Understanding The Difference Between Buddhism and Confucianism
Whenever we think about old religions that have a lot of followers and has a rich philosophy, we may commonly believe about those religions found in Asia. Of course, there is Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. And in which they are the most common and widespread religion across Asia. Not of these religions tackles about the importance of the right way of living, as well as philosophies are revolving around it. Anyway, today, we will be tackling the difference between two of the known universal religion in Asia, predominantly in China. These religions are Confucianism and Buddhism.
Buddhism and Confucianism Overview
Let us start first with how these two religions started and their propagation throughout the world.
Buddhism is the most common region in China as well as other countries like India and its surrounding countries. Buddhism first originated in India around the 5th or 6th century. Its founder was a prince who turned into a wandering preacher by the name of Prince Siddhartha. Prince Siddharta has a good life at first. But after receiving a revelation about the world, he started wandering and teaching his philosophies. Later on, Prince Siddharta was dubbed as The Buddha by his followers. Later on, this belief spreads across the Asian continent and still today. And it considered as one of the main religion of Asia.
Confucianism, or Rujiao, on the other hand, originated in China. And founded by Confucius. Confucius was a politician and a philosopher around 551 to 479 B.C. during the Zhou dynasty. He designed the religion around the cultivation of virtue in a morally organized society or the world. Also, Confucius is the originator of the Golden Rule or the “Do not do to other people what you don’t want them to do the same thing to you” thing.
Buddhism and Confucianism: Practices
First of all, Buddhism practices the Eightfold Path as its primary focus and as a way of life. Confucianism, on the other hand, focuses on paying homage to one’s ancestors: Confucius, and the god of heaven, named Ti’en.
The most common similarity between Buddhism and Confucianism is that they revolve around the teachings of a man. And yet the structure is different from each other. Both religions also encourage moral behavior and ethical values. And as well as respect for the universe.
The goal of each religion is somewhat different. Buddhism is more structured as a religion, while Confucianism is more like a philosophy.
Buddhism does not believe in any particular god, and the idea of having one is refuted. The goal of this religion is to attain enlightenment, both mentally and spiritually. Also, in reaching enlightenment, one can be released from the cycle of rebirth. And death after a couple of cycles. If this happens, one can attain what is called Nirvana.
In Confucianism, Its belief is centered in worshiping god and also one’s ancestors. Since Confucianism has a philosophical structure and it is focused on attaining a structured society. Also, the aim of this religion is that after death, one can be worshiped as an ancestor by the later generations.
Effects of Buddhism and Confucianism To People
These two religions become a significant part of the culture and ideology of some certain Asian countries, predominantly in China. And they become embedded in the lives of people, and they have a significant effect on people’s moral conducts and way of living. In essence, these two religions, just like any other religions, become an integral part of their practitioner’s lives. Thus, this is because it tackles mostly the moral, spiritual, and mental aspects of man.
Both religion thus tackles different aspects of human nature and belief. Therefore, this is the main reason why these religions became a prominent pillar of some countries’ education, moral structure, and society.