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Religious Movements: Buddhism and Jainism – GK


Religious Movements: Buddhism and Jainism – GK

A great religious movements like Buddhism and Jainism etc. were grown up in the post-vedic culture.

The Buddha
The Dhamma
The Sanga
Buddhist Literature
Three Gems or ‘Triratna’

What was the cause of arising new religious movements?

  1. The Vidic philosophy had lost its original purity and rituals were expensive and the scarifies prescribed were very complicated and had lost their meaning. Brahmanas (Priests) claimed the highest position in the Varna system.
  2. The new social groups which acquired considerable economic power, were opposed to the social positions defined for them by the Brahmanas or priest.
  3. The cast system in the post Vedic society had become rigid. Supremacy of Brahmins created unrest.


Triratna‘ or Three Jewels of Buddhism are

  1. Buddha (The enlightened one i.e its founder).
  2. Dhamma (Doctrine i.e his teacher).
  3. Sanga (Commune/order of Buddhist monks and nuns).

The Buddha:

Gautama Buddha or Siddhartha the founder of Buddhism, was born in 563 BC in a Shakya kshatriya family in Kapilavastu, situated in the foot-heal of Nepal.

» His father Suddhodhana was the Saka rular i.e the republican king of Kapilavastu.

» His mother Mahamaya was the princes of Kosala dynasty, died after 7 days of Siddhartha’s birth. And he is brought by stepmother Goutami.

» He married to Yoshodhara at 16 and had a son named Rahul.  At the age of 29 he left home and kept wondering about seven years and then attained knowledge at Bodh Gaya under a piple tree.

» Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon at ‘Sarnath‘ To his five disciples, this is known as “Dharmachakra Pravartana” i.e turning of wheel of the law.

» He passed away at the age of 80 at a place called Kushinagar (Identical with village Kasia in Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh) in 483 BC.

» Last sermon delivered by Gautam Buddha in Vaishali.

The Dhamma:

The four truth “Aryasatya‘ enunciated by Buddha, they are,-

  1. “Suffering exist wherever there is life (Dukha).
  2. Desire is the cause of suffering (Dukha Samudaya)
  3. Pain ad misery can be ended by killing or controlling desire (Dukha Nirodh) : Nirvana.
  4. There is a path leading to the cessation of sorrow. This path is Eight fold path’ (Ashtangika Maraga).

The eight fold path or Astangika Marga consists of

  1. Right Views,

  2. Right aspiration,

  3. Right Speech,

  4. Right Conduct

  5. Right Live-hood

  6. Right efforts

  7. Right Mind fullness and

  8. Right Meditation

The Sanga:

» It consists of monks (Bhikshus) and nun.

» Apart from Sanga, the worshipers are called Upashakas).

» First council of monks after the death of Buddha at Rajgriha (The king was Ajatshartu).

» Second council at Vaishali ( The king was Kalashoka).

» Third council at Kundalvan, Kashmir (King was Kanishka).

Buddhist Literature:

Buddhist Scriptures are written in Pali language. Scriptures are called “Tripitakas

  • Vinaya Pitaka : Rules and discipline in Buddhist monasteries.

  • Sutta Pitaka: It is largest among the others. It contains collection of Buddha’s Sermons.

  • Abhidhamma Pitaka: Philosophical Principle of Buddhist religion.

» The Rigvedic Culture two Jain Tirthankaras Rishabhadeva and Arishtanemi are found.


» The founder of Jainism is ‘Rishabhadeva‘. He was the first Thithankaras (total 24). 23rd Thithankaras was “Parshwanath‘ and last was Mahavira (24th).


» Vardhaman Mahavira was born in 540 BC in a village near Vaishali in north Bihar. His father Siddharth was the head of Jnatrika clan. And his mother is Trishala.

» Mahavira was married to Yoshada.

» He become an ascetic at 30 after the death of his parents.

» Mahavira attain supreme knowledge (Kaivalya) under the ‘sal‘ tree at Jimbhikagrama.

» He passed away at Pavapuri in Bihar at the age of 72 in 478 BC.

Three Gems or ‘Triratna‘ of Jainism are:

  1. Right Faith – is the belief in what one knows.

  2. right Knowledge – is the knowledge of Jain Creed.

  3. Right Action – is the practice of the five vows, – non-injury to living beings, truth, non-stealing, not to own property, and to practice chastity.

» The four vows were laid down by Parshava. Mahavir added the fifth one.

» There were two sections of Jains, one is Digambaras (sky-clad i.e naked) and other is Svetembaras (white-clad).

» First Jain council: At Patliputra by Sthulabhadra.

» Second Jain council: Vallabhi in Gujarat by Devridhigani.

» Jainism reached the highest point in Chandragupta Maurya‘s time.

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Hi, I am SOM, a State Added (WB) Lecturer in Physics at a College, Part-time blogger, and founder of, started blogging since 2015 and still learning.

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