WHAT FACTORS LED TO THE SPREAD OF BUDDHISM AND CHRISTIANITY IN PARTICULAR, WHAT WAS THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENTS IN THIS SPREAD - Research Paper Example

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Initiating in Northern India, Buddhism began to spread southwards till Srilanka and spread as far as Burma, Indo China, other south East Asian countries and even Thailand. In the north, Buddhism spread towards the Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal and also encompassed areas such as…
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WHAT FACTORS LED TO THE SPREAD OF BUDDHISM AND CHRISTIANITY IN PARTICULAR, WHAT WAS THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENTS IN THIS SPREAD
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Download file to see previous pages The ethnocentric attitude of the elite class of the Hindu society made a pavement for the Buddha’s teachings to penetrate into the society and provide a new paradigm for their religion. The teachings of Buddha proved to be very appealing for the population and the religious concepts seemed realistic too. Another important reason for the popularity of Buddhism is that, the Buddhists preached in local language.
Buddha also tried to be conspicuous to the people by making monasteries (Sangha).A religion that made distinction between the classes only on the basis of piety was really attractive for the lower socioeconomic class of the Hindus.The Buddhist monks led simple lives that were characterised by simple clothing, simple food and pure emphasis on meditation made the people realise that this religion was more suited to their lives than their own religion (Saunders, 1923).
The Buddhist monks targeted the deprived of the society and gave him the hope of a better standard of living. They even tried to please the travellers who travelled on the routes on which, these monasteries lied. The travellers in return gave them lots of donations,
Another major power wielder who purported the cause of the Buddhist was King Bimbisara of Magadha. With his 52 year rule and a strong army as well as an expansionist approach, the king proved to be real help for the Buddhist expansion. He understood the message of Buddha and became a convert. At one instance he also offered half of his kingdom to the Buddhists. Bimbisara also became a true aid of Buddha and used to advise him on important issues.
In China, the emperor Ming-Ti got impressed by the new religion. He officially worked for understanding the religion and coaxed the court to support the Buddhist religion. Also the Chinese policy of moving conquered territory also proved beneficial for the Buddhists.
Hence, there are two major reasons for the spread of Buddhism, the target ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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