While the western world is more and more interested in Buddhism, Asia is turning into Catholicism. Why is it so?
Some people in the West still think that Buddhism is a philosophy not a religion. As a result, the popular construction of nonreligious Buddhism has contributed much to the contemporary “spiritual but not religious” phenomenon.
Catholicism and Buddhism, have always been compared, because even though they have many differences, many people have tried combining their ideals.
In terms of similarities, Catholicism and Buddhism both employ monks, or priests, to practice Catholicism has the rosary and scapular, while Buddhism has prayer beads. Both religions value peace, meditation, and the propagation of good deeds to further one’s spiritual enlightenment.
The first difference is that Catholicism believes in one God, the Almighty Father, while Buddhism does not. Siddhartha Gautama, who eventually became the first Buddha, is the closest figure in Buddhism to resemble the Catholic God.
The second difference is that Buddhism is personal, not collective, it doesn’t have a heavy institutional framework and you don’t feel any pressure from monks and the institution itself.
And there has not been betrayal of trust, which has happened with the clergy (Compared to Catholicism).
The third difference lies in what people face in the afterlife. Buddhism believes in reincarnation, while Catholicism declares that people can go to three different places: Purgatory, Heaven, or Hell.
The fourth major difference pertains to religious texts; Catholicism has a standard-issue text, the Bible, while Buddhism relies on word of mouth, the Pali Cannon, and sutras for reference.
Mantras in Buddhism are possessing mystical or spiritual efficacy. There are different mantras in Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism.