Hinduism and Buddhism ap world History Bartlett High School Mr. Pahl Hinduism

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Hinduism and Buddhism

  • AP World History
  • Bartlett High School
  • Mr. Pahl


  • No single founder
  • No single sacred text.
  • Grew out of various groups in India:
  • The Aryans added their religious beliefs to those of the Indus Valley.
  • Our of all its complexity, though, there are certain basic beliefs…

Hindu Beliefs…

  • God is one, but is known by many names.
  • Everything in the universe is part of the unchanging, all-powerful force called Brahman.
  • Brahman is too complex for most people to understand.
  • They worship gods that give a concrete form to Brahman.
  • Gods are Brahma the Creator; Vishnu the preserver, Shiva, the destroyer
  • All are aspects of Brahman
  • Every person has an essential life, or atman.

More Hindu beliefs

  • But even the atman is just another name for Brahman.
  • The ultimate goal is to attain moksha, union with Brahman.
  • Since this usually takes more than one lifetime, Hindus believe in reincarnation.
  • Reincarnation is the rebirth of the soul in another bodily form.
  • Karma; your good or bad deeds affect one’s future, and the future of those around one, for good or suffering

More Hindu Beliefs…

  • All existence is ranked: Brahman, humans, animals, plants, things.
  • To help escape the wheel of fate, dharma, religious duties, can help one acquire merit for the next life.
  • Vedas and Upanishads are sacred texts. The BhagavadGita spells out many ethical ideas.
  • Ahimsa is another key principle of Hinduism; nonviolence.


  • Gautama Buddha, from the foothills of the Himalayas, founded a new religion.
  • Gautama born about 566 BC
  • He saw for the first time in his protected environment, a sick person, an older person, and a dead person.
  • Gautama left a happy married life to discover the realm of life “where there is neither suffering or death.”


  • He meditated and fasted. For 48 days he meditated in one place. He believed he understood the cure for suffering and sorrow; he was now Buddha.
  • The Four Noble Truths are the heart of Buddhism:
    • All life is full of suffering, pain and sorrow.
    • The cause of suffering is the desire for things that are really illusions, such as riches, power and long life.
    • The only cure for suffering is to overcome desire.
    • The way to overcome desire is to follow the Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path:

  • Right views
  • Right aspirations
  • Right speech
  • Right conduct
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right effort
  • Right mindfulness
  • Right contemplation


  • Final goal of Buddhism is nirvana, union with the universe and release from the cycle of rebirth.
  • Buddhism and Hinduism agree on karma, dharma, moksha and reincarnation.
  • They are different in that Buddhism rejects the priests of Hinduism, the formal rituals, and the caste system. Buddha urged people to seek enlightenment through meditation.

Hinduism and Buddhism Compared

  • Similarities
  • Differences
  • Hinduism and Buddhism
  • Karma
  • Dharma
  • Moksha
  • Reincarnation
  • Buddhism rejects the priests of Hinduism, the formal rituals, and the caste system. Buddha urged people to seek enlightenment through meditation


  • Buddha preached in northern India and his teachings spread.
  • Buddhas followers gathered his teachings into the Tripitaka.
  • Gradually Buddhism split into two parts, schools:
    • Theravada Buddhism. Closely followed Buddha’s original teachings.
    • Mahayana Buddhism. Made following Buddhism easier for the ordinary people.
  • Buddhism declined in India, being swallowed up by Hinduism which made Buddha another Hindu god.

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