At first glance, people easily conclude that Hinduism and Christian are two different religions that do not really have something in common. Think twice, however, because this article will revolve around how similar they both are. Read on and discover their distinctive characteristics and the identical ground between them.
What is Hinduism?
One of the world’s largest religions is Hinduism which had its origins in the subcontinent of India. As a religion, it consists of diverse philosophical systems including a handful of views and traditions. Its followers are called Hindus.
The religious texts of Hinduism in Sanskrit, alongside its rituals and arts, became a vehicle for carrying the religion further in the whole world. During the onset of the 21st century, 80% of the population in India has become followers of the religion.
In Hinduism, it’s adherents believe in the trinity of their gods namely Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. Apart from these three gods, the Hindus also believe in other hundreds more deities.
According to their belief, these gods may have supreme potentials; however they are not able to produce food for themselves, that is why the Hindus are obliged to offer them food sacrifices on a regular basis to nurture them and give them strength.
Hinduism is also comprised of ancient physical and mental rituals that are complex in nature. These rituals are done on either daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis in sacred temples or simply at their humble abode. These Hindu rituals go by different names and they do this by reciting simple devotions, sometimes with the help of insightful priests. These rituals are considered complex because of the time and money of involved just to completely perform them for the gods.
Some of the most important and notable notions in Hinduism are the following: the Dharma or the ethics and duties of humans; the Samsara which is the continuous cycle of being born, being alive, being dead and being born again; the Karma which is the result or consequence of every action; the Moksha which is the freedom from the life cycle called samsara; lastly, the different practices of Yoga.
The Hindus also believe in Brahman who is considered to be the highest divine being of Hinduism. The most religious and revered books in the Indo-Aryan culture known as the Vedas describe Brahman as the eternal and supreme God of all the Hindu gods.
What is Christianity?
The largest, most renowned and celebrated world religion is Christianity that rooted from the life and doctrines of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is composed of different groups who all have faith in Jesus such as the Roman Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox, the Protestant and several more Christian sects all over the world.
Christianity is all about Christ as the religion’s name suggests. The religion centers on the belief that Jesus was the promised Messiah who will deliver the Jewish nation as prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).
Deliverance actually means salvation. Jesus Christ the Son of God became the mediator between the Holy Almighty God and the sinful men; which means because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, the chosen people have been saved from the curse of sin and death by grace through faith. They have been justified with God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ before the foundations of the world.
Christians praise and worship the Almighty God in three persona: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. With this, they are called the Holy or Blessed Trinity. One of the Biblical evidences of this is Paul’s word of blessing to the Corinthian church found in 2 Corinthians 13:14,
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
The leaders of the Christians when it comes to spiritual aspects are priests, ministers or pastors. These spiritual teachings taught by the leader are found in the Bible which was written by the prophets and apostles and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is composed of the Old and New Testaments.
Christians believe that just like Jesus Christ, God’s people will also rise from the dead in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. From living and dying in the physical body, they will be raised as spiritual bodies as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:44,
“They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”
The spiritual body will live an eternal life in Heaven with God, His multitude of angels and the Church (the body of Christ); while the wicked will suffer an eternal damnation in the lake of burning sulfur away from the presence of God as mentioned in Revelations 21:8,
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Similarities of Hinduism and Christianity
Some of the similarities of Hinduism and Christianity are the following:
similarities of hinduism and christianity in terms of “Belief in One God”
Not many people would agree that Hinduism actually is monotheistic just like Christianity with the belief in only one God in three persons. In what sense? Hindus may have a number of deities to believe in, but most of them do not necessarily regard them as a sovereign being but only as an emergence of one god that unites them.
similarities of hinduism and christianity in terms of “Life After Death”
Christians believe that a righteous person will live eternally with God in heaven, while the wicked will suffer for eternity in hell as punishment for their unbelief. In Hinduism, life after death is called reincarnation in which every human being begins another life in an alternate physical form after experiencing a natural death.
similarities of hinduism and christianity in terms of “Birth of Christ and Krishna”
Both Jesus Christ and Krishna were given birth by their virgin mothers with their spiritual fathers. Both of them also underwent fasting and meditation to connect with their spirituality. Both of them also performed many miracles and taught great lessons to humanity. Despite their power, both of them remained meek and humble. Both of them also resurrected from the dead.
similarities of hinduism and christianity in terms of “Teachings on Morality”
Christianity and Hinduism teach morality in their religions. Both the Christians and Hindus were taught about the values of peace, forgiveness, love, generosity, simplicity, spirituality, prayer, self-control and many more.
Summary points on similarities of hinduism and christianity
Hinduism and Christian may look like they do not really have something in common, but they have a lot of notable similarities such as their belief in one God; their belief in life after death; the kind of life Jesus Christ and Krishna had; and also their teachings on morality. It is important to note, however, that these similarities, do not necessarily suggest their relationship with each other.
Author: Julian Angelo
Julian studied Criminology at University in Manila and studied Theological Seminary in Davao City.