Revision Notes: Religious Movements Notes | Study संशोधन नोटस Revision notes for UPSC (Hindi) - UPSC

UPSC: Revision Notes: Religious Movements Notes | Study संशोधन नोटस Revision notes for UPSC (Hindi) - UPSC

The document Revision Notes: Religious Movements Notes | Study संशोधन नोटस Revision notes for UPSC (Hindi) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course संशोधन नोटस Revision notes for UPSC (Hindi).
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  • Founder: Gautama, the Buddha also known as: Siddharta, Sakyamuni and Thathagata.
  • Born: in 563 B.C. (widely accepted), on the vaisakha purnima day at Lumbini, near Kapilvastu, capital of the Sakya republic.
  • Left home at the age of 29 and attained Nirvana at the age of 35 at Bodh Gaya.
  • Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath.
  • He attained mahaparinirvana at Kusinara in 483 B.C.
  • In the year 1956 the 2500th anniversary of the Buddha’s mahaparinirvana was celebrated.
  • According to the chain of Dependent Origination, ignorance is the original cause of human suffering.
  • Buddha shows absolute faith in Doctrine of Karma.
  • The Doctrine of Karma in Buddhism means: The deeds of a person determine the state of his life.
  • The Buddha did not talk of spiritual aspects such as god, soul, life after death etc., because he did not intend to establish a formal religion.
  • On the basis of Chinese traditional records the dates of Lord Buddha’s birth and death have been fixed. 
  • ‘Four Great Signs’: The sights of old age, disease, death and a mendicant, affected the life of the young Siddhartha.
  • Alar and Udraka were the first teachers of the Buddha, after his great renunciation.
  • The first sermon preached by the Buddha at the Deer Park at Sarnath is known as the Turning of the Wheel of Law.
  • Occasion for the Second Buddhist Council was to settle the controversy arising from the adoption of certain practices by the Vajjian monks of Vaishali.
  • The despatch of missionaries to the different countries of the world for the first time for the propagation of Buddhism was the result of the third Council.
  • The fourth council made Sanskrit the vehicle of Buddhist scriptures.
  • Vibhashas or commentaries was added to the Buddhists cannonical texts by the Fourth Buddhist Council.
  • Oldest orthodox Buddhist sect—Sthaviravadins or Theravadins.
  • The Sarvastivadin school of Buddhism mainly flourished in the Punjab and NWFP.
  • During the reign of Kanishka Mahayanism formally came into existence.
  • Sthaviravadins is a Mahayanist sect of Buddhism.
  • Disqualification for entry to the Buddhist Sangha—(I) Being below the age of fifteen; (II) Suffering from infectious disease; (III) One who had to pay debts.
  • The site of the Buddha’s birth is marked by the celebrated Rummindei Pillar of Asoka.
  • The child Siddartha was brought up by his aunt and stepmother Prajapati Gautami.
  • Biographies of Lord Buddha—(I) Lalitavistara (II) Nidankatha (III) Mahavamsa
  • Jataka stories are considered as the most important vehicle of Buddhist ethical teachings.
  • The most important philosophical works of the Mahayana school is Prajnaparamita.
  • A Buddhist scholar, who has been described as “poet, musician, preacher, moralist, philosopher, playwright, tale-teller... an inventor in all these arts... he recalls Milton, Goethe, Kant and Voltaire”, was Asvaghosha.
  • The Buddhist scholar, who enjoyed great celebrity all over the Buddhist world as grammarian, philosopher and poet was Chandragomin.
  • The Mahaparinibbna-sutta, which is a detailed account of the last days of the Buddha (his death and funeral ceremonies), is included in the Digha Nikaya of Sutta Pitaka.
  • The famous Jataka stories, dealing with the previous births of Gautama Buddha are included in Khuddaka Nikaya.
  • 500 stories are included in the Jatakas.
  • Buddhaghosha was the greatest Buddhist commentator of the Buddhist canonical literature.
  • One of the Buddhist works, which is a source of many Jataka stories and similar other narratives, is Kathavathu.
  • Bodhi trees, footp-rints and Stu-pa were the symbols of the Buddha used for his reme-mbrance bef-ore the introduction of his images.
  • Milinda -Panho was written by Naga-sena.
  • The famous Budd-hist scholar Ashvaghosha was a a cont-emporary of Kan-ishka.
  • qNaga-rjuna was a friend and contemporary of the Satavahana king Yajnashri Gautamiputra or Siri-Yajna.
  • Nagarjuna is known as the Einstein of India because he propounded the theory of Shunyavada similar to Einstein’s theory of relativity.
  • Dharmakirti is regarded as the Kant of India by Dr Stcherbatsky.
  • Dingnaga was the founder of Buddhist logic and has been called the Father of Medieval Nyaya.
  • Kumarajiva was the most renowned Buddhist scholar of Indian origin to propagate Madhy-amika Buddhism in China.
  • Fa-hien, Hiuen-tsang, and I-tsing were the Buddhist scholars from China.
  • The most important Buddhist mission, sent by Ashoka outside India, was to Sri Lanka.
  • A royal patron of Buddhism, who like Asoka tried to bring the Buddhist sangha into strict discipline was Harsha.
  • The greatest royal patron of the University of Nalanda were Pala kings—Dharmapala and Devapala.
  • Buddhism experienced a great revival in eastern India under the patronage of the Palas of Bihar. The great monasteries founded by them were—(I) Vikramshila (II) Odantapuri (III) Somapuri.
  • The earliest stronghold of Buddhism in Central Asia (before the Christian era) was Khotan.
  • The disciple of the Buddha, who was with him at Kusinara at the time of his death, was Ananda.

