Hinduism is about understanding Brahma, existence, from within the Atman, which roughly means "self" or "soul," whereas Buddhism is about finding the Anatman — "not soul" or "not self." In Hinduism, attaining the highest life is a process of removing the bodily distractions from life, allowing one to eventually understand the Brahma nature within. In Buddhism, one follows a disciplined life to move through and understand that nothing in oneself is "me," such that one dispels the very illusion of existence. In so doing, one realizes Nirvana.

In Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's words,"Buddhism, in its origin at least, is an offshoot of Hinduism."

Comparison chart

Buddhism versus Hinduism comparison chart
Life after death Until one has attained Nirvana, he or she will be reborn into any of the 31 planes of existence over and over again, due to his/her karma. A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached.
Place of origin Nepal, India Indian Subcontinent
Place of worship Monasteries, nunneries, pagodas and temples. Temple (Mandir)
Practices Practices of the Threefold Training: Morality, Concentration, and Wisdom. Meditation, yoga, contemplation, yagna (communal worship), offerings in the temple.
Use of statues and pictures Common Common
Religious Law The Buddha's teachings, the Dharma. Dharma shastras
Belief of God Buddhism does not believe in a Creator God. Many gods, but realize that they all come from Atman.
About Following the teachings of the Buddha Devotion to the various gods & goddesses of Hinduism.
Means of salvation Buddhism has nothing to do with "salvation". The only goal in Buddhism is to attain Nirvana. To do this, we should let go of our desires, cravings and attachments, and try to dispel our ignorance Reaching enlightenment by the Path of Knowledge, the Path of devotion, or the Path of Good Deeds.
Clergy Monks and Nuns, who unitedly and exactly follow the teachings of the Buddha under the name 'Sangha'. No official clergy. Gurus, Yogis, Rishis, Brahmins, Pundits, priests, priestesses, monks, and nuns.
Day of worship Instead of worshipping, Buddhists pay obeisance to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Orthodox schools prescribe three prayer times a day: at dawn, noon and dusk.
Definition Teachings of the Buddha The word Hindu has geographical significance and was used originally for those people who lived beyond the river Sindhu or the region watered by the river Indus. Hindus themselves, call their religion "Sanatana Dharma, " meaning "Eternal Law."
Principle This life is suffering, and the only way to escape from this suffering is to dispel one's cravings and ignorance by practising the Eightfold Path. To follow dharma, i.e. eternal laws
Concept of God A God or gods have always been rejected wholly by Theravada Buddhists. Their only refuges are the three jewels: The Buddha, The Dhamma, and The Sangha. God is in everything and everything is God.
Angels No angels accepted. The concept of angels does not apply in Hinduism. Some mythological stories include rishis, who sometimes serve as the messengers of God.
Belief The Buddha was the teacher to show us the four noble truths and the eightfold path (the path to nirvana or the way to enlightenment). Diverse beliefs depending on sects.
Prophets No prophets accepted in Theravada Buddhism. No prophets, but Rishis could be considered equivalent in Vedic times. Avataras of Vedic God are different from human reincarnations, but could be considered equivalent to Christian idea of God in flesh.
View of Oriental religions Knows that any other religions cannot lead to the nirvana, but never condemns them. Buddhism and Jainism were considered atheistic religions by traditional Hindu schools. Buddhists do not consider Buddha an avatar of Vishnu and believe that Hindu priests made that claim to stem the spread of Buddhism, which threatened Hinduism.
Founder Gautama Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha) Not credited to a particular founder.
Goal of religion To attain enlightenment and be released from the cycle of rebirth and death, thus attaining Nirvana. To break the cycle of birth, death and reincarnation, and attain salvation.
Human Nature Ordinary human beings possess greed, anger, delusion, igorance, cravings, etc. and they were compared by the Buddha as 'the fools' and 'the blind'. (Ordinary human beings mean those who haven't walked or are not walking the Eightfold Path.) Depends on sects.
Literal Meaning Buddhists mean those who follow the teachings of the Buddha The followers of Vedas are called as Arya, noble person. Arya is not a dynasty, ethnicity or race. Anyone who follows the teachings of Vedas is considered Arya.
God's role in salvation No God or gods. Salvation is not related to Buddhism at all. The Buddha also told us to depend on our own to attain nirvana (by practising the Threefold Training or the Eightfold Path). Beliefs vary by sect. Upanishads (scripture) say God chooses who gets salvation. Salvation is attained via good deeds and righteousness (following the "dharma" and avoiding sin)
Marriage Seen as a social convention and mainly a personal and individual concern, not a religious duty. Advice in the Discourses are on how to maintain a happy and harmonious marriage. Faithfulness and monogamy was encouraged. Man may marry one woman. However, kings in mythology often married more than one woman.
View of the Buddha Founder of Buddhism or the Four Noble Truths Some Hindu sects claim Buddha was an avatar of Vishnu. Others believe he was a holy man.
Rites Generally common. Some Hindus believe in a "thread ceremony" for men.
Confessing sins Not a part of (Theravada) Buddhism. The Buddha told us that we should strive hard ourselves to dismiss the bad deeds we have already done (except for certain bad deeds, e.g., matricide, etc.) and also showed us the way to do so. Repentance for unintentional sins are prescribed, but intentional sins have to be repaid through karmic consequences.
Original Language(s) Original language is Magada, language used during the lifetime of the Buddha, which is the universal language (understood all over the universe) Sanskrit
View of other Dharmic religions Believes absolutely that any other ideas and concepts rather than the Buddha's teachings will never be true or perfect in this world. They believe that Buddhists, Jains, & Sikhs should reunite with Hinduism(which is the original Dharmic religion).
View of other Abrahamic religions Being a Dharmic religion, Buddhism has no relative view of Abrahamic religions. Hinduism is a Dharmic religion, not an Abrahamic religion.
Authority of Dalai Lama Merely belonging to Tibetan Buddhism and has no relevance to Theravada Buddhism. N/A.
Followers Buddhists Hindus.
Status of women No gender bias in Buddhism. In the Discourse related to householders, named 'Tein-gala-wada', certain duties and obligations were mentioned and applied to specific gender i.e. duties of a husband to a wife and vice versa, by the Buddha. Women can become priestesses or nuns.
Names of God Brahma, Avalokitesvara Brahman
Religion which atheists may still be adherents of Buddhists deny the existence of a God or gods. So Buddhism is not a religion, but the teachings of the Buddha. Charvakas and Sankyas are atheistic groups in Hinduism.
Use of statues, images Statues are commonly used as symbolic reminders while paying obeisance to the Buddha. Common.
Population 300-450 Million, but Theravada Buddhists: 100-150 million 1 Billion.
Use of statues Used often. Allowed
Views on other religion Buddhism does not condemn any of other religions . Believe all religions have some truth in them.
Time of origin 2,500 years ago, circa 563 B.C.E. (Before Common Era) circa 3000 B.C.E
Scriptures Tripitaka - a vast volume of 3 main sections: the Discourses, the Discipline and the Absolute Doctrine - which appeared only after the death of the Buddha, thanks to the monks who collected all the teachings of the Buddha. Vedas, Upanishad, Puranas, Gita. Smrti and Sruti are oral scriptures.
Promised Holy one. Meitreya Kalki, the 10'th avatar of Vishnu.
Goal of Philosophy Buddhism is not a philosophy. It is the practical teachings of the Buddha and its goal is 'nirvana'. Salvation, freedom from the cycle of birth and reincarnation.
Can atheists partake in this religion's practices? Yes. Yes.
Views on the afterlife Cycle of rebirth and death in 31 realms, as determined by karma. Good karma can lead one to be reborn into any of the 26 realms of happiness. Evil karma will lead one to be reborn into any of the four nether realms of suffering. A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached after which moksha is attained.
Geographical distribution and predominance Theradava Buddhist countries, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka are the places of predominance of Buddhism. The Noble Truths are presently best heard in Myanmar only. Mainly in India.
Status of Vedas Gautama Buddha believed and preached that the Vedas were originally sacred texts that were corrupted by some Brahmins by introducing practices such as animal sacrifice. Vedas are generally regarded as sacred in Hinduism. Post-Vedic texts like the Gita are also revered.
Belief of God Buddhists do not believe in a Creator God, but, do have non-creator deities. The deity often varies from sect to sect. Smarta/Monists sect believes Everything is God. There are monotheistic sects also.
sects Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, and so on. Vaishnava, Shaivaya, & Shaktism.
Virtue on which religion is based upon Compassion Follow righteousness.
Views on other religions Buddhism sees no contradiction in following more than one religion. Some scriptures say the path they describe is the only path to God and salvation. Other scriptures are more philosophical than religious. Beliefs vary. Some believe that all spiritual paths lead to the same God.
Place and Time of origin Approx. 2,500 years ago, Indian Subcontinent, beginning with the Vedic civilization circa 3000 BC

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