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Devotion and worship in the ancient East.

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When Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha through worship, they engage in actions that look very much like the devotional behaviors people have toward gods: They leave offerings, burn incense, and chant, often with images of the Buddha in elaborate temples. Does this mean that the Buddha functions as a god within Buddhism? What is the difference between the devotion to the Buddha and the worship of Hindu gods within Hinduism? How do you think a Buddhist would explain their actions to you if you asked them about it?

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Solution Preview

There are different schools of thought in Buddhism, but keeping with most ancient traditions of the east the two most considered are the Theravada and Mahayana. The Theravada is mostly concerned with the development of the individual and the Mahayana is an approach to be like Buddha, or Bodhisattvayāna. There is a major influence of Hindu god worship in both of these approaches but at the core they remain a Way of Life. The general belief is that Buddha is no more a god ...

Solution Summary

There is a fundamental difference between devotion to Buddha and worship of Hindu Gods, although many similarities remain. There is no apparent God function in Buddhism which is still regarded as a way of life even though the Hindu ritual ceremonies remain. Theist religions require a relationship between the God and worshiper, which is not apparent in schools of Buddhist thought. Concluding that behavior has a stronger connection with community than it does with Deity.

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