Foreign Travellers/Envoys

  • Megasthenes: He came to India as the ambassador of Seleucus in the court of Chandragupta Maurya. He wrote ‘Indika’.
  • Deimachos : The Greek ambassador who came in the court of Bindusara.
  • Fa-hian: A Chinese pilgrim visited India (A.D. 401-410) during the reign of Chandragupta-II of Gupta dynasty,
  • Hiuan Tsang: A Chinese pilgrim visited India (A.D. 929-643) during Harsha’s rule.
  • Wang-Hiuen Tse: A Chinese envoy who visited India in A.D. 657.
  • I-tsing: A Chinese scholar who came to study in India at Nalanda in the second half of the 7th century.
  • Sulaiman: An Arab merchant who visited India in the middoe of the 9th century.
  • Al Masudi: A native of Baghdad who visited India in the first half of 10th century.
  • Al-Beruni: A noted scientist and scholar from Central Asia who lived in India for about ten years during the early part of the 11th century.
  • Marco-Polo: A Venetian traveller, who visited South India, particularly the Pandya Kingdom, on his way to China (A.D. 1288-93).
  • Ibn Batutah: A resident of Tangier in North Africa (Moroccan) who visited India in the first half of 14th century and lived at the court of Muhammad-bin-Tughla for eight years.
  • Nicolo Conti: An Italian traveller, who visited Vijaynagara empire in 1420 during the regin of Deva Raya I.
  • Abdur Razzaq: The Persian traveller, who had travelled widely in and outside India, visited the Vijayanagara empire in the regin of Deva Raya II.
  • Nikitin: A Russian traveller, who visited the Bahmani Kingdom (A.D. 1470-74) during the reign of Firuz Shah.
  • Nuniz: A Portuguese writer of the 16th century, who visited Vijayanagara empire during the reign of Achuta Raya.
  • Paes: An Italian traveller, who spent a number of years at Krishna Deva Raya’s court.
  • Barbosa: A Portuguese traveller, who visited Vijayanagara during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya.
  • Vasco-de-Gama: A Portuguese sailor suceeded in reaching the port of Calicut rounding the cape of Good Hope in A.D. 1498.
  • Caesar Frederic: A Venetian traveller, who visited Vijayanagara in the second half of 16th century.
  • Manucci: An Italian traveller, who witnessed the reign of five Mughal emperors from Shahjahan to Farrukhsiyar.
Rock EdictsContents
FirstProhibition of animal sacrifices and festive gatherings.
SecondMeasures of social welfare
ThirdRespect to Brahmanas
FourthCourtesy to relatives, elders, consideration for animals.
FifthRelationship between servants and masters and proper treatment of prisoners.
SixthNeed for efficient organisation of administration.
SeventhNeed for tolerance among all religious sects.
EighthSystem of Dhamma-yatras
NinthAttack of meaningless ceremonies and rituals.
ThirteenthConquest through Dhamma instead of war.


