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Development of Buddhism & Jainism.

Development of Buddhism & Jainism.

The teachings of Mahavira Swami (died 587 BC) and Gautama
Buddha (623 BC-560BC) formed the basis or two distinct religions
Jainism and Buddhism.
Thanks to the enthusiasm of its followers and royal patronage of kings
like Asoka, Kanishka and Harsha , Buddhism blossomed, flourished
and spread tar and wide and even crossed the shores of India and found
still greater following and acceptance out of the country of its birth in
countries like china, Japan, Tibet, Shri-Lanka, Burma etc.
The learned messengers like Nagarjuna, Ashwaghosha. contributed
immensely to its growth and spread the same, however, cannot be said
about Jainism.
May be perhaps due to its stress on slightly tough principles like Tapa.
Keshlunchan, Nudity, and total Ahimsa. It could not find that much

Development of Buddhism
By the end of the 6th century BC king Bimbisar (544BC-493BC) of
Magadha Dynasty and his son Ajatshatru (493BC- 462BC), ruling from
Patliputra had established the first great empire in India by extending
their reign over most of the Ganges basin.
The power of Magadha was not seriously impaired in spite of the fact
that the successors of Ajatshatru were not so strong. They could not
further expand the empire. However, its foundations remained intact to
the advantage of its successive usurpers Mahapadma Nanda (364324BC) and Chandragupta Maurya to build upon in the following century.
Backed by a sound economy and efficient administration the Mauryas
consolidated their control over the whole of North India.
Chandragupta's son Bindusar further extended Mauryan control and
carried it into Deccan.
His grandson, Asoka (270- 232BC) fought many battles and further
expanded the empire to cover present day Orissa and Andhra Pradesh

Buddhism might have remained just another intellectual system

of Aryan world had it not been adopted as state law and modern
order under Ashoka ( 272-231 BCE) , the most famous Mauryan
After a particular brutal battle , Asoka lost faith in the traditional
Aryan order and after more than a year consultation with various
philosophers , decided to convert to Buddhism.
Asoka was not the first Mauryan leader to

be interested in

Buddhism . At the end of his life , Chandragupta Maurya ,

founder of thee Mauryan dynasty abdicated his throne and
became a Jain ascetic.
His son Bindusara ( 298-272 BCE) became a follower of even
more ascetic movement called as Ajivikas.

The ascetic interest of these rulers derived from the fact that they
were not born into the Aryan ( warrior Kshatriya caste), but were
low caste upstarts who became Kshatriya after sizing the
Magadha throne.
The difference between Asoka and predecessors was that
he adapted Buddhist teachings into a new moral and
social order for his empire that he called dhamma ( means
In essence Buddhism became a state religion.
Ashoka conquered Kalinga (modern day Orissa and part of
Andhra) and established close relations with , if not direct rule
over , the Chola , Pandya and Chera empires in the south.
Asoka is credited with having disinterred the remains of
Buddha from their original ten Stupas for redistribution
and reinstatement in new Stupas throughout his empire.
It is believed that Eighty four thousand stupas were built
during this period. During this reign pillars (Stambha)


Buddhism gave impetus to the development of architecture

art and

craft .
Buddhist monks lived and prayed in Viharas and Chaityas but in rocks
of the distant mountains away from the hustle and bustle of crowded &
heavily populated urban and rural centers
They created rock cut architecture in the form of rock cut caves
which in turn developed the interest of masses in Buddhism. made it
more popular and thereby contributed to its growth and consolidation .
To propagate Buddhism they (Mauryan) erected stone and iron pillars
with religious messages inscribed on them at various places.
Various stupas were built to commemorate Bodhisattva and
Buddhacharyas at various places like Sanchi (MP), Amravati (AP).
Takshashila (now in Pakistan). Bharhut (MP). Piprawa (Basti
disstt. UP).
On their Torans Dwaras important incidences of their life is inscribed.



A new architectural style emerged on the account of artistic oronation
of various Buddha Viharas , Stambha and monuments (e.g. Mathura
style and Gandhara style).
The art and architecture of those times developed and manifested in
seven important forms.
1. Edicts inscribed on rocks.
2. Stupas.
3. Monolithic pillars.
4. Monolithic accessories to shrines.
5. Castles and places.
6. Rock cut chambers.
7. Buddhist Monasteries.

According to Megasthenies (Indica) , Patliputra

was situated on the confluence of rivers Ganga
and Sone.
The city was laid in a shape of a parallelogram
, which was nine and a half mile long and two
( 1 mile = 1.60 km).
The enclosure all around the city was made up
of timber , which had 570 bastions and 64
The rampart had fenestrations to facilitate
shooting arrows and other weapons .
There was a moat in the front which was 600 ft
wide and 30 ft deep.
The city had a royal palace ( described as
most beautiful one in the world).
The columns of the palace were decorated
with golden creepers. And chirping silver birds
as described by the Chinese traveler Pha-Hean.


, Arthashastra has given





The Ashokan pillars are of great artistic value.

Boldly designed , finely proportioned and
conceptually balanced defining their purpose.
The purpose was solely monumental as they
are free standing pillars not a part of any
architectural composition.
The two portions of the monuments which
together average 7 ft. In height are in one
piece of stone while the shaft and the column
consist of another separate piece.
The two pieces are joined together by a copper
bolt accurately fitted into the tenon made for it
without use of any cement.
Pha heyan spotted six whereas Huen T sang
spotted twelve such pillars .It seems that out of
those mentioned by them some have since
The pillars were found at
1. Sansika.
2. Vaishali.
3. Snchi.
Sarnath , Lion Cpital
4. Rampurva
Kosamdetails - Reference