History of Religion in India

1115 Words5 Pages
Ancient India has lots of rich history from the first settlers, the Aryans and Vedic ages, the great religions and to the Mauryan Empire. I will focus on the three major Religions to come from India: Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. I will explain the origins of all three religions and further compare their similarities as well as their differences between them. The practice of all three religions still today in countless countries proves the importance of this history. Jainism, Founded by Varhamana Mahavira in 520 B.C.E., Son to chief of state. He home at the age of 30; for twelve years to become spiritually enlightened. He taught his new doctrine for about 30 years. Traveling all over India he gathered a discipline order of Monks as well as many common men and women. Mahavira took the doctrine of Karma and re-birth but developed his ideas into a new direction. The new direction being that Human beings, animals, plants and even inanimate objects had living soul enmeshed in them; accumulated through Karma. Even rocks had souls locked inside them. Jains believed that suffering could dissipate some accumulated karma making progress towards total spiritual liberation. The soul would float or sink depending on the amount of matter with which they are enmeshed. These ascetic people strived to make their souls light in hopes of escaping all matter weighing it down. When it becomes lighter than ordinary objects the soul will float to the top of the universe and remain forever in inactive bliss. Some early Jains starved themselves to death because it was impossible to eat without destroying something else. Most took a less severe approach recognizing different levels of life. Human 1st, animals 2nd, plants 3rd and inanimate objects last.... ... middle of paper ... ...aste system which was practiced in Brahmanism a religion that came before them. They believed that every person had a chance to free their spirits and be with the gods of the universe forever not matter the social status. Hinduism on the other hand embraced and evolved from the Brahmanic religion Hinduisms belief Vedas are sacred revelations and the caste system is implicitly prescribed in them. In conclusion I’ve discussed the beginnings of Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism; there similarities and differences. All three played important roles in the evolution of India’s religious foundation. From Jainism which is considered the toughest religion to follow because of the strict rules to Buddhism and Hinduism with a more relaxed approach of spiritual enlightenment. The devote following them has spread worldwide. I now have a better understanding of these religions.
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