Explain what you like about this topic and why you pick it as your research paper
A comparative study of Hinduism and Buddhism: why I chose this topic
Religion is often the topic of discourse in most debates in the modern world. There are numerous people who believe in one religion or the other, which in turn shapes their personality over time. The most common bone of contention among people, however, is the question of superiority of religion.
Ever since the concept of religion, God, and creator came into existence, people have been debating over whether God really is one entity, or is divided along the lines, or is the individual spiritual manifestation for a person, unique to his or her own self. Wars have been fought over achieving religious supremacy. Entire civilizations were either wiped out from existence or evolved to survive the test of time when it came to religion. What began as a simple concept gradually expanded to include multiple facets of psychology, social studies and history.
It is for this very reason that I chose to compare Hinduism and Buddhism. I strive to prove that while there may be a difference in how God manifests himself in each religion—one where there are roughly three hundred and thirty million forms of the supreme power, and other where there is no concept of a higher entity—the core values of both Hinduism and Buddhism are the same. In fact, despite comprising different forms and places of worship, both Hinduism and Buddhism teach the same values: do good deeds, and shun evil, for you will receive rewards only for whatever good you do in life. They also teach one to follow the concept of Dharma: the only difference is that one (Hinduism) believes in a higher power that seems to have established the basic principles of this concept, whereas the other (Buddhism) treats Dharma as a personal code of conduct, unique to each person, and seeking the fulfilment of a separate goal for each man.
The end result, too, for each person, is the same: the concept of Moksha. Buddhism believes that by following Dharma, that is, our personal code of conduct, we can be rid of this world full of sorrows. Hinduism on the other hand, uses Dharma as a ladder to achieve what is the ultimate freedom: being rid of the endless cycle of birth and death.
Not only Hinduism and Buddhism, but most religions in the world follow similar concepts, and strive to achieve a similar goal: one of higher power, and of deeper understanding. Why then, is religion used as a tool for violence, crime, and genocide? When the teaching of all religions are the same, then what decided whether a particular religion is superior to another, and vice versa? What are the criteria for being a good, devout follower of a God, and that of being an atheist? Is it necessary to believe in God at all? Furthermore, steering back to Hinduism and Buddhism, why are the followers of the two religions cross with each other when both religions were born in the same land, and perpetrated by people who came from one country?
Of course, since the paper is a comparative study of Hinduism and Buddhism, it does not provide an answer to these questions directly, but it does, however, strive to achieve an understanding of the basic concepts of the two religions. This in turn will help one realize that the feud over religion is nothing but futile, and that personal beliefs should not be termed as religious ones and be used to incite violence.