Cultural and Geographical Origin of Hinduism and Buddhism

Cultural and Geographical Origin of Hinduism

The word Hindu is obtained from the Sanskrit word 'Sindhu'. It was the historic name for the River 'Indus' in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. Along with this, the real term 'Hindu' first arises as a Persian geographical term for the people who existed outside the river Indus. In this way, the term 'Hindu' is a geographical term and did not refer to a religion (Cush, Robinson & York, 2008).

                   Along with this, the word Hindu was adopted via European languages from the Arabic term al-Hind that referred to the people who live athwart the River Indus.  This Arabic term was obtained from the Persian term 'Hindu' that belongs to all Indians. Moreover, in the 13th century, Hindustan appeared as a popular alternative name of India and the term Hinduism was soon used infrequently in some Sanskrit texts such as: the later Rajataranginis of Kashmir (Rinehart, 2004). Furthermore, in the 19th century, the term Hinduism was established in the English language to indicate the philosophical, religious, and cultural traditions indigenous to India.

Cultural and Geographical Origin of Buddhism

The term of Buddhism was originated in the 6th century BCE via Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha was a prince born in Lumbini, Nepal. Along with this, the frustration of Siddhartha with the nature of enduring and the answers of presenting religion escorted him in a search which ultimately brought him to enlightenment. In this way, the word 'Buddha' meaning became "an enlightened one" (Burnouf, 2010). In addition to this, the religion progressed as it stretches from the northeastern region of the Indian subcontinent throughout East, Central, and Southeast Asia. Moreover, the history of Buddhism is also illustrated through the development of copious movements, schools, and schisms, among them the Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana traditions.

Each religion has numerous specific practices that make it differ from the other religious. The specific religious practices of Hinduism and Buddhism are described as below:

Practices of Hinduism: The major specific practices of Hinduism are Mediation, Worship, samskaras, and vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Diet: This practice binds the Hindu in the principle of ahimsa, which states that no injury may be done to other breathing beings (Rinehart, 2004).

Meditation: The practice of meditation inspire for the "Mokash" to the Hindu.

Samskaras: Hindu ritual practices involve a large number of Samskaras that contain major traditional events such as: birth, marriages, and funerals.

Practices of Buddhism: The Buddhism religion also involves numerous practices such as: Mantras, Meditation, Mudras, Prayer Wheels, and Buddhism Symbols. These practices are discussed as below:

Meditation: The practice meditation in Buddhism refers to the mental attentiveness and mindfulness.

Mantras: The practice mantras state the sacred sounds of the religion (Witte & Green, 2011).

Mudras: The practice Mudras refers to the symbolic hand gestures of the religion.

In today's more complex environment, both Hinduism and Buddhism religion are practiced in different parts of the world. For instance, Hinduism as well as Buddhism is Eastern religions and both occurred in India. In addition to this, both Hindus and Buddhists think that there is no actual meaning to human life and that the human being is not important. Their utmost terror is that life may continue in a nonstop cycle of births & rebirths on earth (Gwynne, 2011). Moreover, their greatest trust is that they will discover a way to run away this undying earthly life and join with a universal spirit. In this way, Both Hinduism & Buddhism offer ways of flight to their believers.


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