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Buddhism shares many common characteristics with other eastern religions. Buddhism’s main similarities are with Jainism and Hinduism, all three originated in India. Before his enlightenment Buddha was raised in a Hindu family and prior to creating his own path he followed meditation practices prescribed in Hindu text. Hindus will argue that Buddhism developed as an offshoot Hinduism, but this is not accepted by Buddhist (Jayaram, 2011).

Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism all share similarities with some fundamental differences. Hinduism originated long before both Buddhism and Jainism and has influenced both religions. All three religions believe in kharma a concept that a person’s actions affect his existence. All three also believe in a cycle of rebirth until humans reach an enlightened state that allows them to enter the spiritual life. All are peaceful religions with non-violence as one of their primary teachings. Liberation for Buddhist, Jainist, and Hindu is through good conduct and good deeds there actions must surpass their worldly desires. Buddhism does not share the same text as the other religions, but there are similarities in the philosophies taught in the text. Meditation also plays a large part on all three religions in following the path to reach enlightenment, along with meditation they all practice some form of tantra or yoga to assist in focusing on inner self when meditating.

Buddhism shares the most similarities with Jainism. Both religions deny the existence of a Supreme Being, but they do acknowledge godly beings that are enlightened humans. According to Buddhist-Tourism.Com.  (2007), “The founder of Jainism, Lord Mahavira was a contemporary of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and even the Buddhist texts called Lord Mahavira 'an enlightened being'” (Buddhism & Jainism,, para. 1,3,5).

Buddhism teaching of several levels of heaven and hell is also similar to the beliefs of Hinduism....