Introduction of Hinduism and Buddhism in Indonesia

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India came to Indonesia and introduced Hinduism and Buddhism to Indonesia which greatly changed Indonesia’s religious belief. When India came to Indonesia 2000 years ago, they introduced Hinduism and Buddhism to Indonesia in a peaceful manner. Before India came, Indonesians were animist and dynamist who worship animals and ordinary things, and believe they obtain special powers in them. Indonesians worshiped the spirit of their ancestors through memorial stones called Menhirs. After India came with their religion Hindu and Buddhist, Indonesians use stones to build a monument used to prepare a sacrificial offering to the Hindu god, usually in a form of an animal. Also introduced was Buddhism and the 2 sections, Hinayan and Mahayan. This happened around the 1st century. The Indians then built temples, monuments, and other artifacts. Some include; the Ganesha statue, a first century Hindu relic, the 3 rough plinths found in the early 400 AD, a gift to the Brahmin priest (Hindu priest) in the early 400 AD, Candi Badut found in 760 AD (a Hindu goddess of time and death), Borobudur and Prambanan found in 8th – 9th century at a large Hindu temple complex near Jogjakarta. That’s not all. India also taught Indonesia about their religion which made Indonesia’s Sriwijaya Kingdom the centre of Buddhism teaching. That attracted a lot of pilgrim and scholars throughout Asia. Another influence is to our culture which had a lot of root from Hinduism and Buddhism culture. The peak of their influence was called Indonesia’s Classical (cultural) period. Today, most of Bali still follow India’s religion and culture. As you can see, Hinduism and Buddhism made a huge impact to Indonesia’s religion which then had an impact to other aspects such as education and culture. Indonesia is known for its cultural diversity which was absorbed from India. Indonesia is constantly reminded by their influence because it still lives until now. Without them coming, Indonesia would have a different culture, different relics, and different beliefs.

India’s influence to Indonesia started when India came to trade textiles with Indonesia’s spices in the 1st century. They first came just to stop by in the ports along their jouney to trade eastwards. India and Indonesia have had trade links for the past 2000 years, and even though they came in the 1st century, there were intensive relationship happening between India and Indonesia in the 2th and 3rd century. Before India came, Indonesians barter with each other, meaning they trade without money.

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