The World's Living Religions
Summer 1964
Dr. W. Noble King
Bethany Nazarene College 
All Rights Reserved

This document consists of notes taken by students who attended Dr. King's class at Bethany Nazarene College. The notes therefore reflect student response to Dr. King's lectures and do not necessarily represent fully or accurately his thought in all respects.                                    ***....*** 
 I talked to Conley Henderson and he said that his notes ended where Laverne's ended. As he thinks about it, he feels sure that they were only in the class for 6 weeks and did not finish the course as Dr. King left for Canada in mid July, before there could be a second semester. [JR]   ***....***

1. 1500 pages from approved textual and collateral areas.
2. Write one term theme on an approved subject, typed in thesis form and possibly to be read in class.
3. Other class written reports from time to time may be suggested.
4. Sketched maps of all the countries dealt with in these religions.
5. Probably at least two semester exams.

Barton, George A. The Religions of the World.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1935.
Berry, G. L.  In The Religions of the World, ed. Carl Clemen: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1931.
Braden, Charles S. Jesus Compared.  New York: Prentice Hall, 1957.
Champion, S. G.  The Eleven Religions.  1945.
Clarke, J. F.  Ten Great Religions .  New York: J. R. Osgood & Co., 1872.
Hopkins, E. W. The Religions of India.  1885.
Hume, R. E.  The World's Living Religions..  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1927.
Hunter, W. W.  A Brief History of the Indian People.  London: Turner & Co., 1882.
Kellogg, S. H. Handbook of Comparative Religions.
Marshall, E. A.  Christianity and Non-Christian Religions Compared.  Chicago: Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1910.
McLear, G. F.  The Celts.  London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1878.
Menzies, Adam.  History of Religion.
Pratt, J. B.  The Pilgrimage of Buddhism.  New York: The Macmillan Co., 1928.
Soper, Edmund. The Faiths of Mankind.  Association Press, 1928.
Soper Edmund.  The Religions of Mankind.  New York & Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1938.
Stevenson, Mrs. Sinclair.  The Heart of Jainism.  London: Oxford University Press, 1915.
Trever, G. H. Studies In Comparative Theology.  Cincinnati: Curtis & Jennings, 1897.

[initial remarks]

1. We should bear in mind that it is probably correct that most religions did have a unitary beginning in Eden.  Nature was the only written revelation, and God did occasionally speak as He spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden.  Their intuitional understanding would have been keen.
2. With the entrance of sin and the added accumulative effect of sin, truth was lost or twisted, and error entered, or changes were added as groups went to their separate ways.  What we call heathen or pagan religion was the result. 
3. Judaism and later Christianity were efforts to get back the original revelation, and clarify it and add thereto.  However, both Judaism and Christianity have had the same fight to retain the truth and preserve it for the future.  It too has been twisted rather badly at times.
4. Thus any good, or anything of value retained by non-Christian religions would be due to prevenient grace.  There are national, social, moral, and psychological goods retained, but redemptive truths are possibly all gone.  Christianity contains those retained goods, and also contains the lost truths which, of course, are greatly enhanced by Christianity.  We must not merely study those pagan religions to observe their weaknesses and to glory in the superiority of Christianity, although both will be in evidence.
5. The Persian province of Bactria was probably the original home of the Aryans as a race.  There they developed agriculture, a social culture, and a language.  Migrations between B.C. 2000 or probably 2500 down to B.C. 1500, moved across the Indus River southeast into what we now call India.  Their earliest known language was what we call Sanskrit.  Migrations from this same Bactria, B.C. 1500 or earlier down to about B.C. 400 or 300 moved into Europe and they constituted the early Greeks or Trojans, Nordics, Teutons, and Slavs and Celts.  Thus we talk about the Indo-European peoples, and most Europeans have Greek and/or Latin in the background, and Greek and Latin has Sanskrit in the background.
a. Of Druidism, Maclean wrote Druidism is essentially oriental, and corresponds in many important particulars with a simple and spiritual character of the Persian theosophy, teaching the purity of the Godhead as a metaphysical abstraction, the eternity of the soul's existence by transmigration (The Celts, pp. 15-16).
b. The Druids also had a strong tendency to deify the elements or forms of nature.  In this regard, Caesar saw a strong resemblance between the Druid system of religion and the Greek Olympiad system of religion.  There is also a resemblance in the ancient religions of the Norsemen and the Celts and Greeks (Berry, in Religions of the World, pp. 21-22).


