Religious beliefs followed by people in different countries influence the particular features of their daily life significantly. The adherents of various religious movements are inclined to organize their life according to the principles proclaimed within this or that religion with the help of following different rituals and practices.
Buddhism and Daoism are two religions which are spread in the Eastern countries, and millions of people share specific beliefs and norms. In spite of the fact that Buddhism and Daoism are similar in definite beliefs and basic ideals, there are a lot of differences in these two religions which are based on the history of their development during the centuries.
Buddhism has its origin in the 6th century BC. Siddhartha Gautama known as Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, lived at the territories of Nepal in the 6th century BC, and he developed the idea that the life is full of sufferings, people are responsible for their karma because of numerous reincarnations in the wheel of life and the only way to freed themselves is to achieve nirvana as the state of the spiritual liberation or enlightenment.
Buddhists do not believe in one god, but they share the idea about divine forces. Daoism began to develop in China during the 3rd-4th centuries BC (Fisher, 1997). The founder of the religious movement is Laozi who stated the main principles of Daoism in his texts. The foundational spiritual beliefs of Daoism are the idea of Tao as the search for the right way in order to achieve the universal harmony, the idea of reincarnation and eternal soul, and the principle of the life good for everyone (Ford, 2003).
Thus, Buddhism and Daoism are characterized by similar features and significant differences in spiritual beliefs and principles. The adherents of both the religions share the idea of reincarnation and spiritual development as the way to improve living (Fisher, 1997). However, if Buddhists are inclined to focus on karma and sufferings as inevitable features of the impermanent life, Daoists discuss life as perfect in its nature and a man as the main source of all difficulties (Zeng, 2012).
Nevertheless, Buddhists and Daoists concentrate of feeding themselves while achieving nirvana or finding the right way although many followed principles are rather different in their details. People can follow the principles of certain religions while practicing specific spiritual rituals. Buddhists focus on such spiritual practices as meditation and concentration to avoid anger and delusion and to achieve nirvana as the liberation from the earthly life.
In their turn, Daoists concentrate on finding the harmony with the nature while seeking for Tao. During their search, Daoists visit temples and shrines, focus on the worshipping deities. Today, Buddhists pay much attention to meditation as it was centuries ago, and Daoists focus more on philosophical ideas of Daoism in combination with visiting shrines.
Globally, Buddhists organize groups for meditation and realize pilgrimages with the help of which they spread the ideas of liberation from sufferings. Many Buddhists try to avoid luxury as well as poverty (Thelle, 2011). Daoists focus on the culture of temples where they proclaim the philosophical principles of happy living in harmony (Fisher, 1997).
Many Daoists choose the aspects of the rural life in order to be closer to the nature and find Tao. Although Buddhism and Daoism have different origins and basic principles, many specific features associated with the ideas of morality and spiritual development of the human are similar for both the religions.
Fisher, M. (1997). Living religions: An encyclopaedia of the world’s faiths. USA: I.B.Tauris.
Ford, R. (2003). Daoism and Chinese culture. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 123(2), 408-409.
Thelle, N. (2011). The “humanization” of Buddhism: Aspects of Western adaptations of Buddhism. Ching Feng, 10(2), 67-79.
Zeng, W. (2012). The different views on life between Daoism and Destructive Cult. Asian Social Science, 8(13), 264-268.