Ancient India(2500 BC to 7th AD)

The evolution of Jainism and Buddhism

Causes of origin:-

  • In the post vedic period the condition of Shudras further deteriorated. Shudras were meant to serve the other three higher varnas. And they called cruel, greedy and thieving in habits and some of them were treated as nontouchables. Along them women were also barred from taking vedic education.
  • The Kshatriya reaction against the priest class was one of the causes of origin of new religions.
  • Vardhaman Mahavira and Gautam Buddha were belonged to the Kshatriya clan and both disputed the authority of Brahmanas.
  • Vaishya were the third in the hierarchy, so they looked for other religion which would improve their position.



  • Jains believe that the origin of Jainism goes back very ancient times.
  • Jain believes in 24 thirthankaras or great teachers of their origin.
  • Rishabhdeva was the first tirthankara. Also known as Adinath.
  • The 23th tirthankara, Parshvanath was the son Ikshvaku king Ashvasena of kashi.
  • Rishabhdeva and Arishtanemi are mentioned n Rigveda.
  • Bhagat puran and Vayu puran mention Rishabhdeva as the incarnation of the Narayana.
  • The 24th tirthankara was Vardhamana Mahavira.


Life of Mahavira:-

  • Born in the village of undagram near Vaishali in about 540 BC.
  • His father sidhartha was the chief of the Jnatrika clan and mother was
  • He was married to His daughter’s name was Annoja and his son was Jameli.
  • He became an ascetic at the age of 30. During the next 12 years, he practiced most rigorous asceticism.
  • In the 13th year, at the age of 42 he attained Hence, he was called Kevalin.
  • He sat under a Sal tree on the ban of river Riju Palik or Riju kala in Jambhika gram near vaishali for the attainment of kaivalya.
  • He was also known as Jina which means conqueror of senses and his followers were called
  • He founded a Jain Sangha at Pawapuri.
  • He died in 468 BC at the age of 72 at Pawapuri.


Teaching of Jainism:-

Five cardinal truths of Jainism are:-

  1. Ahimsa (non-injury to living beings)
  2. Satya (speaking truth)
  • Asteya (non-stealing)
  1. Aparigraha (non-possession of property)
  2. Brahmacharya (continence or celibacy)


The Triratanas of Jainism are:-

  1. Samyak Jnana (Right knowledge)
  2. Samyak Vichara (Right thought)
  • Samyak Karma (Right action)


  • Philosophy of Jainism is called Syadvada which means ‘theory of may be’.
  • According to Jainism it is not God’s but men’s deed (karma) and fruits there of (karmphala) that shape the destiny of aman.
  • Jainism follows extreme non-violence.
  • Jainism did not recognize caste system and Aryan religion.
  • Jainism advocate simple life and austere.
  • Jainism did not believe in God.
  • Sallekhna is an orthodox Jain tradition in which a person accepts voluntary death by fasting.
  • Jain literature was first written in Prakrit and later in Sanskrit.
  • Kalpasutra was written by Bhadrabahu.
  • After Mahavira Jain divided into two parts in first Jain council.

(a). Shvetambra (those who put on white robes)

(b). Digambra (those who were stark naked)

  • Some of the patrons of Jainism are Chandragupta Maurya, Kharvelas of Kalings, and Rashtrakutas of Deccan, Solani rulers of Gujarat, Chamundrya, and Indra-4 (Rashtrakuta king).


Jain councils:-

Date/PlaceHeaded byResult
300 BC


SthulabhadraJains divided into two parts
6th AD


Devardhi Kasamashraman12 angas & 12 upangas were compiled


Jain architecture:-

Hathigupha cave                                ———           Kharvela

Dilwara Temple                                  ———           Mount Abu (Rajasthan)

Rock Cut Cave                                     ———           Badami & Aihole



  1. Life o f Buddha :-
  • Born in a Shakya Kashatriya family in Lumbini near Kapilavastu (Nepal) in 563 BC.
  • Father Shuddhodhan was the chief of the Shakya clan. And mother Mahamaya or Mayadevi was the princess of Koshalan dynasty. She died after the seven days of his birth.
  • Rose by his foster mother Gautami Prajapati. So he also called Gautama.
  • He belongs to Shakya clan so also called Shakya Muni.
  • He was married to Yashodhara and Rahul was born to them.
  • Once, while travelling he witnessed four events viz. an old man, a sick man, a dead body and a ascetic which helped him taking the path of asceticism as the ascetic appeared to him the happier one.
  • At the age of 29, he left the home on his horse Kantaka.
  • He learned the meditation from Alara Kalma.
  • He got enlightenment at the age of 35 at Bodha Gaya under a papal tree on the bank of river Hence he called Buddha- one who has got Enlightenment.
  • He delivered his 1st sermon to his five disciples in Sarnath. Most of the sermons were given at Shrasvati.
  • Four important events in the life of Buddha were- Mahabhimisikram, Nirvana, Chakra Pravarthan, and
  • He passed away at the age of 80 in 483BC at Kusinagar. He died of food poisoning after eating pork at the house of chanda.



  1. Teaching of Buddhism:-
  • Four noble truths:-
  1. Dukkha (that the world is full of sorrow)
  2. Dukkha samuddaya (that there are causes of sorrow)
  3. Dukkha Nirodha (that this sorrow can be stopped )
  4. Dukkha nirodha-gamini pratipada (path leading to cessation of sorrow)
  • According to Buddha final salvation (nirvana) can be achieved by following the eight fold paths:-
  1. Right speech
  2. Right action
  3. Right means of livelihood
  4. Right exertion
  5. Right mindfulness
  6. Right meditation
  7. Right resolution
  8. Right view


  • Buddha summarized the all process in three words viz. Sila (right conduct), Samadhi (right concentration), and Prajna (right knowledge). He advocates “The Middle Path”
  • He rejects varna system and caste restriction.
  • Initially he did not allow women in Sangha but agreed later on the advice of his disciple Anand. His foster mother became the 1st women to join Sangha.
  • Buddha was agnostic and non-committal to existence of the God.


  1. Buddha literature:-
  • It is also called Pali literature.
  • Tripitaka are the most important holy book of the Buddhism.


Sutta PitakaSermons and teaching of Buddha
Vinay PitakaCollection of the rules governing the sangha and monks
Abhidhamma PitakaPhilosophy of Buddhism


  • Milindapanho is also an important book related to Buddhism. It is a collection between Indo-Greek king Menander (Milind) and monk
  • Buddha Charita, a book written in Sanskrit is the biography of Buddha compiled by Ashvaghosh.


  1. Sects of Buddhism:-
  • There are three sects of Buddhism viz. Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.
  1. Hinayana (lesser vehicle):- It was an orthodox group. The teachings of Buddha shall be obeyed strictly. They worshiped Buddha through symbols. Idol worship was not allowed. They were mainly popular in Maghadha, Sri Lanka and Burma.
  2. Mahayana (greater vehicle):- It was a sect with broader outlook. They believed in semi-divine identity called Bodhisattva. They started idol worship of Buddha. They wrote scriptures in Sanskrit called Kanishka was the patron of this sect.
  3. Vajrayana (vehicle of thunderbolt):- It believed in superhuman powers. They had faith in miracles and tantra. Palas patronized this sect.


  1. Buddhist Arcitecture:-
  • Stupa: – It is a semi-domical structure. Ashoka constructed the most important stupa at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Chaityas: – These are Buddhist temples constructed in cave i.e. chaityas at arle near Nasik.
  • Viharas: – These are the buildings constructed for the residence of monks. The first Vihara was erected by kumargupta-1 at Nalanda which was called Nalanda Mahavihara.


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