1. A deity should possess at least five characteristics:
a. Super-human in essence and power
b. Invisible to the physical senses
c. Power of control over the natural world and over man
d. Responsive to those who obey and regard him worshipfully
e. Must be worshipful and adorable in his own right
2. Deities may be regarded as metaphysically non-personal or polytheistic, a uni-theistic, or even limited in themselves, or at the mercy of greater powers than themselves.  With this we shall deal later.
3. Twelve historical religions have for the most part passed away.
a. One in Africa: the North African or the religion of Egype
b. Two in the Americas: the religions of ancient Peru and of Mexico
c. Five in Asia: Mithraism, Manichaeism, then the religion of Babylon and Phoenicia and Hittites
d. Four in Europe: ancient Greeks, Romans, early Teutons, and Scandinavianism
e. These 12 religions were ethically lower than the 11 that have survived.  A religion apparently must have value of some kind before it can exist for long.
4. Now Brahmanism must be highly considered, as it was the earliest form of religion among the Aryan people.  It merged with Buddhism into what we now call Hinduism under the early influence of Buddhism.  It is now neither a living nor a dead religion, as it is what we now call Hinduism.
a. The earliest religion of India was animistic.  Then the Aryan invaders came in with a nature religion and built up an elaborate ritual.  Animism and naturism flowed together very readily.  The introduction of the Aryans was written into the Vedas (wise sayings).
b. The Aryans built a caste system to preserve their identity.  The Brahmans were the priests or top men.  The warriors and rulers were next.  The merchants and traders were next.  The Sudras or miscellaneous groups were last.
c. All castes maintain their identity, but particularly the Brahmans.  Brahmans were thus an hereditary caste, or priesthood.  They became rich and powerful in society and politics and corrupt in social living.  The name Brahman was the name of one of the first Aryan invaders of India.  But no one man founded Brahmanism or Hinduism.  There was a trinity or triad that survived in both Brahmanism and Hinduism.  Brahma, the creator of the other two: Vishnu, the preserver, originally a Vedic sun god, became very popular with the masses because of his power of re-incarnation.  They thus gathered the idea of reincarnation from nature.  Shiva (Siva), the destroyer and re-builder of life, was the most popular in spite of the fact that he advocated more pain, self-mutilation, misery, and solitary meditation.  All three gods were males and had wives.
d. As Brahmanism moved into the Ganges area and a new spirit of hopeless despair and a longing to get rid of conscious existence.  This desire is expressed in the Upanishads, written between B.C. 800 and 600.  They abolished most of the old gods, but kept Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.

e. There is no reflection of the Christian Trinity in this Brahmanistic trinity.  This trinity is a triad, the lesser two having been created by the former one.  Each off the three is often at war with the others (Marshall, Christianity and Non-Christian Religions Compared, p. 71).  They possessed no unified harmonious interest in each other, or in the welfare of mankind.
f. The ultimate good to be aimed at in Brahmanism and Hinduism is liberation, or absorption into the AIt, or Nirvana, a state of mind rather than a physical or conscious state.  Only by complete annihilation of the conscious being, or of the ego itself could the individual gain Nirvana.  This was achieved by transmigrations, one of the last of which was to become a Brahman.  However, when he reached Nirvana, he would never know that he reached it.
g. Death was merely an interval between periods of conscious existence or transmigration.  As soon as the influence of one's good deeds was used up, he returned to the earth in a new form for better or for worse.  Man had thus to work out his own end without the direction, aid, or sympathy; without any help.  This prompted bodily purity, unselfishness, self-restraint, and a sense of justice.
h. One universal Idea or absolute Spirit or ultimate Essence or Power is the AIt or Nirvana.  This power in action is creation, and when not in action, it itself does not exist.  Thus everything is unreal and a delusion.  Being a delusion, it is unreal and only creates misery, and thus should be gotten rid of.  Brahma becomes the name of an idea which is actually a delusion, or an idea that both is and is not.
i. Everything is God and God is everything.  Nothing exists but one universal Spirit who created Brahma from whose mouth the triad of gods came.  Thus, one supreme god created the universe and all lesser gods.  He himself is part of everything and everything is part of him.  From him comes all the evolution of nature (Marshall, p. 15).  He is thus the power back of the power of nature, and is a non-personal abstraction.
j. The human soul is thus a portion of the universal spirit.  The soul's transmigration will finally bring it back to where it will be absorbed into Brahma, from whence it came.  Brahmanism thus teaches since I am part of God, and God is part of me, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.  Whatever he may do in me must be right, because it is God that does it.  Sin is an illusion.  A Brahman can lie, quarrel, slander without thinking it is sin.  But a Brahman dare not touch another caste, as that would reduce his karma.

