We will write a custom Essay on Islam and Hinduism Development in India specifically for you
301 certified writers online
India is recognized as the origin of four main religions. These are Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. There are various reasons that led to the flourishing of Hinduism and Islam in the country while Christianity and Buddhism took a beating in the country. The latter two have a small following in India.
Why Islam and Hinduism flourished in India
Hinduism is considered supple, private and a way of life. One requires renouncing the worldly things to achieve Godhood. The religion allows individuals to worship diverse gods. Each of these gods symbolizes a particular aspect of nature. As the Indian population modernized, they gradually comprehended the actual meaning of the ‘Vedas’. Subsequently, they moved to henotheism and monotheism. They became entrenched into monism-advaita-non-dualism as the center. Unfortunately, for Buddhism, it came into the Indian arena when Ritualistic approach to spirituality had become unbearable. There was no regard for Gnana-Kanda-Path of understanding. Intense confusion concerning the system of reverence and internecine disputes became common, founded on spiritual beliefs (Ramani 1).
The many weaknesses that existed in Buddhism saw many people revert to Hinduism. The branching of the religion from a single school of thought further weakened the religion. It pronged into a variety of sects including Mahayana. In addition, the rulers began the intense promotion of Hinduism across the country. The leaders became so influential that any other religion was despised. However, Islam was largely embraced by the population as it had cultural roots (Ramani 1).
India was sub-divided prior to the arrival of Muslims during the 8th century. Muslim rulers from Afghanistan created collaborative control of various parts of India. The development of the Islamic Sultanate on the eastern facilitated the spread and dominance of Islam in the areas occupied by the Muslim leaders. They succeeded in incorporating Asian cultures into Muslim and Hindu cultures that were common among the populace. The move helped in reinforcing Hinduism and Islam. The two religious factions co-existed harmoniously (Ramani 1).
Why Buddhism and Christianity did not flourish in India
When Buddhism begun to flourish during the era Qin Dynasty, the country did not succumb to the religion. Instead, the population continued to subscribe devotedly to Hinduism. Initially, Buddhism was largely embraced by ordinary people as well as the upper castes. The main supporters of the religion were businessmen. They donated huge amounts of financial resources for the religion’s activities. The elite in the society including leaders’ wives and mothers subscribed to Buddhism. The followers eventually reverted to their initial calling to Hinduism when Adi Shankara emerged in social and religious circles. He was accompanied by Ramanuja. They attracted many Buddhists back to Hinduism. The result was the weakening of Buddhism in the sub-continental country (Sarafan 1).
The major reasons for the failure of flourishing of Buddhism include the fact that trusting in Nil as a Truth is almost impossible for the brain. Buddha’s doctrine was theoretically straightforward. However, it was challenging for devotees to follow considering the various misinterpretations. In addition, the religion detested profanity. However, the Buddhists venerated Buddha’s figurines. This was perceived as double standards and profuse insincerity (Sarafan 1).
Islam, which had taken deep roots in the Indian community, was intolerant to both Buddhists and Christians. The followers despised other religions except Hinduism which had a large following and would therefore defeat Muslims if a religious war broke out. Muslims persecuted Buddhists and Christians. Most of them converted to Islam or Buddhism. Those who strongly held to their doctrines went into exile or risked becoming martyrs.
Hinduism and Islam are predominant religions in India. The successes of these religions are based on historical events that took place in the sub-continent. Among them was religious intolerance against Christians and Buddhists. The failure of Christianity and Buddhism taking deep roots into the Indian population was largely contributed to by Buddhists contradicting the teachings that Buddha had envisaged such as the avoidance of idolatry.
Ramani, Steve. Why Buddhism and Christianity did not Flourish in India. 2011. Web.
Sarafan, Greg. Muslim Hindu Religious Interactions in the Mughal Empire: The Birth and Death of a Cohesive Culture. 2014. Web.