Differences Between Hinduism And Buddhism Essay

860 Words Nov 6th, 2015 4 Pages
Two prevalent schools of thought in Indian philosophy are Hinduism and Buddhism. They both have similar teachings, and bring a lot of philosophical weight. However, despite their similarities, they do contradict in a manner of interesting ways. Even in these distinctions, they seem to be talking about the same type of experience at times. The most interesting way in which these two schools of thought clash, in my opinion, is in how they view the self. Both Hinduism and Buddhism believe that our day to day life is an empty, hollow way to live. Hinduism believes that the material world is illusory, and we must unify with Krishna to find true enlightenment. Krishna is the Hindu godhead, and is one of the most widely revered deities in Hinduism. In order to achieve unity with Krishna, the individual must looks past the material world and regain their true consciousness. This is known as prakrti (material illusionary world) and purusa (witness consciousness). The individual has lost themselves, lost their purusa, in a material world. They become bogged down by daily monotony and begin to worry about finite material gain and wealth. Hinduism urges us to look past this prakrti and regain purusa. Our purusa is also ground in the idea of atman. Atman is our metaphysical, unchanging self and can be likened to the Western idea of a soul. This idea is troublesome for Buddhism, but we will get back to that later. While Buddhism agrees that the material world is distracting, it views…

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