The sixth century BC saw the emergence of thinkers such as Zoroaster in Persia, Confucius in China, and Mahavira and Gautam Buddha in India. In this article, we have written the main causes responsible for the decline of Jainism and Buddhism in India.
Decline of Jainism and Buddhism
The causes responsible for the decline of Jainism and Buddhism are as follows
Decline of Jainism
- Some principles of Jainism were extremely difficult to follow. The theory on non-violence extended even to the insects and germs which was not possible for every person to follow. Similarly, the theory of ahimsa extended even to the wearing of clothes.
- Jainism did not spread to foreign countries.
- Later, even in India, because of the patronage given to Buddhism by Ashoka, Harsha, and Kanishka, the spread of Jainism was restricted.
- The revival of Hinduism in the Gupta Period led to a further decline in Jainism, and it was restricted to only a few parts of the country.
Decline of Buddhism
- One of the reasons for the decline in Buddhism was the spilled of the religion into the two major sects of Mahayana and Hinayana.
- There was the revival of Hinduism during the Gupta Period. Buddhism no longer remained a state religion. The Rajputs of Rajasthan were warlike people and could not follow the policy of ahimsa. Thus, the lack of royal patronage brought an end to Buddhism.
- Gradually, corruption crept into the sanghas. Because Buddhism was patronized by the rulers, there was an influx of money into the sanghas. The monks and the nuns began to live a luxurious life which resulted in the decay of spirituality among its members.
- From the 8th century AD onwards, there were Turkish invasions in the country which dealt a great blow to Buddhism. Many monasteries were destroyed and plundered. Buddhist monks were killed in large numbers.
- The invaders also destroyed the universities of Nalanda and Taxila. These universities were razed to the ground, and Buddhists books and documents in their libraries were burnt. Many Buddhists monks flew to the neighboring countries such as Nepal and Tibet.
- All the above reasons led to the decline in Buddhism in India.
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Life of Gautam Buddha: Buddha was born in 563 BC at Lumbini near Kapilavastu in Nepal. His father was the ruler of Kapilavastu. Buddha was inclined towards spiritual pursuits since his childhood.