Dynastic History
I.   Chandragupta—321 B.C. 297 B.C. 24 years
II.  Bindusara—297 B.C.—272 B.C.-25 years
III. Ashoka—268 B.C.-232 B.C.-36 years
IV. Dasaratha—8 years
V.  Samprati—9 years
VI. Salisuka—13 years
VII. Devadharman—7 years
VIII. Satadhanvan—8 years
IX. Brihadratha—7 years

Name of the Brothers of Ashoka
(i) Sumana (ii) Tisya (iii) Vitasoka

(i)    Devi with her full name Vedisa-Mahadevi Sakya Kumari
(ii)    Karuvaki called Dvitiya devi Tivalamata
(iii)    Asandhimitra designated as Agramahisi
(iv)    Padmavati
(v)    Tisyaraksita

(i)    Mahendra (ii) Tivara (iii) Kunala
(iv)    Jalauka mentloned in the Kashmir chronicle.

(i) Sanghamitra (ii) Charumati

(i)   Agnibrahma-Husband of Sanamitra
(ii) Devapala Kshtriya-Husband of charumati

(i)  Dasaratha 
(ii) Samprati 
(iii) Sumana, son of Sangamitra.

Menial staff of the King
(i)  Kanchuka  (ii) Ushnishi  (iii) Kalpaka  (iv) Prasadhaka  (v)  Sanapaka


  • Buddhism was introduced in China in the first century A.D.
  • Buddhism (Mahayana School) was first introduced in Japan in the Seventh century A.D.
  • Prince Shotoku did for Buddhism in Japan, what King Asoka had done for it in India.
  • Buddhist Pitakas: I. Vinaya Pitaka—rules of monastic discipline. II. Adhidhamma Pitaka—Philosophical development of the Buddha’s teachings III. Sutta-Pitaka—Stories of the Buddha’s previous birth (jataka stories).
  • The Buddhists who believed in strict monastic life and rigid disciplinary laws were known as Thera or Sthaviravadins.
  • An Indian Bud-dhist Monk, who went to China in the first century A.D. and translated the Buddhist works in the Chinese language was Nagar-juna.
  • Chaityas were used for religious assemblies and prayers.
  • At Sarnath the earliest example of the Buddhist stupa architecture has been found.
  • Stupa is an architectural term for a mound containing a relic of the Buddha and later on of leading Buddhist saints.
  • A stupa of the Kusana period has been recently discovered at Sanghol.
  • The earliest images of Buddha in human form belong to the Gandhara school.
  • The most beautiful images of the Buddha were carved out in the Gupta School of Art.
  • The richest source of the well-known smooth images of the Buddha in black slate and an extensive series of Buddhist bronzes is Nalanda.
  • The greatest centres of Buddhism in the Deccan were Amravati and Nagarjunikonda.
  • The last great royal patrons of Buddhism were The Palas of Bengal and Bihar.
  • Junnair can be regarded as the largest monastic establishment in Western India(containing 130 caves).
  • The stupa constructed at Bhattiprolu in Southern India is not only the earliest but also a mohastupa enshrining the mortal remains (a bone relic) of the Buddha.
  • The First and the Second Buddhist Councils are known as vinayasamgitis, because both established the Holy Truth and a compilation of the Holy Dhamma.
  • Buddhism acknowledges a permanent entity or an immortal soul, Jainism does not.
  • The stupas of Sanchi and Bharhut are famous for beautiful carvings on their railings and gateways.


  • Born in 540 B.C. or according to some sources 599 B.C. at Kundagrama near Vaisali
  • Siddhartha was his father, Trisala-the mother, Yasoda-the wife and Jameli was the daughter.
  • Attained ‘kaivalya’ at Jrimbhikagrama in eastern India at the age of 42.
  • Died at the age of 72 in 468 B.C. or 527 B.C. at Pavapuri near Rajagriha.
  • He was called Jina or Jitendriya, Nirgrantha, and Mahavira.
  • The names of two Jaina tirthankaras, Rishabha and Arishtanemi, are found in the Rig Veda.
  • The Vishnu Purana and the Bhagavat Purana describe Rishaba as an incarnation of Narayana.
  • The male nude torso discovered from the Indus valley culture has something to do with the itrthankaras.
  • There were twently-four tirthankaras, all Kshatriyas and belonging to the royal family. Parsavanath was the 23rd tirthankara.

