EarlyIndia was effected by two main religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. They had amajor role in the development of early India.
Between the two religions therewas many obvious similarities. Buddhism was heavily influenced by Hinduism. Thereason behind their shared ideas is because Siddhartha Gautama, the founder ofBuddhism, was raised as a Hindu. Despite their similarities and as a resultfrom their differences Buddhism is the superior religion.
Indian societybenefited greatly from Buddhism. Buddhist beliefs allowed Indian citizensadvance to more recent beliefs. Hinduismwas one of the first organized religion in India. Between 2300 and 1500 BC, Hinduismwas established as a religion. Although Hinduism was a strong religion manypeople were not happy with the strict rules associated to the religion. A Hinduprince, Siddhartha Gautama seen the unsatisfied citizens that wanted change.Siddhartha Gautama became known as The Buddha. He left behind his former lifeto search for the meaning of life.
After years of travel and meditation hefound what he was looking for and created a new religion based on the newfoundknowledge. The newly created language wascalled Buddhism. The religion was very different from other religions in thetime but because of The Buddha’s Hindu origins there was bound to be manysimilarities between the religions. Many Buddhist ideas reflected Hindubeliefs. The most obvious similarities correlated with their spiritual beliefs.
Both religions believed in karma. Karma is the idea that a person’s actionswill affect their fate in future events. Reincarnation is another sharedbelief, it is the concept that after death the soul is reborn into a new body.Hinduism was a polytheistic religion with many gods that were mandatory forHindus to believe in. Many Buddhistsbelieved in the Hindu gods although they had many other options. Many Buddhistsbelieved in an upper power although some became atheists. Majority of thesimilarities between Buddhism and Hinduism are spiritual and belief based.
Becauseof Buddhism’s start the two religions have many things in common. AlthoughHinduism and Buddhism are similar they have expediently large differences. Themost obvious change was focused on their social order. Hinduism had strictrules implied to their class systems. The rules used to organize social statuswere called the caste system. It createdboundaries and separated the different groups of social status.
The maincontributing factors towards what level of the caste system someone was, theirjobs and the status they were born into. The separations between the Hinduclasses were unchanging. Because many Hindus were not satisfied with the castesystem. They were easily converted to Buddhism.
Buddhists did not believe inthe rules of the Caste system, henceforth the laws were demolished. The lack ofa strict social system promoted and helped develop equality. Unlike Hindus,Buddhists were allowed to interact and move freely throughout the social system.The changes between the societies were focused on social order. Dueto the differences between the Buddhism and Hinduism the religions were able todevelop apart from each other. Both religions helped the early development ofIndia, although Buddhism was more effective. Buddhism helped India’s society todevelop.
An essential reason for Buddhism’s developmental importance was itssocial order. Hindu’s had a strict social order that they had to obey. Thecaste system limited success and development, by restricting change. The caste system did more damage than goodwhen it came to development.
It promoted discrimination. The clear separationbetween different social statuses made equality impossible to achieve.Tolerance decreased between separate groups of people.
The rich and powerfulgot an unfair advantage. Lower class citizens and women had barely any rights.The Buddhist idea that they did not need a caste system, helped Indian societyto advance. OverallIndia was drastically effected by Buddhism and Hinduism. Both religions helpedIndian society develop.
Because Buddhism was inspired by Hinduism, it was boundto be similar. Even with the inevitable similarities, the two religions hadmany differences. Social order being the largest dissimilarity between Hinduismand Buddhism. The lack of a Caste system helped India develop. Overall Buddhism had better beliefs and ideasfit to help India advance as a society.