Buddhism And Hinduism
The practices and goals of Buddhism and Hinduism have similarities and differences. The Theravada Buddhism is relatively conservative, and generally closest to the early form of Buddhism. It appears that later schools of Buddhism developed a variety of other rituals and devotional practices that were inspired or influenced by existing religions and cultures of Nepal, India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Tibet. However, the more historical or beginning forms of Hinduism and the teachings of Buddha have pronounced differences, as evident in the recorded materials of the Pali Canon of the Theravada school of Buddhism.
The historical Vedic religion, Buddhism, Jainism, and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which is considered among the very earliest Upanishads, (the Upanishad text was compiled under King Janaka of Mithila) all share a common cultural theme influenced by the north eastern areas of India, modern day eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Nepal.
Hinduism and Buddhism have shared parallel beliefs that have existed side by side. The influence of Upanishads, earliest philosophical texts of Hindus, on Buddhism has been a subject of debate among scholars. While Radhakrishnan, Oldenberg and Neumann were convinced of Upanishadic influence on the Buddhist canon, Eliot and Thomas highlighted the points where Buddhism was opposed to Upanishads. Buddhism may have been influenced by some Upanishadic ideas, it however discarded their orthodox tendencies. In Buddhist texts he is presented as rejecting avenues of salvation as "pernicious views". Later Indian religious thoughts were influenced by this interpretation and novel ideas of the Buddhist tradition of beliefs.
Buddhism attained prominence in the Indian subcontinent, but was ultimately eclipsed in the 11th century CE at its point of origin by Hinduism and Islam. While Buddhism declined in India, Buddhism continued outside of India. Tibetan Buddhism is the predominant religion in the Himalayan region while Theravada Buddhism continues in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, and Mahayana Buddhism continues in India, East Asia and among the Chinese diaspora.
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“A religion so cheerless, a philosophy so sorrowful, could never have succeeded with the masses of mankind if presented only as a system of metaphysics. Buddhism owed its success to its catholic spirit and its beautiful morality.”
—W. Winwood Reade (18381875)