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Development of Buddhism and Hinduism in Asia

Development of Buddhism and Hinduism - Below is a summary of the article development of buddhism and hinduism in Asia. This summary is intended to facilitate the search for answers to articles related to Hindhu Buddhist times. Detailed learning about prehistoric times can be read in the article : Development of Hindhu Buddhist religion and culture in Sout Asia

Relation betweeen Nusantara people and Hindu-Buddhist merchants or followers had developed before the foundation of the first Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms.

One of the characteristics of Dravidians was that they tended to defend their territory wile developing a civilization, whereas Aryans, with the advantage of their body build, preferred to conquer other areas, control and change the culture of the people they had conquered.

To maintain their image, the Aryans, who considered themselves better than the Dravidians, made rules which bound followers of Hinduism in order to prevent their race from mixing with the Dravidians.

The rules gradually developed into something that strongly bound the followers of Hinduism, resulting in what was then called "castes" which had to be obeyed. The castes consisted of brahmana, Khasatrya, Vaisya, and Sudra. Those who did not obey the rules were excluded from the system and were considered contemptible. This group was called "Pariah".

To be seen as a highly civillized race, the Aryans wrote several books such as Ramayana and Mahabarata which told about their wars against dreadful, dark-skinned people with long fangs, and what they meant was obviously the Dravidians.

The essence of Hindu teachings is that life in this world is a suffering (samsara) because of bad conducts in the previous life (karma). Humans can be reincarnated to improve themselves.

Hinduism worships many gods and goddesses (polytheism), such as Agni (god of ire), Bayu (God of the wind), Surya (God of the sun), and Chandra (God of the moon).

Buddhism was founded by Sidharta, the son of King Suddhodana from Kapilavastu, Sidharta was known as Buddha Gautama or Sakyamuni.

Initially, Buddhism was not a religion, it was only a sect of Hinduism which was born out of dislike of the privileges of the Brahmanas.

Four places which are considered sacred by Buddhist people are Lumbini Park, Bodhgaya, Benares, and Kusinagara.

Followers of Buddhism that live like this Buddha are called 'rahib' or monks. Male Buddhist monks are called Biksu, and female Buddhist monks are called Biksuni. Buddhist people who live like ordinary people are called Ummah.

Buddhism is based on the guidelines in Tripitaka book which was written in Pali language, the daily language of the whole society. Therefore, everybody can read Tripitaka.

Buddhist teachings are summarized in the Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhism is monotheistic, in that it believes in one God. Buddhists who believe in many gods are influenced by local beliefs.

Hinduism developed from north India to central and south India, for instance Amarawati and Tamiralipti. From these two regions, it spread to Srilanka, south China, and kingdoms in Southeast Asia.

Buddhism developed fast when King Ashoka of Magadha who was cruel and a warmonger repented and professed Buddhism. With his power, he spread Buddhism to various regios in the west, such as Egypt, Greece, and Syria, and also to the eastern regions such as Srilanka, Tibet, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Buddhism developed well in Southeast Asia. It developed fast in Indonesia during the period of Ho-ling and Sriwijaya kingdoms. Nowadays, there are many countries in Southeast Asia where most of the people profess Buddhism such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viatnam.

Relation between Nusantara and India was also known from information in the books of Jataka and Ramayana which mentioned islands called Svarnabhumi or Svarnadvipa and Javadvipa. Svarnabhumi or Svarnadvipa and Javadvipa are Sumatera and Java.

The development of Hinduism and Buddhism in Indonesia was not only the work done by Hindu priests and Buddhist monks from India but there were also many Indonesians who studied the religions in India and then spread them in Nusantara.

The Indian culture learned by young Indonesians was processed in such a way that a combination of two cultures was then produced.

Not all Hindu-Buddhist elements were adopted by people of Nusantara because they also had local genius, that means the ability of a society to screen and process and incoming foreign culture and adapt it to local taste.

Several hypotheses concerning the arrival of Hinduism in Indonesia were proposed and supported by a number of scientists, for example the Brahmana hypothesis was supported by J.C. Van Luer, Kshatrya hypotheses was supported by C.C. Berg, Vaisya hypothesis was supported by N.J. Korn, and Backflow hypotheses was proposed by F.D.K. Bosh.

Some kingdoms appeared in Nusantara after the arrival and development of hinduism and Buddhism. Some of the Hindu kingdoms were Kutai, Tarumanegara, Kanjuruhan, Kediri, Bali, and Sunda. The Buddhist kingdoms were Ho-ling, Sriwijaya, and Malay, Singasari, Mataram and Majapahit were kingdoms that recognized the existence of Hinduism and Buddhism.

The region in Indonesia which were not influenced by Hindu-Buddhist elements were Maluku and the surroundings, islands in Nusa Tenggaraand Papua. This was because the east part of Nusantara was not located in the path of international trade and considered too far to reach in that time.

The spread of Hinduism-Buddhism in Indonesia was closely related to trade. This was evident from the fact that the areas which were not located on trade routes were not influenced by Hinduism-Buddhism.

