Brief notes on Jainism and Buddhism during the 6th Century B.C

The sixth century B.C. was a period of great religious upheaval. Reformers all over the world protested against the existing social and religious evils and attempted to reconstruct a new socio- religious order. Confucius in China, Zoroaster in Iran and Permanides in Greece brought about social and religious awakening.

In India, were two luminaries-Mahavir who founded Jainism and Gautam Buddha who gave birth to Buddhism. Both these leaders infused new life into the old and shattered society. They protested against tyranny of the priests, the ritualistic form of religion, the brutality of caste, the dominance of Brahmins, etc.

They advocated social equality, justice and freedom, for men women; rejected the Vedas and the Vedic rituals; denounced sacrifices and propagated the doctrines of non-violence, non-accumulation and love.

Both these religions were only a new reformed form of Hinduism they had a common background of Aryan culture and were motivated by the philosophy of the Upanishads. Their ideas about karma, soul, rebirth, moksha aliimsa, etc. had been inspired by the Upanishads. Eventually both these assumed separate identities.