k. The salvation of the Brahmans is the union of the soul with Brahma.  This is gained through transmigration.  The individual soul comes from Brahma like a drop of water comes from the ocean.  It returns to Brahma as a drop of water returns to the ocean.  Consciousness of being did not exist before it became a drop of water, and consciousness is lost as it returns to the ocean.  This is their favorite analogy.  Hell is the in-between state.
l. As long as a soul wishes anything, it will continue to suffer and to migrate.  The very early Vedic did not have  transmigrations.  The idea of a resurrection in Brahmanism or in present Hinduism is a take-over from Christianity.
m. Vedism, Brahmanism, and then Hinduism is the successive order of this religion in India.  The Vedas were the earliest sacred writings of the Aryan race.  There are 1017 hymns in the Rig-Veda.  In the Bhagavad-Gita it is said that Brahma, by a penitence of 15,000 years, created the universe.
n. Women were at first in a high place in Brahmanism, but later became a mere slave to her husband.  Her face had to be veiled to all but her husband.  Girls were also married to the gods, and thus became temple prostitutes.
o. Human sacrifice was once practiced by the Brahmans, but has now completely disappeared.  All life, both animal and insect, is now sacred.  Due to the influence of the West, idol worship is put down somewhat.  Female education is promoted.  Infant marriage is frowned upon.  Remarriage of widows is not allowed.
5. It is interesting to note that most of the 11 dead religions were European or American or western Asiatic.  Without human founders, without authoritative scriptures, and without great saints or types, they were lower ethically and more cruel and bloodthirsty. They had less to offer the intellect.
a. Six of the 11 originated about the sixth century B.C.  They are: Shintoism (B.C. 660), Zoroastrianism (B.C. 660), Confucianism (B.C. 551).  This is the Hebrew period after the Assyrian captivity to the Babylonian captivity.  Some of the greatest prophets lived during this period.  One would think that God was making a special effort to get through to mankind.
b. Christianity, Buddhism, and Mohammedanism are regarded as world religions, and the others as national or ethnic religions.  However, some of the others did go beyond the bounds of their origin.
c. Their present standing with regard to belief in a deity is as follows:
i. Six are theistic in origin: Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, and Sikhism.
ii. Two started with no deity of any kind: Buddhism and Jainism.
iii. Three grew out of a polytheistic nature worship: Hinduism, Confucianism, and Shintoism.
d. Some of the world's living religions have passed through periods of great change with regard to belief in deity.  Those which started with no deity have had a tendency to either smuggle one in, or to so regard the founder.  As they now stand, they may be classed as follows:
i. Monotheistic: Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, Sikhism
ii. Approximating monotheism: Zoroastrianism
iii. Practical polytheism: Confucianism,  Taoism, Shintoism, Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism.
e.  Three of the religions under discussion carry the direct names of their founder:
i. Confucius
ii. Zoroaster
iii. Mohammed
6. Three of religions under discussion carry historic title of founder: Jina (Mahavira)
a. Mahavira was called Jina, or the conqueror
b. Gautama was called the Buddha or the enlightened one
c. Jesus was called the Christ, meaning the anointed one
7. Four of the religions were named from some outstanding principle:
a. Taoism, meaning the divine way
b. Shintoism, meaning the way of the Gods
c. Mohammedanism is also called Islam, meaning submission
d. Sikhism, meaning the religion of the disciples
8. Asia was the birthplace of every one of the world's living religions
a. Southeast Asia produced Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism
b. Eastern Asia produced Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism
c. West Asia produced Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Mohammedanism
9. Three are dying numerically: Jainism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism.  Four are relatively static: Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism.  Four are growing numerically: Confucianism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity.
10. There are differences of vitality and growth with regard to the same groups in different places.  For instance, Zoroastrianism is dying in its original home (Persia) but is doing much better in India under the name Parseism.  Buddhism has been absorbed by Hinduism in India, but is at a standstill in Ceylon, Tibet, and Burma, but it is active in China and Japan.  Christianity is near extinction in its original home and in western Asia, but it is strong in the West generally.
11. Nine of the living religions do not hold themselves unique from all other religions, i.e., they grant a redemptive good in each other.  Judaism and Christianity, however, have a strong tendency to discount other religions.  This at least is true at their fountainheads.  The founder of Christianity regarded himself as God in flesh and the only way back to forgiveness for sins.  He is the only begotten Son of God in a unique sense.  Other men could become sons of God by faith in Him, but not otherwise.  Christianity is thus from the first to last redemptive.  In this sense it itself in its nature forbids comparison with other religions.

