Hinduism And Buddhism’s Influence Of Indian Culture In Southeast Asia

2232 words - 9 pages

The way Hinduism and Buddhism entered Southeast Asia was not the same, as well as when it entered and its influence of Indian culture that emerged into the area. Civilizations in Southeast Asia focused on an appreciation to nature, which resulted in a harmonious and equal relationship between man and nature. Southeast Asia had been depicted and known as the “golden island.” These Southeast Asian civilizations were characteristically composed from Hindu and Buddhist ways of life that influenced its people greatly. As Buddhism processed its way into Southeast Asia, the religion became culturally grounded once the people practiced it. Hinduism and Buddhism in Southeast Asia were influenced by Indian culture, which was accepted by the rulers and people of the area. Within examining the evidence it is assured that Southeast Asians adopted and adapted to these religions.
Hinduism originated in India, which is a polytheistic religion that follows the goal Enlightenment. Certain people and different territories spread Hinduism throughout India. Hinduism in Southeast Asia was a choice that was accessible for its people. This allowed them to worship whatever they wanted. Hinduism is practiced on people’s social statues, which places them on a Hindu caste system. It includes a caste system that places Brahmans at the highest rank possible. The Brahmins played a central role in peoples religious lives from the very beginning of India’s influence.
Hinduism originated in India about four thousand years ago, however there are no written records of who started the spread of this religion. Southeast Asia had come under Hindus of Majaphit culture, which dispersed from Lanica to Sirvijaya (Ancient India in South East Asia, N.d.) The Hindu tradition was a religion that focused on rituals, sacrifice to devotion and fulfillment of worship (Strayer, 450). Scholars stressed that the role of Indian colonizers brought Hinduism to reflect the ideology that emphasizes on Southeast Asia. Hinduism spread throughout India by certain people and territory (Strayer, 183). Hinduism became part of the Indian civilization for the different people that migrated or invaded into Southeastern Asia (Strayer, 133).
Hindus were divided by their social status, called the caste system. This made Hindus fall under one of the varnas such as Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra and the Untouchables (Strayer, 150-168). Priests and teachers were classified as Brahmins, warriors and kings were Kshatriya, merchants and landowners were known as Vaishya, peasants and serfs were classified as Shudras, and those that didn’t have a place on the caste system were defined as the untouchables because they had no social status. Hindus were unable to change their position in the caste system, until after reincarnation (Strayer, 150-168). There are scriptures such as the sacred text, The Vedas, and it leads to the fact that Brahmins empowered and dominated the top of the caste system and played specific...

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