                    Court Poets/Scholars and Their Patrons


HarisenaSamudra Gupta
KalidasaChandra Gupta II
AmarsimhaChandra Gupta II
GunadhyaySatavahana king Hala
BhattiSridharasena of Vallabhi
RavikirtiPulkesin II
BhavabhutiYasovarman of Kannauj
BilhanaVikramaditya VI  (Chalukya of Kalyana)
VijnaneshvaraVikramaditya VI
KambanChola kings
NanniahChalukya King
SamdevaPrithviraja III
Hema SarasvatiDurlabha Narayana
ChandrabardaiPrithviraj Chauhan


Way to Nirvana (Three Ratnas)
(i) Right faith (Samyak Uishwas)
(ii) Right knowledge (Samyak Jnan)
(iii) Right conduct (Samyak karma)
Parsvanath is considered to be the actual founder of Jainism.

  • Makkhali Gosala lived with Mahavira during his mendicancy but subsequently left him and became the leader of another Shramana sect.
  • Nirgranthas was the orignial name of the sect led by Mahavira which later came to be popularly known as Jain Nirgranthas.
  • Jrimbhikagrama was the name of the village where Mahavira attained the highest spiritual knowledge (kevalyajnana).
  • Reasons for the gradual decline of Jainism-(I) The assimilative power of Hinduism (II) The destruction of their temples by the foreign invaders and other (III) The influence and popularity of Shaiva and Vaishnava saints in the South.
  • Socio-spiritual difference between Buddhism and Jainism: (I) They differ in their fundamental concept of salvation. (II) Jainism did not oppose the caste system and was more accommodating to Hinduism than Buddhism. (III) Within five hundred years, Buddhism became a world region while Jainism never went outside India.
  • Bhadrabahu was the name of the Jain monk under whose leadership, a large Jain community migrated from Magadha (South Bihar) to Shravanabelagola in Karnataka in the fourth century B.C.
  • Whether or not the monks should wear clothes was the nature of difference between Bhadrabahu and his followers, which led to the split of Jainism into two sects, namely Digambaras and Shvetambaras.
  • The final compilation of Mahavira’s teachings took place during the fifth or sixth century A.D. at Vallabhi.
  • Fourteen Purvas are considered to be oldest texts containing Mahavira’s teachings received by Sthulabhadra at the feet of his guru Bhadrabahu.
  • Twelve Angas were compiled at first jain Council held at Pataliputra in the third century B.C.
  • The followers of Vardhamana Mahavira were known as Nirgranthas, because they had become free from worldly fetters or bonds.
  • Hemchandra is considered to be the greatest of Jain scholars.
  • The greatest Jain scholar Hemchandra was a court Pandit at the court of chalukya Jayasimha Siddharaja.
  • The eleven Gandharas in Jainism were close disciples or apostles of Mahavira.
  • A Jain Tirthankara who is supposed to have been the kinsman of Lord Krishna was Neminatha or Aristanemi.
  • Jain religious texts and their contents—(I) Angas-explain the Jain doctrines through big ends (II) Chheda sutras—explain the rules of discipline of the monastic order (III) Mula sutrasdeal with the basic doctrines of Jainism.
  • The Jains have made important contributions to—(I) Ardha Magadhi (II) Apabhramsha (III) Gujarati and Marathi.
  • Jain art and architecture: (I) Huge statues of Bahubali (Gomatesvara) at Sharavanabelagola (II) Tiger cave at Udayairi (Gomatesvara) at Sharavanabelagola (III) Indra Sabha at Ellora.
  • Jain cave dwellings: (I) Tiger Cave at Udayagiri (II) Indra Sabha at Ellora (III) Sittannavasala Cave at Padukottai.
  • Jainism has derived its metaphysical thoughts from Samkhya Philosophy.
  • Jainism was propagated in South India by Bhadrabahu.
  • A ruling dynasty of the Deccan, which from the eighth to the tenth century A.D., showed a special leaning to Jainism, was Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta.
  • Mahavira attained intuitive knowledge or enlightenment near Parsvanath hills.
  • The great pontiff or saint of Jainism after Mahavira was Sumbhutavijaya.
  • According to Jainism eleven stages or grades of a householder’s life has a person to pass through before he can enter the life of an ascetic or a monk.

