Question: Compare the different types of religion that emerged in


Compare the different types of religion that emerged in India from the original Brahmanism. How did these new paths influence Indian society? Why do you think there were so many new philosophies to emerge in India during this period?


Hi Everyone,

From the original Brahmanism stemmed 3 more religions. Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. All three of these religions share the same belief in Karma and also reincarnation and the belief that you could be free from the rebirth cycle. The religions really differ when you look at who they worshipped. In Jainism, Jains do not serve a deity but rather believed in a system of ordered laws and had an extremely strict lifestyle. Buddhism formed because of the dislike towards how strict the caste system was with Brahmanism and originally only had Buddha  (Siddhartha Gautama) as the sole person to worship until Mahayana Buddhism came along. Mahayana Buddhism incorporated celestial beings. Hinduism is virtually Brahmanism. It sounds like Hinduism was created in order to preserve the original teachings in Brahmanism but it was slightly altered in order to appease people who had abandoned Brahmanism for Jainism or Buddhism.

I think these new paths influenced Indian society in several ways. In all of these religions they are predominantly vegetarian. This effects the ecology of that area as well as the health of the population. The social side of things was also effected. For instance, Buddhism preaches equality which made things like education more available to women. Buddhism also rejected the caste system which challenges the social order.

I think there were so many new philosophies coming out during this time for the same reason religion changes today. Religion isn’t a one size fits all belief and you cant please everyone. One person believes in science vs another believing in a deity. I think it was merely an attempt at explaining the things that are unexplainable- like the meaning of life.


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