Ancient India - Short Essay

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 884
  • Published : April 21, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Buddhism started in ancient India, before the spread to the world .Buddhism was found by Siddhartha Gautama (c. 563-483 BC), a northern Indian aristocrat who was troubled by questions concerning the meaning of life and the existence of suffering and death in the world. In his late twenties, Gautama then abandoned his wife and family and a cloistered life of luxury and set out to find answers to his questions using the traditional Hindu methods of self-denial and meditation. His quest lasted six years and involved philosophic meditation and the most extreme forms of asceticism, or bodily self denial. Then, while seated under a sacred fig tree, he had a moment of illumination in which he understood the reasons behind human suffering and a means to overcome them. At this moment, he became Buddha, or "the Enlightened One." Having achieved this state of enlightenment, Buddha then became an itinerant teacher in the north of India. Within a brief period of time, he had a large body of converts. India has a very strict social system, that is the Caste system, which is still used in India now . Caste is a term, which is used to specify a group of people having a specific social rank and dates back to 1200 BCE. The Indian term for caste is Jati, and generally designates a group that can vary in size from a handful to many thousands. There are thousands of Jatis each with its own rules and customs. The various Jatis are traditionally arranged in hierarchical order and fit into one of the four basic varnas the (Sanskrit word for “colors”). The varna of Brahmans, commonly identified with priests and the learned class .The varna of Kshatriyas, associated with rulers and warriors including property owners.The varna of Vaishyas, associated with commercial livelihoods (i.e. traders) .The varna of Shudras, the servile laborers . The varna of Brahmans, commonly identified with priests and the learned class .The varna of Kshatriyas, associated with rulers and warriors...
tracking img