What is the difference between Hinduism and Buddhism? Do they lead to the same goal?

There is no difference. Both of them show the way from darkness to light. When there is darkness around us we use a matchbox, candle or a gaslight to brighten up the area. All these are nothing but forms of light.

When a person is sick he may take allopathic, homoeopathic or any other form of medicine to cure the disease. The type of medicine is not important. It is important that he is cured. Let us consider another example. Suppose a person wishes to travel from one place to another. He may decide to go by boat, ship, plane or a train. He may even decide to walk. What is important here is not the mode of travel but the fact that he has to reach the destination properly and safely.

There once lived a smart and wise king. He desired to know which the shortest and fastest way to reach God. Immediately he called for a conference of all the learned pundits belonging to various religions. They began discussing on this subject. However they were unable to reach a consensus. Each one argued that his method was the best.

The king kept waiting for the solution. Feeling sorry at the king’s plight, God himself came to him in the form of an old man and said that he could give the correct answer provided the king follows him to the tree on the other bank of the river. The king eagerly walked behind the old man. When they reached the bank, the old man asked for a boat to take them to the other shore. The boat was brought.

The old man saw the boat and said, “This boat is not strong. We could drown. I will not get in.” Now the king ordered for another boat. The old man said that the boatman looked inexperienced and he would not go in such a boat. In this way for every boat that was brought the old man continued to give different excuses. Finally the exasperated king said  “all we need is to cross this river. As soon as we cross our need for the boat ceases. Does it matter which type of boat is good?”

Now the old man replied, “O King, the teaching that I wanted to give you is complete. To cross this river any boat is enough. Similarly to cross the ocean called illusion (maya), all the religions and methods are only different types of boats. If you keep on changing the boats you will never reach the destination. It is only a waste of time. Therefore follow your Guru. Stop trying to find a different way.”

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