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Question – Discuss the contribution of Buddhism in the history of India. – 5 April
Although Buddhism disappeared from India, it still had a profound impact on the culture of its birthplace i.e.India.
Contribution of Buddhism to the history of India:
- Buddhism provided the society with a popular religion, which did not require redundant rules and rituals and priests. Buddhism greatly appealed to the people on account of its simplicity; emotional element, easy ethical code, the use of vernacular language and the methods of teaching
- The teachings and doctrines of Buddhism were written in Pali language, which led to the development of Pali language and literature.
- The system of Buddhism was based on the democratic system. Its elements were adopted in Hindu monasteries and later in governance. Buddhism imported various good qualities like compassion, nonviolence and truth.
- Buddhism contributed significantly in raising the moral standard of the common man, it developed a feeling of virtue and moral in the life of the people.
- The influence of Buddhism led to the development of logic in Indian philosophy. The Sunyavada and Vijnanavada of Buddhism had a profound impact on Shankaracharya’s philosophy that is why Shankaracharya is also known as the “Prachanna Buddha”.
- Buddhism introduced the ideal of non-violence, peace, fraternity, co-existence etc. in the country.
- Buddhism contributed significantly to the development of Indian art and architecture. Buddhist art and sculpture developed with the spread of Buddhism. Numerous stupas, chaityas, pillars and statues were constructed. A large number of sculptures of Buddha and Bodhisattavas came to be built according to the Gandhara and Mathura school of art.
Thus, Buddhism had a multifaceted influence on the culture of India. It enriched the religion, art, sculpture, language and literature of India. It also provided an option to establish peace and equality in a Varna-divided society.