Comparing religion in India and China it is worth noting that they had a big impact on society. All religions have influenced the culture of the society, scientific progress, economy, etc. It is also should be stated that those religions which originated outside India and China have harmoniously taken its place among other religions in these countries and differs from their original forms. These religions have changed themselves and changing societies of the two countries. Thus, it should be stated that the history of the relationship and influence of religions in these countries is very similar. So let’s analyze how the religions have impacted the societies of India and China.
One of the features of Islam in India was that when it had penetrated into the India Islam has become a part of the caste system of relations in the India. This was caused by an extremely large influence of Hinduism and the caste system in the subcontinent. Islam began to penetrate the subcontinent in the mid seventh century - Arab troops even before the establishment of the Umayyad Caliphate began to penetrate to the north of India. In most cases, the Islam was propagated by the power of conquest of new lands to the north, so that even when the territory of Sindh came under the control Abbasid caliphs and remained under their control until 1258. However, in terms of religion the population has remained still varied. Thanks to Islam in India has intensified trade because Muslim merchants have supplied the Indian goods to the West. Thus, because of the profitable trade of Muslim merchants on the subcontinent became more and they have come to occupy an important role in many Hindu cities. So the second factor of the spread of Islam was Muslim merchants. The third factor in the spread of Islam was the migration of Turkish peoples to the north of the country that were also Muslims. Especially strong state was the Delhi Sultanate which was considered one of the strongest in the Islamic world. There is one example of the Vijayanagara rulers that well demonstrates the relationship between Hinduism and Islam, and how they got along. Rulers of the Vijayanagara relying on the support of the Delhi Sultanate have changed their religion to Islam, but then, over time, they have converted the religion back to Hinduism to enlist the support of the lower strata of the population.
Speaking about India in general it should be noted that the Southern regions of India, who were Hindu, were developed more economically than North. This is primarily due to the fact that there were constant invasions and wars that so often occur in the north of the subcontinent. In the southern Hindu regions the entire public life revolves around Hindu temples which were economic and social centers of the region. Because of the growing and prosperous economy the construction of temples has increased, and were built tens and hundreds of temples in the south. Hindus in temples also conducted education of boys. Thus, the temples also have performed an educational function. In Hindu temples also were collected taxes, thus temples have played an important role in the economy of the region. Moreover, many temples have been used as a bank and have given loans to people, thus giving even greater impetus to the economic development of the region. Temples also have helped merchants' guilds in their trade.
Indian ports through trade have become a cosmopolitan center for people of different religions: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. As I have mentioned above the Turkish peoples and Muslim merchants organically joined the caste system of India. However, the caste system itself and the relationships within it has changed - began to appear influential merchant guilds and the role of Muslim merchants in society has increased. However, in the south, where were the predominant Hindu population, the system was strong, and at the Muslim north weakened. Especially the brahmins have promoted the caste system.
It should be noted that Islam and Hinduism are very different from each other. Because Islam preaches firm monotheism and Hinduism is a pantheon of many gods and spirits. However, both of these religions have become the most popular in the subcontinent, and remain so even today. Speaking about the role of Islam and Hinduism as the main religions in the subcontinent is worth noting that these religions have supplanted Jainism and Buddhism. Particularly Buddhism has suffered from the persecution in the North. However, Hinduism has become only more popular, especially the worship of Vishnu and Shiva. Hinduism has significantly influenced the philosophy of the time - the philosophers of the time have taken for a basis Upanishads.
Islam among ordinary people was unpopular because even if the Indians had converted to Islam they have not received important posts, in contrast to the Turkish peoples, the Persians and the Arabs. That is, they haven't become the members of higher castes. As I have mentioned above, Islam was propagated mostly by conquest. The process of conversion to Islam was gradual. Hindus have mostly converted to Islam to avoid discrimination and dreaming to improve their position. The most successful in the conversion were Sufis because they allow Hindus to save part of their Hinduism rituals. Thus religions have mixed. The Bhakti movement has tried to reconcile both religions by preaching of tolerance, monotheism and the common values of both religions. Some of the adepts of this movement even have claimed that Shiva, Vishnu and Allah are the epitome of one deity.
The success of the Tang dynasty is largely caused by the reign of Emperor Tang Taizong that has reigned based on Confucianism. Under his rule in China, has established a long-awaited stability in the empire and was pursued a wise domestic policy. For example, were reduced taxes for the peasants, the choice of bureaucracy was based not on the nobility, but on the merits of the bureaucrat. Also, during the reign of the emperor Taizong was implemented the system of equal distribution of land. Thus, farmers and their farms have flourished and prosperous peasants were the basis to prosperity of the whole empire. Also, was introduced the Confucian system of education. However, along with the strengthening of Confucianism structure of society has become more patriarchal. This is caused primarily with the fundamentals of Confucianism which is based on the construction of a patriarchal society. During the Song Dynasty among the wealth Chinese families was widespread the tradition of foot binding. This tradition actually has mutilated women by making them small foot in childhood, so that they could not walk on their own and even have become more dependent on their husbands.
At the same time religions during the Tang and Song dynasties have promoted science and contributed to progress. Taoist alchemists-scientists have invented gunpowder, thus making a technological breakthrough that eventually influenced the economy and military. During the reign of the Tang Dynasty people began to change their religion to Buddhism. People began to convert into Buddhism because of the constant attacks of nomads and frustration in Confucianism. Another factor in the spread of Buddhism in China became the Silk Road. Thus, Buddhism has become increasingly more popular. The rulers of the Tang Dynasty were mostly tolerant to various religions. Buddhism as a religion has attracted in the first place because of the high moral standards and the promise of salvation of the soul. Buddhist monks have also handed out food to the poor and all those in need of the local population during the famine or drought, thus showing mercy and their moral standards. Buddhists also have built the libraries, so they were an important part of society. Moreover, Buddhist temples were an important part of China's economy. However, Buddhism has drawn criticism from adherents of traditional Chinese religions - Confucianism and Taoism. Many Confucians have criticized Buddhism and accused Buddhists in a bad influence on Chinese society. However, Buddhists explain the concepts of Buddhism based on Taoism, such as explaining the dharma as dao, drawing parallels between religions, and thus become better understood as a religion for the Chinese people, and increased the number of its adherents. However, the influence of Confucianism and Taoism has predominated at the court during the late Tang dynasty, and Buddhism and other religions were suppressed.
In the time of Song Dynasty persecution of Buddhism ceased, while the Confucianism was strongly supported by the authorities and the court. Through support from the authorities, the neo-Confucianism has developed in philosophical terms. Neo-Confucianism has also developed largely under the influence of Buddhism. The foundations of neo-Confucianism that were laid during the Song dynasty and official status as a religion for the long period have determined the religious policies of China and Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Thus, Confucianism has had a big influence on the development of these countries during the following centuries. Summarizing all the mentioned above it should be stated that histories of the religions in China and India are very similar. It also should be noted that religions had great impact on the development of these countries.
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