is deeply philosophical and encourages us for knowledge (Jnana), action (Karma), and devotion (Bhakti) in order to achieve liberation. Its major ancient texts are popular and read all over the world which include bhagvata geeta, mahabharata, ramayana and vedas. They provide us knowledge about philosophy, mythology and poetry.

Characteristics of Hinduism

The following are the characteristics of Hinduism:

Polytheism and Monotheism

Which means the religion which believes in the existence of many gods and goddess but they also believe that there is one single supreme reality which is called Brahman which is eternal, formless and omnipresent who is source of all the knowledge. Brahman are supreme source in which everything takes place and eventually returns to it. Worshipping brahmans is a central practice in Hinduism.

The Hindu Trinity

Hinduism believes the worship and philosophy of Trimurti which consists of Brahma who is the creator of the earth and the whole universe. Vishnu who is the preserver means who maintains the fair working of universe and the Shiva who is the destroyer. Each god have their own and very crucial role in the creation, working and destruction of the dynamic nature of this universe,

Karma, Samsara and Moksha

Hinduism believe in concept of karma, samsara and moksha. Where samsara means this world where the soul have taken birth in a body and the period till birth to death, karma means the deeds which it have performed during his whole life in samsara, and moksha is the ultimate spiritual goal in Hinduism representing freedom from the endless cycle of samsara. Moksha can be attained through living life with truthfulness, honesty, non-violence and kindness.

Dharma, Vedas and Scriptures

Dharma in hinduism refers to the duty of an individual in samsara and performing it with morality and right way of living. It acts as an guide in hinduism about any stage in life, social status, and personal circumstances, ensuring order and harmony in society. Vedas and scriptures are the oldest ancient texts of hinduism among with mahabharata and ramayana. They provide the philosphical teachings of hinduism.

Difference Between Hinduism and Buddhism

The below table describes the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism:





No single founder; evolved over centuries

Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), prince in Lumbini.


Ancient, rooted in the Indian subcontinent

6th century BCE, originated in India

Ultimate Reality

Brahman (formless, eternal reality)

Nirvana (liberation from suffering and cycle of rebirth)

Concept of God

Various deities, each representing aspects of the divine

No emphasis on a personal God


Multiple gods and goddesses

Not central to the core teachings


Moksha (liberation from Samsara, union with Brahman)

Nirvana (liberation from the cycle of rebirth and suffering)


Belief in Samsara (cycle of birth, death, and rebirth)

Central to the concept, breaking the cycle is essential


Integral part; actions influence future experiences

Karma influences the cycle of rebirth


Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and others

Tripitaka (Pali Canon) and other Buddhist texts

Caste System

Historically influential, with four main varnas

Rejects caste distinctions; emphasizes equality

Founder’s Status

Not deified; some consider historical figures like Rama and Krishna as divine incarnations

Buddha is a historical figure, not considered divine

Teaching Method

Rituals, ceremonies, and elaborate worship practices

Emphasis on ethical conduct, meditation, and mindfulness

Path to Liberation

Paths of devotion (Bhakti), knowledge (Jnana), and disciplined action (Karma)

Eightfold Path, emphasizing ethical and mental development

Concept of Self (Atman)

Recognizes the eternal self (Atman) within individuals

Recognizes the eternal self (Atman) within individuals


Predominantly in India, with diaspora communities worldwide

Spread across Asia and beyond through missionary efforts

Conclusion – Differences between Buddhism and Hinduism

In conclusion, both of the religions provide us insight about spirituality, philosophy and cultural diversity. But hinduism is more about deities, rituals and worship & buddhism focuses on liberation from the suffering of world. Both of them provides us wisdom for getting inner peace and understanding. The best things about buddhism and hinduism is none of them promote any violence between others and promote living together happily.

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FAQs on Differences between Buddhism and Hinduism

What is the main difference between hinduism and buddhism?

Hinduism believe the concept eternal soul, live our soul does not die and just change bodies. Hinduism also believe in caste system, but buddhism does not believe in these concepts.

Why both hinduism and buddhism focuses on meditation?

Meditation is an important part of both because it provides self-realization, mindfulness, and a deeper connection with the divine.

What is the beginning of enlightenment in Buddhism?

The first step for enlightenment in buddhism is understanding the four noble truths.

What are the followers of buddhism and hinduism are called?

Followers of hinduism are called Hindu and followers of buddhism are called sangha.

According to buddhism what is root cause of suffering?

Buddhism describes human desire as the root cause of suffering whether its materialistic desire, lust or any kind of desire.

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