  • Agrarian is : agriculture or concentrating more on agriculture.
  • Angkor wat is : place of worship for Hindu people in Cambodia which is the largest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia, even in the world.
  • Angkor Thom is : place of worship for Buddhis people Cambodia, an inheritance from King Jayawarman VII.
  • Animism is : relief in the spirits of ancestors.
  • Aryan is : people originating from Central Asia who then spread to Mesopotamia, Europe, and India. Thre physical characteristics are fair skin, pointed nose straight hair, and large build.
  • Ashoka is : King of Magadha who was notorious for his cruelty and warmonger attitude, but then he repented and became a follower and propagator of Buddha to some parts of the world.
  • Ayuthia is : a kingdom in Thailand that built hundreds of wats (temples) of pagodas in Thonburi (Bangkok).
  • Biksu is : male Buddhist monk.
  • Biksuni is : female Buddhist monk.
  • Bodhgaya is : place where Sidharta received the great enlightenment.
  • Brahmana is : groups or caste in Hinduism that has the highestposition and privileges in carrying out religious rituals and obtaining knowledge and science.
  • Brahmanism is : principle or belief in the brahmanas as people who are skillful in carrying religious ceremonies.
  • Buddhism is : a new concept developing from Hinduism but it is more pratical, does not recognize castes and can be implemented by all people.
  • Caste is : stratification in Hindu society that divides people into strata based on their livelihood or profession.
  • Dalai (Dalai Lama) is : the title for Buddhist leader in Tibet, the title Dalai which means ocean was given by a Mongolian prince to honour the saint.
  • Dynamism is : belief in objects which have super natural power, or magic power.
  • Dravidian is : native people of India who had defensive character, did not like to make wars but had the ability to create and develop a culture or civilization.
  • Inscriptions is : a written remain of the past that is normally carved on a stone or stone charter. An inscription usually contains important information relating to aking or a kingdom.
  • Javadvipa is : the name used for Java which was written in the book of Ramayana.
  • Karma is : the effect experienced by a person in his/her life that is due to his/her bad deeds in the previous life.
  • Temple is : place of worship for Hindu people in which there is a statue of a god they believe in, for example a statue of Shiva or Vishnu.
  • Kshatrya is : a caste in Hindu society that has a high position under the brahmana and has the right to manage the government, be government officials and soldiers.
  • Local Genius is : ability of a society to screen and process incoming foreign cultures to be adapted to the local taste.
  • Maritime is : related to the sea, or stresses on the sea sector.
  • Montheism is : belief in one God or god.
  • Moksha is : Hindu teaching describing a condition in which one is released from life in the world that is transitory, miserable or full of sufferings.
  • Ahoka Hell is : the prison built by King Ashoka for prisoners of war in which tortures were conducted to those who resisted Ashoka.
  • Nirvana is : heaven for Hindu People, provided for those who have reached moksha.
  • Nusantara is : region consisting of islands that is located between two oceans -the Pacific and Indian oceans, and between two continents - Asia and Australia.
  • Pagoda is : Place of worship for Buddhist people that is built in Japan, Thailand and the neighbouring areas.
  • Pariah is : a caste in Hindu society that is regarded as contemptible and it has no rights in the society because of having done things that are dirty, especially to the Aryans. An example of a dirty thing is a cross marriage between an Aryan and a Dravidian.
  • Polytheism is : belief in manu Gods or gods, for example Hinduism.
  • Monk is : disciple of Buddha who lives like the Buddha.
  • Reincarnation is : a chance for a human to be reborn to the world in order to improve his/her life better than the previous life, though he/she may be reborn as a lower creature.
  • Samsara is : misery of life in the world that is full of hardship.
  • Sangha is : specific community in which Buddhist monks (biksu and biksuni) live.
  • Sudra is : a group of people in Hinduism who work as crafismen, housemaids, or skilled labourers. Most of them come from Dravidian communities.
  • Shukotai is : a kingdom in Thailand that built hunreds of wats (temples) or pagodas at Thonburi (Bangkok) in cooperation with Ayuthia kingdom.
  • Avarnabhumi/Svarnadvipa is : name used to refer to Sumatera that was written in Jataka book, meaning a country full of gold.
  • Tripitaka is : holy book of Buddhism, it means "There Baskets" because the guidance or directives of live originating from Buddha was originally written on palm leaves which were then kept in baskets.
  • Ummah is : followers of Buddhism who retain their daily livelihoods.
  • Veda is : the holy book of Hinduism, the word comes from Sanskrit that means knowledge. The collection of knowledge in Veda came from Sang Hyang Vidhi Vasha (God). Veda is a collection of God's revelations.
  • Vesak is : Buddhist holy day on which the events experienced by Buddha were commemorated - the birth, great enlightenment, and death which happened on the same date.
  • Vaisya is : calss of people in Hinduism who work as farmers or merchants. The members of this caste come from both Dravidians and Aryans.
  • Vihara is : place of worship for Buddhist people that is equipped with dormitories.
  • Yupa is : written inheritance of a kingdom engraved on stone columns.
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