Essay Ancient Religions of India

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Ancient India was influenced by three major religions which were developed in the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is the oldest of the three and is said to be the oldest living major religion in the world. The other two major religions were Jainism and Buddhism which were established around the same period. Each of these three religions had something to offer the people of India. These religions also have some concepts that are alike while also having major key differences. Each of these religions developed a way of life that has survived through the centuries until today.
Hinduism was formally known as the old Brahmanic religion or Brahmanism. Brahmanism has no single founder but can be traced back to the late Neolithic in the early
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If one had more bad karma then they would be reincarnated worse future lives, even as animals or rocks (McKay, p 36). A person who was released from samsara were said to have achieved moksha which is the release from the cycle of death and rebirth. With these tenets in place, it allowed for those in power to have those of lower classes labor peacefully in hope of a better lot in the next life (McKay, p 36). This kept the power structure always in play.
Jainism built off concepts from Hinduism and developed them in new ways as well as added new ones. One of the first historically recorded figures for Jainism is Vardhamana Mahavira who developed and spread the concepts of Jainism. He had a disciplined order of monks and many followers which helped spread the religion (McKay, p 37). One of the first tenets of Jainism is karma. Karma in Jainism is an unseen and complex type of matter with which the soul is enmeshed or bound to (McKay, p 37). The more attachments and aversions one has to things on earth, the further bonded with karma one would become. This accumulation of karmas holds the person longer in the cycles of birth and death called samsarin.
In order for a person to attain moksha through Jainism, they had to follow ethical principles called Mahavrata or "Great Vows". These vows were Non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possession or non-materialism. The

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