Numerous religious, sects arose in the middle Gangetic plains in the second half of the sixth century B.C. Of these sects, Jainism and Buddhism were the most important, and they emerged as the most potent religious reform movements.
The period saw the rise of a large number of cities in north-eastern India. We may refer, for example, to Kaushambi near Allahabad, Kushinagar (in Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh).
Banaras, Vaishali (in the newly created district of the same name in north Bihar), Chirand (in Saran district), and Rajgir (situated at a distance of about 100 km southeast of Patna). Besides others, these cities had many artisans and traders, who began to use coins for the first time.
The earliest coins belong to the fifth century B.C., and they are called punch-marked coins. They circulated for the first time in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The use of coins naturally facilitated trade and commerce, which added to the importance of the vaishyas.
In the Brahmanical society, the vaishyas ranked third, the first two being brahman as and Kshatriyas. Naturally, they looked for some religion that would improve their position.
➢ Vardhamana Mahavira and JainismVardhamana Mahavira
➢ Doctrines of Jainism
Brahmacharya: It is said that only the fifth doctrine was added by Mahavira: The other four were taken over by him from previous teachers. Jainism attached the utmost importance to ahmsa or non-injury to living beings in later times, Jainism was divided into two sects: Svetambara or those who put on white dress, and digambaras or those who keep them-selves naked.
➢ Spread of Jainism
➢ Contribution of Jainism
➢ Doctrines of Buddhism
➢ Special Features of Buddhism and the Causes of Its Spread
➢ Importance and Influence of Buddhism
|1. What is Jainism?|
|2. Who was Gautam Buddha and what is Buddhism?|
|3. What is the significance of Jainism in Indian history?|
|4. How does Jainism differ from other religions?|
|5. What are the main teachings of Buddhism?|