Ancient Religions Of India Essay

1409 words - 6 pages

India’s three primary religions; Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism are all responses to the Aryan religion of Brahmanism. The Aryans came into power in Indian around 1000 B.C.E., and as their political influence spread, their religious beliefs followed in its wake. Two fundamental beliefs of Brahmanism are samsara and karma. Samsara deals with the cyclical nature of the soul and how death only brings rebirth into a new form. Depending upon the tally of a person’s good and bad deeds, which is considered karma, determines whether or not the next reincarnation will be an improvement or a disappointment. However, if one were able to completely understand that life was actually an illusion and that the only way to escape the endless cycle of reincarnation was to realize that reality is unchanging one could ascend above the endless cycle of birth, life and death. According to the Aryan priests, those that transcend the cycle of life will become one with Brahman and enter into an eternity of blissful non-being.
From Brahmanism, emerged Jainism, which adopted both the beliefs of karma and reincarnation, but expanded the realm of what life forms were eligible for rebirth and ultimately enlightenment. The founder of Jainism was Vardhamana Maharvira who became an ascetic, giving up his privileged status as a son of regional chieftain, and took on the role of a wandering holy man. After twelve years of wandering under austere conditions, Maharvira achieved enlightenment and became a “completed soul.” However, rather than ascend above the karmic chaos of the world, Maharvira remained on Earth to share his teachings for the next thirty years. The subsequent followers of Jainism believed that everything that inhabits the world has a soul, humans, animals, plants, and even rocks. According to Jainism, souls are bound to this world by the matter that has entrapped them through the consequences karma. So depending on the density of karma that envelope it, a soul will either float or sink. Followers of Jain believe that the way for a person to shed the karma that is weighing down their soul is by willingly taking on suffering and endeavoring to do no harm to any other creature through both thought and action. The most extreme followers chose to starve themselves in order to shed the karmic weight on their souls, as it is impossible to eat without doing harm to either plant or animal. The more moderate followers took the view that there is a hierarchy of life and, while all life is sacred, it is better to live and be a vegetarian than to be so strict as to avoid taking life in any form. However, even the moderate Jain would take pains not to kill any insects, to include those that live in the earth and help the soil, therefore, even the act of farming to produce the food that a Jain adherent would eat had to be avoided. The ultimate goal of those who followed the precepts of Jainism was to avoid violence of any kind; as a violent act will harm the...

Find Another Essay On Ancient Religions of India

The Caste System of Ancient India

678 words - 3 pages Class structure has been part of the entire world from the beginning of civilization to the present day. In the case of ancient India, class division was a severely enforced social classification system, but unlike other cultures around the word the Caste system of India would not only determined someone’s occupation and place in society, but also the “hope for the ultimate salvation”(Duiker & Spielvogel, 2010, p. 36). Between 1500-1000 B.C.E

The Development of religions in ancient civilizations in relation to the fear of death

1019 words - 4 pages Religion played a major role and had a great portion of interest and involvement in the daily life of ancient cilvilizations alike.Infact, many aspects of life such as the night and day cycle, floods, wars, birth and death were important factors that created the feeling of superpowers which controlled the life of ancient civilizations.Death, was one of the greatest fears among all of them and the search for IMMORTALITY developed the humankind's

Eastern vs. Western Religion

906 words - 4 pages society, some religions have grown and expanded significantly. These larger religions have been classified as world religions. In addition, these world religions have been split into two categories known as Eastern and Western religion. Eastern religions have originated from the east side of the Earth from countries such as: China, Japan, and India. The Eastern religions have different histories some of which include a founder like Buddha in

India

1330 words - 6 pages that reside in its country, India offers many areas of its culture to explore. From music to the way they dress, Indians brings many insight and ways of life that make our world unique. India is portrayed as a spiritual country, blooming with various religions. 80% of its religion is made up of Hinduism. It is one of the most ancient religions in the world, being formed back around 5,000 years ago. It emphasizes meditation and has many Gods and

Ancient India and China

1081 words - 5 pages Shaeq Ahmed Religion of India and China The main religions of China were Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism. The central religions in India were Hinduism and Buddhism. Both Ancient China and India had religious teachers that invented these prevalent religions. Confucius invented Confucianism, Lao Tzu