12. A recognition of the individual as an individual of great value seems to be necessary to permanence in religion.  Also a deity of some kind seems to be necessary to the permanency of religion.  Nevertheless, the conceptions of deity vary greatly.
a. As to number: monotheism, pantheism, polytheism
b. As to personality: personal, impersonal, or just awesome power
c. As to power: limited or unlimited
d. As to morality: morally responsible, morally irresponsible
Then again, religion may be given an intellectual or aesthetic or power-imparting or social, or emotional, or self-aggrandizing, idealizing, or an individualist character

1.  Adherence and areas.  Hinduism is accredited with 285,000 in the Americas, 255,031,000 in Eurasia, and 400,000 in Africa and Oceana, making a grand total of 255,716,000.  Its major stronghold is in India proper, with smaller outposts in Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon, Bali, South Africa, Trinidad, and in the Fiji Islands.  It is one of the oldest living faiths.  Traces of Hindu practices are to be found in the Indus Valley (Bactria) civilization, which dates back to the fourth millennium B.C.
2.   Origin of the name.  The name Hinduism is not of Indian origin.  The term Hindu is a Persian form of Sidhu, which means originally the region watered by the Indus River, and the people who inhabited it.  The religion possessed by them thus came to be known as Hinduism.  Thus Buddhism was Brahmanism and both were or became known as Hinduism.
3.  As far as Hinduism is concerned, one could be a Hindu and also anything else.  In 1938, Mahatma Ghandi said, My Hinduism is not sectarian.  It includes all that I know to be the best in Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism . . . . Truth is my religion, and non-violence is the only way of its realization.  Later attempting to define Hinduism, he said, If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say, search after Truth through non-violence.

1. The nature of ultimate reality
a. God:  From the beginning, He has been recognized.  Two main lines of thought with regard to God.  They: theistic, and absolutistic.
i. The theistic.  A cosmic creator called God is recognized.  He is creator, preserver, and destroyer.  This gives rise to the Hinduistic triad of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.  Creation is an emergence or a transformation.  This emergence does not affect God (world-ground).  We may refer to God as He or She or an It.  God is the divine primal power, but not personal as we use that term.
ii. The absolutistic.  Ultimate reality is distinction-less.  Distinctions such as substance and attributes, agent and patient, created and uncreated, God and world can occur only in relative experience.  The absolute, which is called Brahman or Atman, has no attributes.  It is not a creator producing the world, either out of itself, or out of extraneous matter.  For it, there is not real becoming.  The world is only maya, i.e. an illusion of the absolute.  It is not the real, only its mirage-like projection.
1. In the theistic view, the non-personal Primal Power is responsible for all.  That is, the world and nature emerge from this Power of transformations.  This primal power is still within the emergence as one.  In the absolutist view, this mirage-like illusion is what we call the world and nature.
b. The human soul or spirit is an emergence from God or Brahma.  It passes through various transmigrations and is again absorbed into Brahma.  It is only consciousness of being while passing through its transmigrations.  It was not conscious of being before it emerged, and it is not conscious of being after it is re-absorbed.  While in its transmigration, it is either an extension of God, or it is an illusion caused by God.
c. Every being which possesses senses is a soul.  Self-consciousness is necessary to make progress.  Man alone has self-consciousness, so man alone is capable of making progress.  All other creatures must be born into the human species before they can progress toward the goal of perfection.  (Collier's Encyclopedia, p. 129).
d. Souls are not created, as they are mere emanations of the divine.  Nirvana or heaven is not a conscious state.  Hell or purgatory is the period of consciousness of being.  Sin is not a personal matter such as immorality or dishonesty or deception, etc.  It would be anything that would disregard the laws of Karma.  Breaking caste or disregarding social or political levels or classes is sin.
e. Karma.  Karma is the law of the deed or the following results of the deed.  It is merely the law of sowing and reaping in kind.  There is not escape from this law other than letting the law run its course.  The law runs in both directions; either for good or for evil.  He is thus assigned to a higher or lower level in the next transmigration.  Apparently the results of the deed are inherent in the nature of the deed.  Karma is impersonal.