Bhagavatism And  Brahmanism

  • The term Bhagavatism basically stands for a sect—(I) Related to the worship of Vasudev Krishna; (II) Related to the worship of non-Vedic deity of the cowherds; (III) Which believed in the Upanishadic philosophy of Advaita.
  • The Pancharatras were basically the worshippers of Narain-Vishnu.
  • The Panch-aratras and Bhagavata  sects both ultimately merged into Vaish-navism.
  • The earliest known Greek follower of Bhagavatism was Heliodorus.
  • The main Bhagavata deity Vasudeva Krishna was a—(I) Warrior God; (II) Philosopher and Preacher; (III) Protector of cattle world.
  • The first mention of sage Krishna, son of Devaki, was made in the Chhandogya Upanishad.
  • The main Bhagavata deity Vasudeva Krishna was identified with the Vedic deity Vishnu and Narayana or Hari.
  • References to Vasudeva Krishna in the Chhandogya Upanishad show that Bhagavatism is as old as Buddhism and Jainism.
  • The traces of the Bhagavata cult found in—(I) Epics (II) Upanishads (III) Puranas.
  • From Megasthenes’ account we know that Bhagavatism first grew up along the Yamuna in Mathura district.
  • Bhagavatism first came into prominence and spread to Western and Central India and the Deccan in Second century B.C.
  • Moral virtues of Bhagavatism-(I) Dana (charity) (II) Arjava (piety) (III) Ahimsa (non- injury).
  • According to Bhagavatism, salvation (mukti)  primarily depends on Prasad (grace of God).
  • One obtains the Grace of God through Bhakti.
  • According to Bhagavata texts a definition of bhakti (devotion) includes—(I) Intense love for God; (II) Most perfect attachment to God; (III) Observances of one’s duties.
  • Unmotivated and selfless devotion is ‘primary devotion’ according to Bhagavatism.
  • Preman is the completion and perfection of devotion (bhakti).
  • Bhagavatism considers bhakti (devotion) as the best means of salvation, better than jnana (knowledge), karma (action) and yoga because unlike devotion, knowledge and actions are motivated by egoism and pride, and cannot activate God’s compassion or grace.
  • Bhagavatism’s attitude towards action—(I) We should not give up action, but we should do our duty without any attachment. (II) We should surrender the fruits of action to God (III) we should live an active life completely dedicated to God.

Points To Be Remembered

  • The earliest example in India of a mosque built wholly in accordance with Muslim ideas was Jammat Khana Masjid.
  • The Indian decorative motifs, eschwed in the Indo-Islamic architecture for being un-Islamic, were human and animal figures.
  • Hindustani music was largely influenced by Arbo-Persian music.
  • The Sultan who was a noted musician and is said to have invented the Khayal was Husain Shah Sharqi of Jaunpur.
  • Hindu astronomers borrowed calculations of lattitude and longitude, some items of calender (zich) and a branch of horoscopy called tazik from Islam.
  • Surdas employed Brijbhasa for his devotional song.
  • Shankardeva popularised the Assamese language.
  • The earliest Vaishnava Bhakti saints from the South were Alvars.
  • Vallabhacharya preached monism (suddha-advaita).
  • “Abide pure admist the impurities of the world; thus shall thou find the way of religion”.—Nanak
  • “Make kindness thy mosque, sincerity thy prayer-carpet, what is just and lawful thy Quran”—Nanak
  • The Chisti order was popular in and around Delhi and the Suhrawardi order was popular in Sind and the Firdausi order was popular in Bihar.
  • “God knows man’s virtues and inquires not his caste; in the next world there is no caste”    —Guru Nanak.
  • Chaitanya was born and died respectively at Navadipa and Puri.
  • The greatest religious reformer and Bhakti saint of medieval Assam was Shankardev.
  • Kabir lived during the reign of Sultan Sikander Lodi.
  • The greatest figure in the history of Sufism in India, who settled in India during the reign of Prithviraj, was Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti.
  • The most lasting and interesitng fusion of the Indo-Islamic culture could be seen in the medival Indian literature.
  • The greatest saint of the Pandharpur movement of Maharashtra (which centers around the shrine of Vithoba—a manifestation of Lord Krishna was Namdev.
  • Guru Nanak did not believe in the regular spiritual exercise.    

Bahmani Succession States

(a) Nizam Shahis of Ahmadnagar (1490-1633)

  • Founded by Malik Ahmad Bahri.
  • Later conquered and annexed by Shah Jahan (1633).

    (b) Adilshahis of Bijapur (1490-1686)

  • Founded by Yusuf Adil Shah.
  • Gol Gumbaj, a tomb with the world’s second largest dome (St. Paul’s church in Rome has the world’s largest dome) was built by one of the Adil Shahi rulers, Muhammad Adil Shah, at Bijapur. It is also famous for the so-called “Wispering Gallery”.
  • It was later conquered and annexed by Aurangzeb (1686).

    (c) Imadshahis of Berar (1490-1574)

  • Founded by Fatullah Khan Imad-ul-Mulk.
  • Later it was conquered and annexed by one of the Nizam Shahi rulers of Ahmadnagar.