A Closeup View of Two Religions: Buddhism vs. Hinduism

588 words - 2 pages A Closeup View of Two Religions:Buddhism vs. HinduismBuddhism and Hinduism are two sacred religions that were found in India manyyears ago. These two religions were based on the Vedic religion coming from the Aryans.Buddhism and Hinduism have many beliefs, teachings, and facts that are similar anddifferent from each other.Buddhism is one of the world's most well known religions. Thisreligion was founded in India by Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha

Hinduism and Buddhism’s Influence of Indian Culture in Southeast Asia

2232 words - 9 pages interaction of Hinduism and Buddhism in Southeast Asia diffused the Indian culture and religions. Also, the people and rulers who were interested accepted the two religions that spread throughout the Southeast Asian area. However, rulers and elites determined the religious and cultural impact on their section of society (Ancient India in South East Asia, N.d.). This includes people and rulers adapting to the cultural differences from region to

The Three Main Modern Civilizations

1000 words - 4 pages and prayers. The Vedas was made during Aryan times. The Aryan people are famous for their fire sacrifice including the sacrificing of live animals. Hinduism also teaches concepts like karma and rebirth, similar to Buddhism. I personally credit these two religions as the most dominant reason Ancient India developed even half as much as it did. These three civilizations were simply amazing. They all thrived in rich culture and material riches for

Religions of the World

1365 words - 5 pages Religions of the World Religions of the world must be studied subjectively, or with the attitude of pluralism, the view that they are all equal. A number of methods are used to study religions. The most common is the historical comparative method in which a certain faith's history and traditions are deliberated. This method focuses on orthodoxy, meaning "correct thought." Another method is the phenomenological method. This method

Similarities Between Buddhism and Christianity

793 words - 3 pages In present-day society, the globalization, briefly including economics, and culture, has become an unstoppable tendency. With its rapid development and cultural communication, some controversies have emerged. Religious conflicts are characteristic examples showing the detrimental influences of cultural globalization. It is generally acknowledged that Buddhism and Christianity are ancient and global religions; however, whether the belief in

Life and Works of Mahatma Gandhi

567 words - 2 pages In the early 1600's sailors from Great Britain made their way to India. At that time India was a country rich in traditions and culture thousands of years old. The British Empire took control of the government of India and forever changed the face of that country. Ancient traditions and religions were thrown out, made illegal by ruthless British generals eager to make India another England. As you can well imagine, the native people of India

Similar Essays

Ancient Religions Of India Essay

1078 words - 4 pages Dating back to the period around 500 B.C.E., three religions spread throughout India. Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism prospered in this philosophical time. These religions shared several of the same concepts. However, each maintained individuality by branching off and putting emphasis on what they believed to be the key to liberation or enlightenment. Hinduism is the easiest to distinguish from the group for several reasons. One is that

Religions Of The Ancient World Essay

693 words - 3 pages Dipti Budhrani Mr. Yurchak American Literature 20 February 2014 Religions of the Ancient World Religion is an ever-growing idea that has no set date of origin. Throughout history religion has served as an answer to the questions that man could not resolve. The word religion is derived from the Latin word “religio” meaning restraint in collaboration with the Greek word “relegere” which means to repeat or to read again. Religion is currently

Political Organizations Of Ancient India Essay

941 words - 4 pages Ancient India was known for its maharajas, maharanis, rajputs and the beautiful palaces created by the rajas. The credit is given to the political empires and the rajas for the formation of India. They are the ones who have created India. Whereas many empires were short-lived, others ruled for years and played a big role in the formation of India’s political system. Empires such as the Magadha, Mauryan, Shakas, Indo-Greeks, Kushanas, and the

The Birth Of Religions And Philosophies In The Ancient World

1315 words - 5 pages India and parts of Nepal, a collection of major religions that we know today began to form and flourish, finally establishing around 600 AD (O’Brien). It is here that Hinduism is acknowledged as the oldest religion to be established in the ancient world, with the philosophical teachings of Siddhartha Gautama following close behind. Hinduism by all means was a religion, and was characterized as being polytheistic, meaning that the believers