What are difference between the Yoga practiced in Hinduism and Meditation practiced by Buddhism? Does they differ by principles and practice, or they are same?

2 Answers 2


We may all be travelling on roads (and cross each other’s paths) but our goals determine where we will end up eventually. I believe it is the same for meditation practices whether it is Hindu, Taoist, Native American Indian, Catholic, Shinto or Buddhist.

So, what is the goal of Yoga practice? Is it Kaivalya or Moksha? Are they the same? Even Moksha seems to have slightly different meanings in various schools of Hinduism. Is it union with Brahman? Liberation from life and death i.e. rebirth? A state of perfection?

I am not a Hindu so I am not familiar with the concept of Moksha other than what I had read on the Internet. For Buddhists, the goal of meditation can be answered by following the Buddha’s own struggles and experiences in meditation. He started by learning meditation from Alara Kalama then Uddaka Rāmaputta but left both teachers because he could not find what he was searching for. Eventually, he came upon the meditation practice that would allow him to attain liberation from suffering i.e. Nirvana.

I recall once, when my father the Sakyan was working, and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, then—quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities—I entered & remained in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Could that be the path to awakening?

So, if your goal as a yogi is the same as the Buddha, then the meditation principle and practice would be the same.

  • We could try to find a new road that leads to the same place where the Buddha discovered. Alternatively, we could simply follow the path taken by the Buddha. ;-)
    – Desmon
    Mar 8 at 2:29

There are many kinds of Hindu meditation methods and many kinds of Buddhist meditations too.

Tibetan Buddhism has tantric meditation with a lot of similarity to Hindu Yoga meditation, and perhaps it even borrowed from it.

So, let me restrict myself to meditation in the Theravada tradition, based on the Pali Canon.

There are two main types of techniques. One is samatha or tranquility meditation. The other is vipassana or insight. Of course, there are also other minor meditation techniques like metta bhavana and body scanning.

For samatha, it's either based on breath or kasinas. The objective is to develop deep concentration and reach jhana levels. This would be quite similar to techniques found in Hinduism. Hindu yogis have achieved this.

For vipassana, this is said to be the unique method discovered by the Buddha for understanding the relationship between mind and body, as well as understanding the nature of the mind, without the need for atman. The four noble truths and dependent origination can be realized this way. This is not in Hinduism, as far as I know.

Both samatha and vipassana are required to achieve the Buddhist liberation of Nirvana.

If you want to look at distant planets and stars, you need to adjust the telescope settings and parameters, and point it at the right direction in the sky. Samatha is like the adjustment of the telescope settings, to calibrate its zoom, focus and to make it steady. Vipassana is like the pointing of the telescope to the right subject of observation. Both are needed.

On the other hand, Hindu yoga meditation has more tantric elements like meditation on the chakras and kundalini awakening. These are not found in Theravada, but it may be found in Tibetan Buddhism/ Vajrayana.

That said, you should keep in mind that liberation in Hinduism and Buddhism mean different things.

  • 1
    I am surprised to your answer. You have given a clear insight to others. It's cool to see answers like this. Thanks. As a theravada buddhist, I think this should be the accepted answer.
    – Pycm
    Mar 9 at 4:26

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