2. The caste system is four-fold
a. The Brahma.  This caste consists of the priestly and intellectual caste.  This caste is the custodian of the spiritual culture of the race.  His first duty is to cultivate and spread spiritual ideas.  He is the friend, the philosopher, the guide of humanity.  He is not to burden himself with worldly goods, and society is to keep him above want.  According to the Bhagavad-gita, his virtues are serenity, self-control, austerity, purity, forbearance, uprightness, knowledge, insight, and faith.  A good Brahman is one step short of Nirvana.  (Nirvana is thought to be a state of mind or extinction: Berry, in Religions of the World, p. 41).
b. The kshatriyas.  It is the guardian of the society.  It is society's protector or preserver.  He is the soldier who fights for the freedom of the race, and the one who keeps the peace of the land.  He must have the qualities of heroism, vigor, firmness, resourcefulness, and dauntlessness in battle.  He is the soldier-ruler.
c. The Vaishyas.  This caste is composed of economic experts.  They arrange for the production and distribution of wealth.  The Gita enumerates three of the important professions of the Vaishyas: agriculture, cattle raising, and trade.  They were both agriculturalists  and artisans.
d. The Sudras.  This caste is compared of the workers or manual laborers; i.e. all those below the other castes.
e. (Hume, p. 18, states that the process of subdivision within the castes has continued until there are over 2000 such sub-divisions.  So also every attribute of God and every mystery in nature.
3. The Hindu sacred scriptures.  Inspiration of some sort is not a new idea in religion.  Later Buddhism had it.  Hinduism had it.  Mohammedanism had and has it.  Judaism had it.  Christianity has it.  Christianity, however, has it nearer to the verbally inspired idea; as a personal God can talk to persons, while an impersonal God cannot.  We could also here observe that five religions hold to some kind of supernatural original of the formula: Buddha, Lao-Tze, Mahavira, Zoroaster, and Christianity.  Again, Christianity explains every step as it is a matter of revelation from rational entities to rational entities. The sacred scriptures of Hinduism are called Vedas or Books of Knowledge.
a. The four earliest Vedas are held by most scholars to have been produced between B.C. 1000 and 1500.  It could well be that some were earlier.  All four were composed before B.C. 1000. 
i. The Rig-Veda or the Veda of verses or songs.  It is a collection of about 1028 lyrics.  The Hindus regarded it as inspired, and given before the world was.  It deals with nature objects.  It is composed of psalms to almost everything in nature.
ii. The Yajur-Veda: the Vedas of chants and worship
iii. The Sama-Veda: the Vedas of chants of worship
iv. The Atharva-Veda: the Vedas of charms in living and in worship. 
b. The Brahamanas: produced between 1000 and 800 BC, represent priestly Hinduism.  Prayers and sacrifices on the  priestly level are set forth.
c. The Upanishads contain philosophic Hinduism.  Hindus were fond of philosophic speculation.  Here the speculation is centered around Brahma.  All the Vedic deities are to be regarded as manifestation of the one Power at the heart of the world.  Prayer becomes a contacting power wielded by the priests with this central Power.  In philosophic Hinduism, Brahma is to be interpreted as the absolute, infinite, eternal, omnipotent, impersonal, indescribably neuter Being.  Brahma may also be described as spirit (atman, or world soul) into which the individual spirit is to merge.  There are possibly 13 Upanishads.
i. The world with its changing phenomena must be regarded as illusions by the infinite abiding Reality, Brahma.  As the individual is part of Brahma, there can be no distinction ethically between right and wrong, or good and evil, because the individual is in oneness with the supernatural Being.
ii. Salvation for the philosophers is attained through serene thought on the Supreme Being: he thinks of his oneness and thinks himself in.  The Upanishads would have been produced after B.C.800 and 600.
d. The Laws of Manu.  This is legalistic Hinduism produced about B.C.250.  Those laws were the highest of several codes of Hindu law.
i. The Laws of Manu teach the sacredness and saving efficacy of the Vedas and also the permanence of Hindu sacrifice and also sanction war.
ii. Philosophic knowledge of Brahma-Atman and the final release from the law of transmigration.  The castes are regarded as primal creations with the world.
iii. The Brahma, by the fact of his caste-birth, has been placed in the supremacy, and the lower castes have been placed in a position of permanent inferiority.
iv. All modern innovations contrary to the Vedas are condemned as false and worthless, and then salvation in Manu is to be obtained chiefly in obedience to law, particularly law of caste.
e. The Bhagavad-Gita was and is the devotional literature of Hinduism, produced approximately 1 AD.  The Bhagavad-Gita was the first to be translated into English and was so chiefly by Charles Williams, a Sanskrit scholar, in about 1785.  It is a stirring poem and begins at the beginning of a battle.  A knight by the name of Arjuna, for the first time in recorded Hinduism, raises the question about the propriety of killing people in war.  His charioteer allays his conscience by a remarkable discourse upon the immortality and destiny of the soul.  The chief speaker in the Bhagavad-Gita proves to be the deity Krishna in the form of the charioteer.

