Where And How Buddhism Originated

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Where And How Buddhism Originated
Where And How Buddhism Originated

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Video: Buddhism | World History | Khan Academy 2023, February

Since ancient times, religion has played an important role in the life of a person and society. Buddhism is the oldest of the world's religions. Buddhism originated in the 4th century BC. Christianity appeared only 5 centuries later, and Islam 12 centuries later. Buddhism has played and continues to play an important role in the history of Asia.

Where and how Buddhism originated
Where and how Buddhism originated

The origin of Buddhism

Historically, it is believed that the birthplace of Buddhism is the Ganges River Valley, one of the most developed parts of Ancient India. In the IV century. BC. on the territory of ancient India, there were many disparate warring states. The most influential religion was Brahmanism, where the priests were the dominant force. Brahmanism did not contribute to the strengthening of secular power, on the contrary, it was in conflict with it. According to the cult practice of Brahmanism, the society was divided into estates. The priests belonged to the upper class. The rest of the classes (they included warriors, merchants and sudras) were much lower in position than the priests.

To strengthen state power and increase the authority of kings and warriors, a new religion was chosen - Buddhism. This religion did not recognize the ritual sacrifices of the Brahmins, it was in opposition to the faith of the priests. Buddhism was the first of the religions to recognize a person not as a member of a certain class, but as an individual. To achieve the highest spiritual perfection, only the merits of a person are important. In the middle of the 1st millennium, against the background of the state crisis in Ancient India, many people appeared without property. It was among these ascetics that a new religion was born, which promises deliverance from suffering by giving up desires and achieving nirvana.

Founder of Buddhism

It is believed that the founder of this religious and philosophical doctrine is the prince Gautama Siddharta. The prince had a cloudless childhood and youth. After meeting with a seriously ill person, a corpse and an ascetic, the shocked Gautama decided to go into a hermit and look for ways to save people from suffering. Gautama practiced asceticism for 6 years. But he failed to achieve insight in this way.

After recuperating, Gautama found a secluded spot under a tree. Gautama Siddharta plunged into contemplation, where the highest truth - Dharma - was revealed to him. At the age of 35, Gautama Siddharta attained Enlightenment. It was after this that they began to call him Buddha, which means "the Enlightened One." For the rest of his life, the Buddha traveled through the Central Valley of the Ganges teaching his disciples. After the death of Buddha, followers formed many different currents of early Buddhism.

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