||Meditation, the Eightfold Path; right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration
||Visit to temples to pay homage to Ti’en (while it can refer to God or Heaven, it traditionally refers to social power), Confucius, and ancestors; To practice (‘Jing zuo, ‘) or ‘Quiet Sitting’, a neo-Confucian seeking of self-cultivation.
|Place of origin
|Belief of God
||The idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator is rejected by Buddhists. The Buddha himself refuted the theistic argument that the universe was created by a self-conscious, personal God.
||Depending on the religion held, usually Buddhist. Confucianism is not strictly a religion but rather advises a schema of social order.
|Use of statues and pictures
||Common. Statues are used as meditation objects, and revered as they reflect the qualities of the Buddha.
|Life after death
||Rebirth is one of the central beliefs of Buddhism. We are in an endless cycle of birth, death and re-birth, which can only be broken by attaining nirvana. Attaining nirvana is the only way to escape suffering permanently.
||Ancestors and heritage is important, but not worshiped.
||The Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha)
||Kong Qiu (Confucius)
||The Buddhist Sangha, composed of bhikkhus (male monks) and bhikkhunis (female nuns). The sangha is supported by lay Buddhists.
||Buddhists are those who follow the teachings of the Buddha.
||Disciple of Confucius.
||Ignorance, as all sentient beings. In the Buddhist texts, it is seen that when Gautama, after his awakening, was asked whether he was a normal human being, he replied, “No”.
||Humans should respect those who are superior to them.
|View of the Buddha
||The highest teacher and the founder of Buddhism, the all-transcending sage.
||Buddha is followed by many Confucians.
||Pali(Theravada tradition) and Sanskrit(Mahayana and Vajrayana tradition)
||Mandarin or Cantonese
|View of other Dharmic religions
||Since the word Dharma means doctrine, law, way, teaching, or discipline, other Dharmas are rejected.
||Confucianists usually follow Buddhism, which is a Dharmic religion.
|Status of women
||No distinctions between men and women. Women are equal to men, and men are equal to women in the Sangha. The Buddha gave Men and Women equal rights and a major part in the Sangha.
||Socially inferior to men.
||Tripitaka – a vast canon composed of 3 sections: the Discourses, the Discipline and the Commentaries, and some early scriptures, such as the Gandhara texts.
||Analects of Confucius and Mencius; I Ching; Doctrine of Mean, etc.
|Holy days/Official Holidays
||Vesak day in which the birth, the awakening, and the parinirvana of the Buddha is celebrated.
||Chinese New Year, Teacher Day, Ancestor Day.
||This life is suffering, and the only way to escape from this suffering is to dispel one’s cravings and ignorance by realizing the Four Noble Truths and practicing the Eightfold Path.
||Confucianism is all about the brotherhood of humanity.
|Time of origin
||2,500 years ago, circa 563 B.C.E. (Before Common Era)
||Approx. 550 B.C.E.(Before Common Era)
|Can atheists partake in this religion’s practices?
|Views on Other Religions
||Being a practical philosophy, Buddhism is neutral against other religions.
||Confucianists see no contradiction in following more than one religion.
|Goal of Philosophy
||To eliminate mental suffering.
|Concept of Deity
||n/a. According to some interpretations, there are beings in heaven realms but they are also bound by “samsara”. They may have less suffering but have not yet achieved salvation (nibbana)
||Most believe in One God, but this is not necessary since Confucianism is not a religion but a belief system about social ordering.
|Geographical distribution and predominance
||(Majority or strong influence) Mainly in Thailand, Cambodia, Sri lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Japan, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Other small minorities exist in other countries.
|What They Believe
||The principle of equality: that all living entities are equal
||Confucianism is a system of thought based on the teachings of Kong Zi, Master Kong