Jainism & Buddhism: Cause of Origin

Ritualistic Dominion of Brahamanas

  • Kshatriya reacted strongly against the ritualistic dominion of brahamanas & vernas based on birth.
  • Verdhaman Mahavira & Gautama Buddha both belonged to Kshatriya clan & disputed the authority of brahamanas.


Rise of new Agriculture Economy

  • Real reason was rise of new agriculture economy in north India which was based on iron ploughshare
  • Required the use of bullocks & cattles & could not flourish without animal husbandry.
  • But Vedic practices of killing cattles in sacrifice led to decimation of cattle wealth, against which both Jainism & Buddhism spoke & propagated the idea of ahimsa.

Jainism & Buddhism

Punch Marked Coins

Earliest coins belonged to 500 BC & are known as punch marked coins, 1st used by Vaishyas / Traders. Use of punch marked coins facilitated trade & commerce, which added to importance of Vaishyas as such. Vaishyas were ranked 3rd in verna system & were eager to improve their position, hence extended generous support to Buddhism & Jainism along with the following reasons:

  • Both were not biased towards any verna system
  • Both Preached the gospel of non-violence, which would put an end to the war b/w kingdoms & consequently will promote trade & commerce
  • Brahmanical law book “Dharamsutras” decried lending money on interest & a person who live on interest were not held in esteem by them, hence they were eager to improve their position.


New Way of life

A strong reaction by common people against use of coins, private properties, new dwellings, new dresses, new system of transport & luxury; Hence common people yearned to go back to primitive ways of life hence supported Buddhism & Jainism which

  • preferred simple, Puritan & ascetic living & asked people to forgo all good things in life
  • were not allowed to touch gold & silver & were to accept as much to keep their body & soul together.
India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017

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