• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Emergence Of The Buddha

Extracts from this document...


Emma Tingey Homework - 26th October 2007 A). Outline the social, political and religious background from which Buddhism emerged. (10) Buddhism is one of the major religious traditions of the human race today. Buddhism was influenced by many different cultures over the thousands of years. This essay will outline the social, political and religious issues surrounding the background and the emergence of Buddhism in Indian Society. "In the 1920's archaeological excavations of the ancient cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa in North West India revealed the existence of an urban civilisation. This is called the Indus Valley Civilisation." (Buddhism Dominique Side) The background from which the Buddha emerged from stretched as far back as C2700 in a place called the Indus Valley. This was the first sign of civilisation to live on the Indian subcontinent. People were attracted to the Indus Valley because of the of the River Indus. The River provided a good source of vegetation; there was also flat land, stones and trees. The Indus Valley was an Egalitarian society, which meant that everybody living inside the society were all equal and they worshipped both Gods and Goddesses. They believed and worshiped in Brahman, who they believed was the most looked up to and modest God. Archaeologists found statues with engraved scriptures of Gods and Goddesses on; the finding of these pots is where it is believed that the Religion began, although there were never any findings of temples to prove this. ...read more.


Women now did not have any power; men now did everything, women were now considered inferior to men. As a belief in the caste system, you were only allowed to marry within your level of the caste system. The political organisation was hierarchical and centralised. Kingdoms varied in size and kings were no more than village leaders. Some people believe that Hinduism began with the Indo-Aryans, while others believe that it began with the Indus population. Hinduism has no founder and no single moment of beginning. The emergence of Buddhism was now falling into place. Hinduism is the largest religion of India. The religion is based on prayers and believes in many gods and goddesses. However, one God named Brahman was more significant than the others. There were special priests known as Brahmin who were used to help you worship this special God, they helped to channel people's faith. Asceticism defined as the practice of self-disciple, voluntary undertaken, in order to achieve a higher or spiritual ideal began. People didn't agree with Brahman priests, they wanted to live a simple life in the forest. Hinduism also believes in reincarnation, this is rebirth - the cycle of life. It consists of Birth, Life, Death and Rebirth; you undergo the cycle over and over again. It is thought that if you live a good life you will be born into a better caste in your next life. You will achieve good karma if you do your duty well which is determined by the caste you are born into. ...read more.


When you have tried it out it could make you a better person or takes you nearer to your spiritual goal. Siddhartha Gautama did turn his back on the previous teachings are the Caste system; the Caste system was a very important part of the social and religious life within India and Hinduism. When Prince Siddhartha went to find enlightenment he forgot all about the ideas of the caste system even though he was born into a good Varna. The Buddha's invitation was to come and see for yourself, join him in his meditation to reach Nirvana. The Buddha wanted to get out of the cycle of; life, death and rebirth and be enlightened to discover a new life. He didn't completely want to get rid of rebirth; he wanted to incorporate it into Buddhism. He believed in renunciation, which is what the ascetics believed in. They renounced with the Buddha to the forest. They gave up there existence. The Buddha did not want to pray to Brahman anymore, he wanted to break away from the priestly religion and become personal. Men and women both did this. Personal is being spiritual instead of Religious. The Buddha also incorporated Karma into Buddhism because it's still the action needed for rebirth. He couldn't change that. He did turn his back on the caste system though as it was seen as a social class factor and not needed for the religion, as everyone was equal for him. The economic developments destabilised the Brahminical order. Prince Siddhartha still believed in the ideas of rebirth and the cycle of life, but came up with a way of escaping the circle. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Buddhism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Buddhism essays

  1. Today is a result of yesterday, tomorrow is a result of today.(TM) To what ...

    Actions characterised by its opposite (akusala-kamma) lead to sorrow. This would thus infer that if actions result in happiness or sorrow, all actions of the past affect tomorrow. In Buddhism, ethical behaviour is ultimately dependent on the mind and not on the body. On the basis of the Buddha's advice, Buddhism has developed into many various

  2. Buddha was a religious innovator Assess this view. I will be discussing whether Buddha ...

    Buddhists believe this, but with karma instead of heat- that is, they believe it is our karma that causes rebirth time after time. Buddha also made it clear that equality was an important part of Buddhism since we could be reborn as anything- poor man or a king- we are all the same.

  1. The Life of the Buddha.

    Hence this was because he had discovered 'neither had given him real satisfaction.'4 Now, in spite of this departure, Siddhatha was determined to reach enlightenment, in such a way, that he sat under a Bodhi tree (pipal tree) determined to sit until he had reached divine reality and knowledge.

  2. Buddhism - : Training the mind properly is more important than acting correctly Do ...

    Also, this rule means that you should believe that nothing lasts forever (annica), so that if you lose anything you won't sorrow over the loss of anything (dukkha). If you follow this rule you will automatically follow the rules for actions (right action, right speech, and right living).

  1. Comparing Gotma to Siddhartha, why did Siddhartha reach his goal and not Gotma?

    So we are a part of that, apart of everything. Rebirth is made within yourself and what you choose to change. Siddhartha experienced many lifestyles all of which he learned from and his decisions to move forward and change was his renewal.

  2. Determination of Human Behaviours and The Metamorphosis

    Gregor observes that his family becomes too busy to pay attention to one another as they acquire "dehumanizing" jobs (ClassNotes on Metamorphosis, "Chapter 3 Analysis"). The father serves clerks; his sister obeys customers, while his mother sacrifices "herself to underwears of strangers" (42).

  1. A discussion of the Buddhist beliefs about Buddha and Christian beliefs about Christ

    Although some Christians may believe in every aspect of Jesus' birth, I believe that the truth has been embellished to increase the symbolism in the story. The story of Siddhartha's birth may also hold some truth as the Queen Maya may have had a caesarean, and this was exaggerated to signify the importance of the Buddha.

  2. Buddhism. Many aspects of the belief system represent notions of continuity and change ...

    As well as this, there is also the slightly smaller Vajrayana variant, most prominent in Tibet. This variant is known as Tantric Buddhism, referring to the application of Buddha?s teachings in regards to unique explanations and meditation techniques used by Vajrayana Buddhists[4].

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work