Religious Movements (Part - 1) UPSC Notes | EduRev

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UPSC : Religious Movements (Part - 1) UPSC Notes | EduRev

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Buddhism

  • 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 Edicts Contents
First Prohibition of animal sacrifices and festive gatherings.
Second Measures of social welfare
Third Respect to Brahmanas
Fourth Courtesy to relatives, elders, consideration for animals.
Fifth Relationship between servants and masters and proper treatment of prisoners.
Sixth Need for efficient organisation of administration.
Seventh Need for tolerance among all religious sects.
Eighth System of Dhamma-yatras
Ninth Attack of meaningless ceremonies and rituals.
Thirteenth Conquest 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

Wives
(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

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

Daughters
(i) Sanghamitra (ii) Charumati

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

Grandsons
(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.
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