The Rise of Jainism and Buddhism

The sixth century B.C. is considered a wonderful century in history. Great thinkers like Buddha, Mahavira, Heraclitus, Zoroaster, Confucius and Lao Tse lived and preached their ideas in this century. In India, the republican institutions were strong in the 6th century B.C.

This enabled rise of heterodox sects against the orthodox religion dominated by rites and rituals. Among them the most successful were Jainism and Buddhism whose impact on the Indian society was remarkable.

Causes for the Rise of Jainism and Buddhism

The primary cause for the rise of Jainism and Buddhism was the religious unrest in India in the 6th century B.C. The complex rituals and sacrifices advocated in the Later Vedic period were not acceptable to the common people. The sacrificial ceremonies were also found to be too expensive. The superstitious beliefs and mantras confused the people. The teachings of Upanishads, an alternative to the system of sacrifices, were highly philosophical in nature and therefore not easily understood by all. Therefore, what was needed in the larger interests of the people was a simple, short and intelligible way to salvation for all people. Such religious teaching should also be in a language known to them. This need was fulfilled by the teachings of Buddha and Mahavira.

Other than the religious factor, social and economic factors also contributed to the rise of these two religions. The rigid caste system prevalent in India generated tensions in the society. Higher classes enjoyed certain privileges which were denied to the lower classes. Also, the Kshatriyas had resented the domination of the priestly class. It should also to be noted that both Buddha and Mahavira belonged to Kshatriya origin. The growth of trade led to the improvement in the economic conditions of the Vaisyas. As a result, they wanted to enhance their social status but the orthodox Varna system did not allow this. Therefore, they began to extend support to Buddhism and Jainism. It was this merchant class that extended the chief support to these new religions.

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Sanaia Caitlin

I am in grade 6 and we had a history project about Buddhism and Jainism .This site helped me a lot to understand about both relegions.Thanks so much for that!!

Ayesha alam

i am in 9 standard and this site has helped me a lot in my history project of jainism and buddhism and has helped me to understand what jainism and buddhism is all about.thanks a lot!!!!


Hey.! This seemed very short to me. Aren’t there any more points, about the socioeconomic factor?

Saptaneel Ghosh

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tulika saha

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Rashid Akhtar

This site has helped me a lot for completing my first project of class 9 on topic Jainism and Buddhism

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samanway sanket

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i am in 8th standard this site has helped me a lot in doing my history project and now it has become very easy for me to perform my project in my class and even to learn about jainism and budhism.

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this site helped me a lot in performing my history project in my class even it helped me a lot in understanding the concept of jainism and budhism.

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shreyas jha

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Nic bt very short!!!

BNSK Vamsi

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Praveen Kumar

Exams was started yesterday, tomorrow history exams is there so it is useful to my exam ##thankU### PraveenChinna


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