interesting difference lies in the sphere of birth conditions, and we are going to talk about caste discrimination. Buddhism, unlike Hinduism, does not contain the idea of caste, but found the idea of equality for all people in terms of possession of the same features. Like Hinduism, Buddhism talks about karma, but the idea of karma is quite different. This is not the idea of destiny or fate, because the idea of karma is closer to the idea of duty in classical Hinduism. For instance, to be born in a certain caste is a kind of destiny for all Hindus; people are born in a different life and social conditions as a result of belonging to different castes (the caste of warriors, rulers, servants), or are born women. Thus, to live in the own caste forever is the main duty of every Hindu. In addition, the Buddhist’s idea of karma is quite different from the Hindu ones. In Buddhism, karma means ‘impulses’ that compel people to do something or to think about things in one or another way. These impulses arise as a result of previous actions or habitual patterns of a person’s behavior. But since there is no need to follow every impulse, the person’s behavior is not strictly deterministic. This is the Buddhist concept of karma.
To summarize, we can say that Buddhism and Hinduism have played an important role in the cultural and historical development of India. These religions are fundamentally different from each other. Making a short observation of both religions, we have explored their main differences and similarities, and proved that both religions are very important to their followers, in spite of everything.
Coomaraswamy, Ananda Kentish. Hinduism and Buddhism. Munshirm Manoharlal Pub Pvt Ltd, 1986.
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