Rise Of New Ideas And Religions

Upanishads

Meaning – sitting near a guru or a teacher who is revered.

Written in the form of dialogues between student and teacher.

Some of the important Upanishads are Taittiriya, Katha, Chandogya and Mundaka.

Upanishadic thinkers were mostly kings and brahmins.

Satyakama Jabala was poor but became one of the best known thinkers of that time.

Gargi was a famous woman thinker.

Shankaracharya made many developments in Upanishads.

The core principles of Upanishads are worship (upasana) and devotion (bhakti).

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Gautama Buddha

Earlier known as Siddhartha

Born 2500 years ago

Belonged to kshatriya caste and Sakya gana.

Father’s name – Shuddhodana ( chief of Kapilavastu )

He saw four sights which deeply moved him: an old man, a sick man, a dead body and an aesthetic.

Attained enlightenment under a peepal tree at Bodh Gaya in Bihar.

And later came to known as the Buddha (the wise one).

Gave his first sermon in Sarnath near Varanasi.

Left his body at Kushinagar.

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Teachings of Buddha:

Taught in Pali.

Moksha and Nirvana will be achieved by living a balanced life.

Believed that the result of our actions affects our life.

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The Four Noble Truths

  1. The World is full of sufferings.
  2. Main cause of suffering is desire.
  3. One must get rid of desires to end sufferings.
  4. To end desires, one must follow eight-fold path.

The Eight Fold Path (Ashtangika Marg)

  1. Right thought
  2. Right speech
  3. Right means of livelihood
  4. Right effort
  5. Right meditation
  6. Right action
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right understanding

Sangha

It was an association of those who left hoem in search of true knowledge.

Rules of sangha are mentioned in Vinaya Pitaka.

Both men and women were allowed to join sangha.

They led simple life.

For fixed hours, they visited nearby cities and villages to beg for food, that is why they were also called bhikkhus.

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Vardhamana Mahavira

24th and last tirthankara. (Rishabhadeva was the first tirthankara)

He was a kshatriya prince of Lichchhavis ( Vajji sangha ).

Born at Kundagrama ( near Vaishali ), in Bihar.

At 30, he renounced home and went to love in a forest.

Wandered place to place for almost 12 years.

Regarded as ‘Jina’ (the great conqueror) and his followers were called ‘Jainas’.

Visited courts of rulers like Ajatashatru and Bimbisara.

Teachings of Mahavira:

He preached that those who want to know the truth should leave home.

He was against rituals and sacrifices.

He preached that main aim of a human is to be soul free and not to be born again.

For that, he introduced Tri-ratnas or the three jewels of life:

  1. Right belief
  2. Right knowledge
  3. Right action

He taught in Prakrit.

His teachings were spread orally and were later written down as texts at Valabhi in Gujarat.

Two groups of Jainsim: Digambars ( those who don’t wear clothes ) and Svetambars ( those who wear only white clothes ).

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The rules laid by Mahavira for his followers were:

To live simple life by begging for food.

To be honest.

To not steal.

To give up worldly things.

Four ashramas developed by Brahmins:

  1. Brahmacharya – In the early years of their lives, men were to study Vedas and live simple life.
  2. Grihastha – Men were to get married and live a life of a householder.
  3. Vanaprastha – Men had to live a retired life and meditate.
  4. Sanyasa – Men had to renounce everything and live a life of a sanyasi.

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Published by Priya Prakash

In the midst of winter, i found there was within me an invincible summer ~ Albert Camus

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