plwk wrote:I once had a Hindu friend who remarked that the Sanatana Dharma is not a religion but a way of life....
That is a very good point.
I have friends for whom I would say that politics is their religion.
What all beings share in common is that they are on a path that they hope and believe will keep them happy, or bring them happiness in the future, free from fear and delivering peace of mind.
So, I think the quest for that peace of mind is everybody's religion.
Actually, I don't have a big problem with calling Buddhism a 'religion' in the right context.
I have a little problem with it, because the vague idea of 'religion' has a lot of baggage with it and i am just not comfortable with the term. But that's just my own issue.
I was never indoctrinated with any religion as a child. For me, the concept seems totally alien.
So, I never saw buddhism as 'religion'.
It's like people who do yoga at a community center, but do not consider it to be a religion. they just go there to relax and stretch their muscles.
But my point before was that when we drop that label, "religion", then we can see it a little differently.
So, you can call it a religion and then make comparisons,
but if you don't start out at the beginning calling Dharma "religion"
I think a whole new set of qualities becomes apparent.
If you drop that context, it is possible to see the question
"how does Buddhism compare with other religions?" as making no sense.
Then one can appreciate it on somewhat different terms, and maybe get more out of it.