Important Topics: Art and Culture - Hindu Philosophy (BUDDHISM)

Art and Culture


Indian Philosophy

It is dealing with Upnishads, Later Vedic Period, developing and evolving over 2 millennias. There are two types of Schools first is Orthodox (astika) or non-orthodox (nastika), if Veda is an infallible source of knowledge or not.

Six orthodox schools: Nyaya, Veisesika, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva mimansa and Vedanta (also called as Uttar mimansa). The Heterodox are Jain, Buddhist and materialist (Cārvāka).

Then various schools have perished, but some have survived are: Jainism, Buddhism, Shavia and Advaita (part of Vedanta only), while Samkhya and Ajivika did not survived. "Philosopher" is dārśanika, familiar with the systems of philosophyor darśanas. 

So, why these religious movements started to begin with Jainism and Buddhism. There are so many religions and why they were needed. This is the question UPSC asked.

Religious Movements: Superiority of the Brahamins and Vedic rituals became very complicated. Most of literature was written in Sanskrit and it was language of elites and out of understanding of common people. Caste system became extremely rigid, no changes of profession was allowed. Animal killing was prevailing during rituals, they were source of livelihood.

Buddhism (written in Pali Language)

It was started by Gautam Buddha (Siddhartha adn also called as Shakya Muni). Born in 563 BC (some sources say  he was born in 480 BC), Lumbini, Nepal and he got Moksha in Kushinagar, UP. At the age of 29, he left the palace with Chhanna (horse rider of Siddhartha) after encountering old, sick, dead, beggars. So, this event is called as Mahabhinishkraman i.e. The turning of the wheel of the low. Alar Kalam was the first guru of Gautam Buddha, he taught him Upanishads, to treat sorrow by meditation.

Another guru was Rudrak Ramputra, at the age of 35 he attained enlightenment under Peepal tree (peepul) in Bodhgaya, Bihar. In Sarnath (near Varanasi) first sermon was delivered before 5 Brahmins and this is called as Dharamchakrapravartan. Finally at the age of 80 he attained Moksha and it is called as Mahaparinirvana.


Arya Satya (Noble Truth)

  • Dukkha: (Noble Truth of sorrow) - Birth, ageing, diseases, every wish unfulfilled is sorrow.
  • Dukkha Samudya (Noble Truth of origin of sorrows) - Trishna/desires.
  • Dukkha Nirodha: (Noble Truth of stopping sorrow) - Destroy Trishna.
  • Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Paripad: Middle path, Eight fold path, Ashtangika marg.

Ashtangika Marg has eight Samyaks:

  • Samyak Drshti: Right Understanding - Free from superstition and delusion.
  • Samyak Samkalp:  Right Thoughts
  • Samyak Vak: Right Speech, open and truthful.
  • Samyak Karma (Karmank): Right action, Peaceful, honest and pure.
  • Samyak Ajiva: Right livelihood, no danger to any living creature, physically or emotionally.
  • Samyak Vyayama: Right Efforts, Self control and training.
  • Samyak Smirti: Right Mindfulness, Active and watchful mind.
  • Samyak Samadhi: Right concentration, Earnest thought on deep mystery of life.

Gautam Buddha did not believed in:

  • Soul and God
  • Supermacy of Brahmins
  • Authority of Vedas
  • Practice of rituals and sacrifices

Buddhism code of conduct: Don't steal, No violence, No intoxicants, No lies, No corrupt practices.

Triratnas of Buddhism:

  • Buddham: To worship the symbol of Gautam Buddha
  • Dhammam: Doctrines of Gautam Buddha
  • Sangham: Rules and regulations of Sangh where all the monks lived.

Symbols: Pipal tree: Enlightenment, Chakra: Dharmachakrapravartan, Stupa: Mahaparinirvana, Horse: Mahabhinishkraman, Elephant + Lotus: Birth.

Buddhist Councils

First in 483 BC (the year of Moksha), its held under the patronage of Ajatshtru, Mahakashyapa was the president and Rajgriha was the place. The teachings of Gautam Buddha compiled in 2 pitakas, Sutta Pitaka by Anand and Vinay Pitaka by Upali.

  • 100 years hence (in 383 BC): Under the kingship of Kalasoka and president ship of Svakarni/Sarvakamini at Vaishali. So, Buddhism was divided it into Theravada/Sthaviras (Old teaching believers) and Mahasanghika (Liberals), and their third Pitak was also compiled i.e. Abhidhamma Pitak.
  • Then in 250 BC the time of Ashoka the great, under the president ship of Mogaliputta Tissa at Patliputra, to get rid of Sangha of corrupt practices. This was the agenda of third Buddhist council.
  • Fourth Buddhist council happened in 1st Century AD, Kingship of Kalishka, under the president ship of Vasumitra at Kundalvan.

Major Splits in Buddhism:

  • Mahayana: They believed in idol worshiping and God, the great wheel, it was founded by Nagarjuna and it is most prevalent in China and Japan.
  • Hinayana: They are Symbol worshipers, they treated Gautam Buddha as a man, the lesser wheel and believed in old teachings of Gautam Buddha, it is prevalent in South Asia, Sri Lanka, Tibet and Myanmar.

There are two other councils also recently happened:

  • Fist Council: In Mandalay, Myanmar (1871 AD)
  • Sixth Council: In Yangon, Myanmar (2500 anniversary of Gautam Buddha)

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