All these aim to get enlightenment and achieve nirvana, and thus be liberated from all the cycles of births and deaths and related sufferings. There are two main branches of the Buddhist religion. Theravada is the oldest surviving form of Buddhism that is still in practice mainly in Sri Lanka and in some parts of south East Asia. Mahayana form is practiced in the East Asia, while a variant of Mahayana known as the Vajrayana is often referred to as the third branch. Confucianism is a way of thinking that is more philosophical than religious, which originated in China. The founder of this form of ethical way of thinking, was Confucius (551- 478 BC), who lived around the same time as that of Lord Buddha. Confucianism deals with the ethical, moral, social, philosophical and to some extent religious aspects of life and has exerted tremendous influence in the cultural heritage of East Asia. It has become the state religion in some countries of this region. Confucianism lays stress on developing the moral ethics of a person so that a state can be governed by moral rules alone, and not by any enforced legal system. This article will explore and examine the various tenets of Theravada Buddhism and Confucianism and discuss whether these two form of practices with their absence of gods or any god like figures, and their utter lack of concern for the afterworld can be referred to as a religious traditions, or best be left to calling, as only philosophical thoughts.
Theravada Buddhism: Theravada Buddhism translated literally means ‘teaching of the elderly,’ originated in India and is said to be the oldest form of Buddhism that is still in practice today. It is a conservative form of religious practice, and its sutras are said to be the closest to original doctrines of Lord Buddha. It has been the chief religion of Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia and Burma for many centuries, and is also practiced in some parts of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia,