Ancient Religions of India

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Did you know that, as of today, 80.5% of the population of India practice Hinduism? That’s quite a lot considering how diverse the country of India is. But this leads to the questions as to how did Hinduism become so widespread and what other religions make up the other 19.5%? Well did you know that in all actuality India didn’t first start out with just one main religion? In fact, in the times of Ancient India, three major religions (Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism) influenced the country and its people. But why where there three major religions instead of one, and how did they all play a part in the religious culture of India? Well these three religions are just as similar to each other as they are different. Hinduism/Buddhism What first comes to attention is the relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism. In many aspects it can be compared to that of the relationship of Christianity and Judaism. Some believe and accept that Buddhism became popular in India due to his teachings giving some aspiration to those who were being oppressed by the caste system that subjugated society of that time period. In the eyes of the Hindus, it was accepted that Buddha was seen as another life of one of their prominent gods, Vishnu, who was seen as the provider, giver, and preserver of the Hindu people. But disagreement between the followers of Buddha and followers of the Hindu god, Shiva, who was seen as the destroyer of things to renew and regenerate the world and spirit and also the male and female aspect of God, arose even in ancient times. Despite some disagreement of beliefs, both religions influenced each other as well as have similarities and differences that make each unique. Firstly, both religions believe in the concept o... ... middle of paper ... ...s no scientific proof of this) than their male counterparts and could only achieve enlightenment if they are reborn as men, and so though Jainism has equal rights, it is highly unlikely that women can achieve enlightenment. In conclusion, there were three major religions, three major religions that shared similarities such as karma, non-violence, founders that reached enlightenment, the tolerance of women, and of course impacting society. They also had differences which separated them from each other, making them unique, such as the Buddhists’ non-belief in God, the Jains splitting into two sects, and the Hindus’ belief in scriptures called Vedas. All three played an important part by influencing the people, giving them many choices in how they wished to live their lives, in the ancient times of the sub-continent, India. Works Cited History of World Societies

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