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Age of religious movements: Jainism, Buddhism and others



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Age of religious movements In Post-Vedic times, society was clearly divided into four varnas:

  1. Brahmanas
  2. Kshatriyas
  3. Vaisyas and
  4. Shudras

Each varna was assigned well-defined functions, through it was emphasised that varnas was based on birth and higher varnas were given some privileges.

Naturally the varna divided society seems to have generated tensions. The Kshatriyas, who acted as rulers reacted against the domination of priestly class called brahmanas, who claimed various privileges. It was one of the causes of the origin of new religions. Vardhamana Mahavira, who founded Jainism, and Gautama Buddha, who founded Buddhism, belonged to the kshatriya clan, and both disputed the authority of brahmanas.

But the real cause of the rise of these new religions lay in the introduction of a new agriculture economy in the North East on India. The further sighted rise of a large number of cities in the north-eastern India. The earliest coins belong to the fifth century BC and they are called punch marked coins. The use of the coins naturally fascinated trade and commerce, which added to the importance of the vaisyas.

The trade of moneylending was established in the Vedic age. The practice of providing loans on interest was also legal but the trade was generally looked down upon a brahmans. The vaisyas who practised this trade wanted or raise their social position and in the eyes of religion. So the vaisyas standard support to both Mahavira and Gautama Buddha.

The vedic actness of killing cattle in rituals was inimical to the emerging agriculture economy. Besides the Sanskrit language was the knowledge of a chosen few while the common masses spoke Prakit.

Significant Persons In World History During The Six Century BC
Zoraster(Persia) founder of Zorastrianism
Isaiah (Palestine) the preacher
Confucius(China) the philosopher
Laotse (China) the philosopher
Selone (Greece) the philosopher
Mahavira (India) 24th Thirtankara of Jainsim
Buddha (India) founder of Buddhism

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