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Hinduism and Buddhism are two of the worlds greatest and most influential religions Both of these religions arose in South Asia and thus stem from a similar philosophy and culture While contrasting greatly with the monotheistic religions of the West Hinduism and Buddhism also contrast greatly with each other Although similar in respect to general philosophy Hinduism and Buddhism differ greatly on matters of social structure The two religions also contrast because Hinduism omits and Buddhism emphasizes individual freedom to progress spiritually and socially in the current life By comparing the two religions one can easily see why it is that Hinduism has proved the more stable and Buddhism the more humanitarian philosophy Both Hinduism and Buddhism are more philosophical than religious Both describe an all-encompassing philosophy and define existence itself For instance the essential Hindu concept defining the individual and his responsibilities is dharma A convoluted term dharma is a sense of obligation One must fulfill his roles in society and the world Such responsibilities include reproduction and caste duties but extend into the philosophical realm of peaceful and humble acceptance of ones position Dharma defines correct living for a Hindu Buddhism has a similar concept dhamma note even the linguistic similarity Dhamma does not imply specific biological or social obligations but maintains a comparable philosophical construct The Buddhist definition of right conduct and personal obligation dhamma is the path which must be taken to escape the suffering of worldly life Other similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism are more apparent Both religions maintain a broad perspective of religious worship Hinduism is polytheistic while Buddhism maintains no structured belief in an independent sentient god-like entity especially in human form Either of these concepts yields a malleable religion which can adjust and conform to local tradition and fluctuations in intellectual and spiritual thought Both religions believe in a system of reincarnation and both religions emphasize the community over the self The major rift between
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