Chapter

Jainism and Buddhism

R.S. Sharma

in India’s Ancient Past

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780195687859
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080366 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.003.0014
Jainism and Buddhism

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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Jainism and Buddhism emerged as the most potent religious reform movements. Post-Vedic society was clearly divided into brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, and shudras. Each varna was assigned well-defined functions. The Jainas believed that Vardhamana Mahavira had twenty-three predecessors who were called tirthankaras. Jainism taught to not commit violence, not tell a lie, not steal, not hoard and observe continence. Mahavira organized an order of his followers in order to spread the teachings of Jainism. He preached his teachings in Prakrit. Gautama Buddha was a contemporary of Mahavira. He undertook long journeys and carried his message far and wide. He recommended an eightfold path (ashtangika marga) for the elimination of human misery. The rules and teachings of Buddha took full account of the new changes in the material life of the time and strengthened them ideologically. Buddhism created and developed a new awareness in the field of intellect and culture.

Keywords: Jainism; Buddhism; varna; Vardhamana Mahavira; Gautama Buddha; tirthankaras; eightfold path

Chapter.  5899 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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