i. The Bhagavad-Gita offers salvation to all sinners including women and low caste sudras.  The four castes, however, were not set aside.
ii. Krishna is regarded nearly as a person in the Bhagavad-Gita.  Salvation consists in personal devotion to a personal deity.  Do your caste's duty, and trust your God for the rest of your salvation.
f. The Epic of Purana.  This is popular Hinduism.  From 1 A.D. to 250 A.D.  The most effective agencies for popularizing Hinduism were the two great epics: the Mahabharata (or the Great Bharata War) and the Ramayama (or the Career of the God Rama).  Also the collections of ancient religious stories called Puranas.  These were such religious tales.


Elements of supposed strengths in Hinduism
The unity of Reality
Possible union with the divine
Belief in a future existence-conscious or otherwise
Belief in the solidarity of human society
The permeation of religion in all departments of life
The social unity of the groups in India for centuries 

Elements of supposed weakness in Hinduism
Supreme Being is impersonal
No moral ideal for the individual
No moral standards for the whole; just castes
No improvement in one's social status until after death
No possible improvement in society as a whole
Empty meditation.  No person out there who cares
Pantheism justifies idolatry.  Thus, every power and mystery becomes an idol
Inert castes which doomed people to poverty and misery
Low position of women
No great historic figure or reformer
Low immorality connected with temple worship
From the viewpoint of evangelical Christianity, one could bring many and serious charges against it not mentioned here.  The whole system would be evil if it stood between them and something better.  But if they could get nothing better, it is probably of some value.
Closing note:  Indra, god of the mountains and the thunderbolt, and rain, and celebrated in a quarter of the Vedic hymns in the ancient Hindu religion.  The great national god of the Indo-Aryans, Indra, was brought into India at about B.C. 1500 by the conquering Aryans.  He came with a thundering voice, bringing rain and storms, and with a mighty sword, he overcame the people's enemies.  (Collier's Encyclopedia, Encylcopedia of Religion and Ethics, Hume, Berry, Marshall)



Jainism is an oriental religion in India for the most part, but little known.  It has only about 1 million adherents, but it exercises an influence which is far greater than that would suggest.  They live mostly in the cities and are merchants and have acquired great wealth.
Jainism is the oldest personally founded religion in India.  (Both Brahmanism and Hinduism as far as is known had no personal founder.)  Jainism was the first reform movement in Hinduism.  Buddhism followed 32 years later as the second.  Jainism has confined itself pretty much to India alone.
A. The founder
a. The founder, Vardhamana Mahavira, was born in the suburb of Vaisali, the capitol of Videha, the ruins of which lie as yet unexplored at Besarh, about 25 miles from Patna.  His mother is said to have had 14 marvelous dreams respecting him, and the family is said to have met with prosperity (Stevenson, The Heart of Jainism, chap. 3).
b. As a matter of fact Mahavira was born the second son of a petty rajah of the Vijjian clan in north India in a district that was a free aristocratic republic (Stevenson).
c. His palace life (birth to 30 years of age)
i. He was thus reared in comparative luxury and finally married into another princely family and had one daughter (Hume, p. 44)
ii. At 30 years of age, he made the Great Renunciation.  It was at that time that his parents died, and he determined to become an ascetic, which was one of Hinduism's ways of attaining salvation.
d  From 30 to 42, he neglected and even ill-treated his own body.  At the end of that 12 year period, he is said to have attained nirvana.  He was regarded as the last of a series of 24 saviors.
e  From age 42 up to 72, he preached the new religion of asceticism.  He also declared that there was no deity to worship.  Yet after his death, his followers worshiped and prayed to him, holding that he was pre-existent before his physical birth, merely incarnated on earth in human form.
B  Land and Literature. 
a  It is an organization in the land of India.  Both Mohandas Karandchand Ghandi and Jawaharlal Nehru were adherents of this sect of Hinduism.  The Jains live chiefly in the Bombay presidency, but are to be found in upper India and some in the west and south and along the Ganges.  They live mostly in towns and are well off, and for India, well educated
b  Dates.  Mahavira was born in B.C. 599.  His religious efforts started when he was 30.  Hence that would make Jainism's birth about B.C. 566.  Jainism is, however, generally dated at the time of Mahavira's birth.  Eventually there were several sects in Jainism.

