For many, the comparison between the two begins and ends there. Hinduism is, after all, a polytheistic religion with thousands of deities in which reincarnation plays a prominent role. Salvation only comes after the soul is at long last freed from the cycle of birth and death. For adherents of Confucianism, the journey toward perfection happens in life and can be judged based on the extent to which an individual attains strong moral and social development during life. Whereas Hinduism holds the promise of eternal reward for the worthy soul, Confucianism teaches that living a life in which one serves others holds its own rewards. “The superior man can achieve complete self-realization only in his public vocation. It might indeed be stated that a commitment to public service – even when such service is unattainable – forms one of the basic criteria distinguishing the Confucian ideal of self-cultivation…” (Wright, 1959). The other side of this proposition is that society can only be brought into balance when men who have attained a state of self-realization serve the community, in official capacities, as sages (Ibid).
Service to one’s fellow man is also an important tenet of Hinduism. The cycle of death and rebirth can be broken and nirvana attained by acting ethically and charitably toward others; by seeking wisdom; through meditation; and by renouncing worldly possessions. Hindus believe that when a person dies, the moral weight of their actions dictate what becomes of them in their new incarnation. ...Show more