Confucianism and Hinduism are two well know beliefs that have been around for thousands of years. Confucianism and Hinduism both have many similarities and differences amongst themselves in relation to their philosophies, their beliefs, and several other aspects. These two beliefs that started thousands of years ago are still present in today’s society across the world. Confucianism is strong basis of life for those of Eastern Asia. The philosophies and beliefs of Confucianism are what reflect the characteristics of those of East Asian descent, and make them stand out from much of society.
Confucianism is of oriental heritage that originated during the hard times of the Zhou dynasty. The basis of Confucianism was developed from a very intelligent and talented man by the name of Confucius, or Kong Fuzi of ancient China. (Stearns) Confucius was an individual who devoted his life to teaching and talking about his beliefs of a good government, and the idea that is known as the perfect man. Confucius put a lot of emphasis in his beliefs on the great times that China had before the downfall of the Zhou dynasty.
The downfall of this dynasty was what gave Confucius the spark, and drive to present his beliefs and ideas widespread and try to influence the people of East Asia and beyond. Confucius was said to be a very well educated man and his beliefs have influenced the people of china for over two thousand years. Hinduism is a religion that originated in India, and it contains many religious beliefs and practices that several other religions have. The Hindus worship a supreme spirit known as Brahman and they worship him in many different forms depending on deities.
It is considered to be the oldest religion in the world. This religion doesn’t have any one specific founder, but instead it is based on a number of religious texts that developed over many centuries. These texts contain spiritual insights and guidance for the religion and how to live your life. Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion in the world. It has approximately one billion people that follow the religion and strive to reach Brahman. Nearly nine hundred million of them live in India. (Basic Beliefs) Well what is Confucianism?
Confucianism is “Confucianism is humanism, a philosophy or attitude that is concerned with human beings, their achievements and interests, rather than with the abstract beings and problems of theology. ”(Kang) In Confucianism the man was considered that center of the universe. The goal of all people was to achieve happiness individually in which would result in world wide peace. Confucius stated that to achieve happiness you had to have love in your life and you had to follow through on your duties in life.
In the ideal society that Confucius always wanted, earth would appear to be like a paradise. Everyone is society would be equal and be allowed equal rights. Everyone would be allowed to receive the same education and also be capable of finding their true purpose in life. He expected that all people would live their life to the fullest and make the best of it from the time they were born until their time of death. I mentioned above about the perfect man in which Confucius wanted to see.
As stated by Confucius, “The superior man is one who is wise, loving, and courageous; who studies the way and loves people; who stands in awe of Heaven; who understands that mandate of Heaven; who concentrates his effort on fundamentals; who does not set his mind for or against anything but follows only what is right. ” (The Encyclopedia) Confucianism held that philosophy that people should do what they thought was right. Their was great emphasis on the idea of respect and what was the right thing to do. The job of the perfect man was to better himself and at the same time, better the well being of a friend.
What is known to us today as the Golden Rule originated from Confucius and the philosophy of Confucianism. Confucius puts this in the negative form though, “Not to do to others what one does not want done to oneself. ”(The Encyclopedia). The one thing that got Confucius into trouble throughout all of his preaching was when he intertwined Confucianism into the government. All he wanted was to see that well educated and proper people positioned into government and he expected rules to not be very harsh, but to be simple and put a lot of weight on the people of the society and them determining what the right thing to do was.
Confucius felt that if people had hard rules, society would have problems, but if their was harsh punishments and simple rules, society would be much better. When Confucius began preaching these ideas he eventually became detained in one state and was a target for assassination in another. Well what is the Hindu religion all about you may ask? Hinduism is based on the concept that the spirit of humans and those of animals are reincarnated. Reincarnation means that the sprits of the deceased, comes back to earth to live many different times in different forms.
In this religion, it is believed that the souls of the deceased move up and down it what is similar to a caste system, the ultimate goal being to reach Brahman which is the highest of levels, meaning that you were a great person and did everything you could to make the world a better place. When you are born you are born into a system and you are in the same one as your parents. You have to work very hard and prove your self to be in a higher level when you die and are reincarnated. To reach the top of this system after death and reach Brahman you must participate in yoga.
There are four different types of yoga, each having their very own ultimate goal. These four types of yoga are Jnana yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, and Raja yoga. These are all spiritual approaches to understanding the divine world. Janana Yoga is the spiritual way of understanding the utltimate reality through knowledge. It is the way to lean of ones soul and help you understand who you are at a different level. Bhakti Yoga is the spiritual way of connecting and devoting yourself to a god or in other terms loving god.
Karma Yoga is a way to reverse the order of karma. Your level of karma is influenced by the actions that a person chooses to do and how one performs in their life. Through this yoga, you can make up for any mistakes you have made and better your status in karma. The final type of yoga, Raja Yoga, is considered the royal yoga. In this type of yoga you go into meditation, meaning you remove yourself of everything around you and you go into deep thought and you put all your focus on Brahman. Like Confucianism, Hinduism has the same belief in living life to the fullest.
The Hindus believe a lot in pleasure, doing such things as entertaining with music, art, dance, poetry and sex. When hard times approach you are expected to forget about the hard times in the past and look forward to the future and make up for the bad. This is where the four goals of life come into play. One goal is the practice of virtue known as Dharma. Dharma is the striving for an ethical and correct life. This means that each individual has to fulfill the requirements that their own caste requires. The second goal is working and achieving success. This s known as Artha and it is fulfilled by being a successful business man or serves on the city council and become a politician. This stage is most easily achieved once one reaches the age where they have their own home and family to worry about.
The third stage is known as Kama. This is the stage in which you are required to have fun and pleasure. You may go to a play or enjoy music and the arts. Even sex is included in this stage. The fourth and final stage consists of the bad times. You are required to forget about the troubles and go on and look in the greatness of the future and enjoy life to the fullest. Basic Beliefs) One question that I found many people asked was, Is Confucianism considered a religion? Well according to Dr. Kang, Confucianism is not really considered a religion. Confucius believed in Heaven and god, and he also did a lot of teaching about god, but today people feel that many people abuse the term religion so they consider Confucianism to be “the science of God. ” Confucianism is more of a moral way of life. It’s what is expected from every human being just at another level. As you grew up your parents always preached all kinds of rules and manners and tried to show you how to behave.
Well what they did teach you when you were little, are the exact same things that Confucianism teaches us. When you were in school if everyone was good and behaved you eventually got some kind of treat and nothing went wrong. Well you can relate this simple idea to Confucianism. If adults and children and everyone treats each other respect and portrays proper manners everything would be perfect, their would be no need for strict rules. This is what Confucius dreamed of. Confucius wanted what would be considered a prefect world. Their would be no wars, no fighting and their would be world peace.
Compared to Confucianism, Hinduism is considered a religion. One difference you will notice is that Hindus do not believe in heaven like the Confucius belief portrays. The Hindus believe that they are born, live life to the fullest and try to reach their highest desire(being Brahman)when they die and are reincarnated. In Hinduism the worshipers include religion in their everyday life and it plays a very important role. They do daily worships in three different places including their home, temple and a street or road side shrine.
In their homes, Hindus have a small shrine that is important to the god in which are important in that particular household. The Hindus believe in one all mighty powerful god, but there are many different views of what this god is like or who he is and they even have different names for him. They worship their god everyday and they connect their religion and their god with themselves and the world around them. As you can see Confucianism and Hinduism have many similarities and differences amongst them relating toward their origin, philosophies, beliefs and specific characteristics.
Both Confucianism and Hinduism believe in looking at the good in life and forgetting about the bad times. They strive on looking to the future and living life to its fullest from the time they are born until the time of death. In the Hindus case, it ranges from the time they are born until they time they die and are reincarnated. These two beliefs are widespread in the world today and have been around for centuries and will continue on through the future most likely with a greater influence.