i. The Sky-Clad sect, led by Digambaras and the White-Clad sect, led by Shivetambaras, constitute the two main sects of Jainism.  They operated in part, at best, in early history of Jainism.  Later they completely separated over the problem of clothes.  This problem was due in part to famine, and under the leadership of Bhadrabaha, the Sky-clad set migrated to south India and dispensed with clothes.  The White-clad sect, living in north India where it was much colder, did not dispense with clothes.  Under the later influence of the Mohammedans, they were compelled  to at least wear a loincloth. (Hume, 52ff)
ii. There was a third sect or group of some importance.  It was a non-idolatrous sect, the Sthanakvasis, founded by a white clad reformer who in 1474 A.D. observed that certain Jain scriptures made no reference to idols.
c  Literature
i. The inclusive name  for the scriptures of Jainism is Agamas (precepts), or Siddhartas (treatises).
ii. Technically classified, they would be something like this: 11 Angas and 12 Upangas, and 10 Piannas and 6 Chhedasutras, and 2 Sutras and 4 Mulasutras.
iii. There is also constant reference in this literature to a class of writing called Purvas, or primitive scriptures, which took form, perhaps, about the fourth century B.C., but are either now lost or are embodied in the Angas.  The Angas are the oldest part of the canon, which at present embrace 45 texts.  The Angas are said to have been written 200 years after the death of the founder.  The Jain scriptures and commentaries thereon are written in Prakrit, the common vernacular, and in Sanskrit.  Both are now dead languages.  The Jains generally know but little of the scriptures.
C  God and Man, etc.
a  God
i. Mahavira rejected the then current Hindu polytheistic belief in various natural and supernatural powers.  He also condemned the practice of praying to and talking about a deity.  Monks and nuns should not say that the gods did so-and-so, with regard to natural happenings, but rather that nature did it.
ii. Thus the Jains did not believe in one Supreme Being, and hence acknowledge no personal god such as a creator, father, friend.  Yet they resist being called atheists.  This  probably is due to the fact that they do not deny presence of divine power.  They don't, however, pray to those powers or personalize them.
iii. They do hold that innumerable men with like passions with themselves have by steadily eradicating all that belongs to personality pass to take their place among the siddha in a still land of endless inactivity.  There none is first, or second, but each is equal with the others.  None takes any interest in human toilers who are climbing the steep ascent to the goal that they have already reached.
b  Man.  Man's personality is dual: natural and spiritual.  By his spiritual powers he can and must control his physical nature.  Man is born alone.  He dies alone.  He falls alone.  He rises alone.  His passions, consciousness, intellect, perception, and the impression individually belong to him alone.  Another cannot save him, nor help him.  He grows old.  His hair turns white.  Even his body must be relinquished.  None can stay the hours.  Man, thou art thine own friend.  Why wishest thou for a friend beyond thyself?
i. The soul of man, etc.  Jainism believed in the existence of souls inside of all living things, including man.  The most minute vermin have souls.  Also in seeds, plants, rivers, mountains, sun, moon and stars; in so-called gods and even in drops of water.
ii. Mundane souls are the embodied souls of living beings still subject to re-birth.  Liberated souls have accomplished absolute purity, and are embodied no more.  The soul is directly responsible for all that it does.  Furthermore, soul and life are translated from the same word.
c  Salvation is effected if at all by asceticism, by which one is freed from all desires of every kind.  When the spiritual nature conquers the physical nature, one is a conqueror.
i. Jains can have no concept of sin, and the Jains recognize no gods against whom no sin can be committed.  Jains can only sin against themselves, and by so doing lose ground in their upward strivings.
ii. The flesh is the source of evil, and sin would be the positive attitude toward that which would appease one in the upward way.  Salvation is thus by self-discipline.
D  Ethics
a  A perfect Jain is an ascetic, humble and inoffensive.  Jains are as a rule well-spoken of.  When persecuted, they do not retaliate.  By so doing or acting, they think that they will be freed from the law of Karma.  They are good business men and have had much success in commerce.

