Eastern Religions History

Updated: Oct 23


Eastern religion's history begin with greek era when the religion of veda practices were prominent. Since then there is long chain of history, transition, pattern & more.


Hinduism and Buddhism and also Jainism have common origins in the culture of northern Indian during the so called “second urbanization” around 500 BCE. They shared parallel beliefs that have existed side by side, but also pronounced differences.

eastern religions timeline

TRANSITION FROM HINDUISM TO BUDDHISM

Buddhist was virtually disappeared in the 11th century CE in India. It has continued to exist outside of India and is the major religion in several countries such as China, Japan etc.


The key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism is briefly described in following few paragraph.


Hinduism was not founded by any sort of prophet, whereas Buddhism was founded by Buddha.


Hindus believe in the Vedas, but the Buddhists do not believe in the Vedas or any other Hindu holy book as Buddha considered these books as human origin.


Hinduism believes in the existence of several deities and eternal existence of soul whereas Buddhism reasons as to why one should seek a deities which nobody is aware of and Buddhists do not believe in the existence of eternal souls.


Buddhism does not worship or follow the deities. Some don’t believe in God existence and others believe they exist but are not beings worthy of worship, as they are also stuck in the illusion of the world and cannot guide anyone out.


It could be said that Buddhism has belief of no Gods (i.e. atheism) while Hinduism has the core belief of existence of God almighty or Gods.


Buddhists believe that the Buddha, Sangha, and Dhamma are the three most important requirements on the eightfold path, or the principal teachings of the Buddha. Hinduism has many different paths of self realization.


Buddhists have no priests or rituals like the Hindus do.


Also, Any follower of Buddhism can achieve Nirvana, but in the Hindu religion, only the Brahmins, or priests, could achieve “moksha” which is "Nirvana" in Hinduism.

The Hindu caste system defined a person's position in society as determined by their birth. Buddha did not agree with the Brahmin caste system and said that it is karma or the good and bad actions of a person and not the birth that should determine a person's caste.


Buddha introduced the idea of placing morality and equality on a higher place than genealogy of a person.


Buddha’s fundamental principles are based on suffering in the life. When we accept that, we want to escape from the world, and so we dedicate ourselves to meditation and breaking the cycle to achieve the nothingness of Nirvana.


On the other hand, Hindu believes that life is actually full of joy.


Hindu believes in the scriptures such as Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, and the Ramayana to understand life, While Buddhists have their own scriptures such as Tripitaka, Mahayana Sutras, Vajrayana etc.


While Hindu preaches full of supernaturalism, Buddha preached a religion devoid 90 of the supernatural. Buddha rejected all forms of divination, soothsaying and forecasting as low arts.



TRANSITION FROM BUDDHISM TO SHINTOISM


Shinto is the indigenous faith of the Japanese people. It remains the oldest form of faith of the Japanese people.

The Shintoism was the only religions in Japan until the arrival of Buddhism the 6th century CE.

From then on Shinto faiths and traditions took on Buddhist elements, and later, Confucian ones. Some Shinto shrines became Buddhist temples, existed within Buddhist temples, or had Buddhist priests in charge.


Buddhist temples were built, and Buddhist ideas were explored. The key differences between Buddhism and Shintoism is briefly described in following few paragraph.

Shintoism is the spirituality of this world and this life, whereas Buddhism is concerned with the soul and the afterlife.


Shinto originated from ancient Chinese inscriptions and has no founder and no official scripture. Whereas Buddhism has its inception in the thoughts and teachings of Gautama Buddha.

Shinto lays importance to religious actions and rites rather than words and preaching whereas the foundation of Buddhism is the words and preaching of Buddha.

Buddhism has religious branches in the form of Theravada and Mahayana whereas Shinto has no such religious sects. 91.


Buddhism is all about following an ethical code of conduct in one’s life and practice meditation and renunciation whereas Shinto worships the forces of nature, polytheism and animism.


Since ancient times, the Japanese have worshiped all the deities of heaven and earth, such as mountains, islands, rocks, and trees. They have also paid their heartfelt respect and gratitude to their ancestors.


The deities are enshrined in shrines and household altars of each house. Some of them are deities of nature such as fire, wind, water, seas, mountains, rivers, rocks, and trees.


When Buddhism was introduced in the late 6th century, it became the Japanese state religion according to national policies. Since then Buddha was transformed into a Japanese deity, a new different form of God, and coexisted with the Shinto Gods.

Shinto is the Religion in Japan is a wonderfully mish-mash of ideas from Shintoism and Buddhism.


Unlike in the West, religion in Japan is rarely preached, nor is it a doctrine. Instead it is a moral code, a way of living, almost indistinguishable from Japanese social and cultural values. Japanese religion is also a private, family affair.


It is separate from the state; there are no religious prayers or symbols in a school graduation ceremony for example. Religion is little discussed in everyday life and the majority of Japanese does not worship regularly or claim to be religious. However 92 most people turn to religious rituals in birth, marriage and death and take part in spiritual festivals throughout the year.

Comparing between Shrines and Temples: As a general rule of thumb, shrines are Shinto and temples are Buddhist.


Shrines can be identified by the huge entrance gate usually painted vermillion red. However you’ll often find both shrines and temple buildings in the same complex so it is sometimes difficult to identify and separate the two.



eastern religions timeline

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