    (d) Qutbshahis of Golconda (1518-1687)

  • Founded by Quli Qutbshah (1518-43) who built the famous Golconda fort and made it his capital.
  • Another Qutbshahi ruler, Muhammad Quli Qutbshah, was the greatest of all, and it was he who founded the city of Hyderabad (originally known as “Bhagyanagar” after the name of the Sultan’s favourite, Bhagyamati) and also built the famous Charminar in it.
  • The kingdom was later annexed by Aurangzeb (1687).

    (e) Barid Shahis of Bidar (1528-1619)

  • Founded by Ali Barid.
  • It was later annexed by the Adil Shahis of Bijapur.
Diwan-i-KhalisaIncharge of crown lands
Diwan-i-TanIncharge of jagirs
Daroga-i-Dak ChaukiPostmaster-General
Mir-i-ArzIncharge of petitions
Mir-i-MalIncharge of Privy Purse
Mir-i-TozakIncharge of Ceremonies
Mir BahriIncharge of ships and boats
Mir ManzilIncharge of quarters
Mir AtishHead of artillery (He is also called ‘Daroga-i-Topkhana’)
  • According to Bhagavatism the cause of all human sins is Avidya (ignorance).
  • Bhagavatism has been regarded as a completely democratic religion because it opened the portals of salvation to all irrespective of caste, creed or sex.
  • Vishishtadvaita philosophy was the main offshoot of Bhagavatism.
  • Bhagavatism merged with the Vaishnavism when Vasudeva Krishna was identified with Vedic deity Vishnu.
  • Panchratrikas were those who worshipped Vasudeva in his four-fold uyuha form.
  • The practice of image worship started among the followers of Brahmanism with the emergence of Bhagavatism.
  • After the rise of the heterodox sects like Jainism and Buddhism, Pushyamitra Sunga was the first staunch
  • supporter of orthodox Brahmanical faith and is alleged to have persecuted Buddhists.
  • Features which Bhagavatism shared in common with Buddhism and Jainism: (I) All the three constituted a revolt against the accepted religious creeds of the day; (II) All of them originated in the free atmosphere of independent republican clans, the Shakyas the lichhavis, and the Satvatas; (III) All the three believed in the concept of ahimsa.
  • Heterodox Assertions of Bhagavatism was supported by Buddhism—(I) An open denial of the efficacy of sacrifices and austerities; (II) stopping of the slaughter of animals; (III) One’s caste or occupation was no hindrance to spiritual progress.
  • Siva was non-Vedic or non-Aryan deity because (I) Siva as a deity was unkown to Vedic Aryans; (II) Worship of linga, the chief emblem of Saivism was condemned in the Rigveda; (III) The worship of linga was prevalent in the Harappan period.
  • The non-Aryan god Siva was identified with Maruta.
  • Saivism spread to various Hindi states of South-East Asia, from South India.
  • Saktism centered around the worship of Durga in one of her nine forms.
  • In the Tamil Country Durga was identified with the Tamil goddess Korravai, who was a Tamil Goddess of War and victory.
  • The concept of Trimurti—the Supreme God manifested in the form of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva—was the expression of; (I) The spirit of reconciliation and harmony between orthodox and sectarian forms; (II) Adoption of Vedic and non-Vedic deities into a unified deity.
  • The foreigners, particularly Greeks, were most attracted to Bhagavatism because (I) it opened its portals of bhakti to all (II) Its  appeal was catholic and universal (III) It was truly a democratic religion.


  • The main rivals of the Buddhists were the ajivikas, a body of ascetics who were under a rigorous discipline similar to that of the Jainas, and who also practised complete nudity.
  • Like Mahavira, Gosala Maskariputra looked back to earlier teachers and ascetic groups, whose doctrines he refurbished and developed.
  • According to both Buddhist and Jaina tradition he was of a humble birth; and he died before the Buddha about 487 B.C., after a fierce altercation with Mahavira in the city of Sravasti.
  • One of the sects born in the sixth century B.C., which discarded the theory of karma and argued that ‘man is subject to the laws of nature,’ was Ajivika.
  • The Propounder of the Ajivika sect  was Makkhali gosala.
  • The Vaisheshika school of philosophy believed to have originated from Anuvad (of Pakudha Kaccayana).
  • The followers of ajivika sects worshipped the Asoka tree as God and carried in their hands a bunch of peacock feather.
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