- Buddhism is one of the most important religions in the world.
- It originated in India during 6th century BC.
- Buddhism emerged as a challenge to the Brahamanical supremacy and the caste inequality.
- It declared that caste or varna should not come into the way of person's seeking to obtain 'Nirvana'.
- The founder of the Buddhism is Buddha.
- The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of Sakya tribe of Nepal in 566 BC.
- When the Buddha was 29 years old, he left the comforts of home in order to seek the meaning of suffering he saw around him.
- After 6 years of Arduous Yogic training, he sat beneath a Bodhi tree on the full moon of May and with the rising of the morning star he became Buddha, the en-lighted one.
- After that a community of monks are developed around him.
- The Buddha died at the age of 80.
Principles of Buddhism
- To do no evil.
- To cultivate good
- To purify one's mind.
Impacts of Buddhism
1. It Reduced the Caste Inequality in India
- It emerged as a challenge to the caste inequality in India and to assure the social justice and equality.
- A large number of people who belong to different castes, especially those who belong to lower castes started accepting Buddhism.
- Buddha who had a soft corner towards the lower community inspired Brahmins to correct themselves.
2. It Enriched the Spritual and Intellectual Life
- Hinduism was full of rituals, customs, traditions etc, whereas humanity was the main source of Buddhism.
- In Buddhism all the monks are equal and they have simple philosophy.
- As a result many Hindus accepted Buddhism.
- It has spread its influence both inside and outside the boarders of India.
3. Buddhism Introduced Idol-Worship
- Idol-worship was introduced by Buddhist in India.
- After the death of Buddha, his followers created an image of Buddha and built temples for him to worship.
- The Mahabodhi Temple was one of the four holy sites related to the life of Buddha.
- This idea of ideal-worshiping influenced the Hinduism to a great extent.
4. Buddhism Introduced Organization
- In Hinduism there was no organization before.
- Buddhism introduced organization by accepting one order or one leader.
- This influenced the Hindu thinkers and they started establishing organizations.
- Today in India we can see a large number of organizations.
5. It Encouraged the Development of Regional Language
- Contributions of Buddhism towards the development of regional language has been remarkable.
- The language of culture hitherto had been Sanskrit and the text of Brahamanical region were in Sanskrit.
- Buddhist texts were written in Pali. This helped the development of Pali language and literature.
6. Buddhism Encouraged Education
- Buddhism gave a special important to education.
- Buddhist monks are great scholars.
- It extended the educational opportunities for women.
- Universities such as Nalanda and Taxila had earned names in ancient world.