i. Love and hatred are both abandoned, as they are forms of attachment.  By conquering love and hate and wrong beliefs, he will be cut off from the fetters of Karma (SBE, Sec. 45, 122).    The monk who loves not even those who love him will be freed from sin and hatred.  They were to beg at the humblest of homes and eat the poorest and even the dirtiest kinds of foods.  Thus the chief virtues of Jainism are mendicant, asceticism, and non-injury.  Jain ethics have for their end and realization of moksha (Hume, 49-50).
ii. Vows and Jewels.  Do not kill.  Do not lie.  Do not steal.  Abstain from sexual intercourse.  Renounce all worldly things such as property, etc.  Jewels: right faith, right knowledge, right conduct.  These are the necessary virtues to enter Nirvana.  The best of virtues are passionless.
b  Features of Jainism
i. The Jains have no real heaven, but they have a place of utter inaction called Moksha or Moksa or Nirvana in which there probably is individual consciousness.
ii. At least, according to the Digambara sect of Jainism, women have to be born men before they can be saved.  They hold around eight rebirths, constantly on the upper trend.  This would get rid of Karma.
iii. The Jains had a profound respect for life.  They strain water before drinking, and sometimes wear cloths over their mouths to prevent them breathing in flies.  Sometimes they carry around little brooms with which to sweep insects out of their way. Mahavira is said to have fulfilled the law by allowing gnats, flies, and other things to both bite and crawl over him for 4 months.
iv. Jainism is said to have been the first heathenistic missionary religion with the first free assembly.  It, however, denies a personal god.  It worships man, and feeds vermin.  Some of Mahavira's contemporaries were Buddha, Confucius, Lao-Tze, Zoroaster, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Thales, Anaximander, Anaximienes, Xenophanes, Pythagoras, Heraclitus. 
v. The defilement of the soul takes place in the following matter: subtle matter ready to be transformed into Karma pours into the soul, and enters into a chemical combination with it.  This is called the binding.  This subtle matter is transformed into 8 kinds of Karma, and thus forms a subtle body, which clings to the soul through all rebirths.  Each different Karma requires a rebirth to dispose of it.
vi. Jainism is said to represent a theological mean (average) between Brahmanism and Buddhism (Hopkins, Religions of India, p. 289)

E  Conclusion.  In view of the fact that Jainism sprang from Hinduism, we shall therefore observe a few points with regard to similarities and dissimilarities.
a  Similarities
i. Mahavira born, lived, died in Hindu faith.  He himself did not reject Hinduism, and Hinduism did not reject him.  He also continued to hold Hindu beliefs in Karma and transmigration.
ii. Both Hinduism and Jainism flourished in India, and nowhere else to any marked degree.  As time moved on, both again became similar in that they had deities of their own.  He held to its Krishna, Rama, Vishnu, and Siva, or Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.  Jainism worshiped Mahavira as well as other gods.  Both were polytheistic, with idols and temples.  (Some Brahman priests officiate in Jain temples.)  Both now have the caste system, at least in principle.  The differences between the two systems are becoming more notable.
b  Dissimilarities.  At the beginning of Jainism there were many more points of disagreement than agreement between Jainism and Hinduism.
i. Hinduism held to an impersonal deity.  Jainism held to no deity at all.
ii. Hinduism held to a monistic view, the soul being part of the world-soul.  Jainism held to a dualism, denying the world-soul, but holding to matter.
iii. Hinduism practiced animal sacrifice at first at least.  Jainism protected against it.
iv. Hinduism held to the castes as such.  Jainism held to the equality of all man in spite of castes as such.
v. Hinduism relied on prayers and sacrifices, etc. for salvation.  Jainism believed in self-salvation, and thus threw out prayer.
vi. Hinduism had scriptures in archaic Sanskrit.  Jainism believed in making use of the vernacular.


1.  We shall open our sketch of Buddhism with a sketch of the life of its founder, Gautama Buddha, the enlightened one.

A  Brahmanism seriously degenerated.  Aryans long before the 6th century B.C. settled in the Ganges River area.  The simple way of life so manifest in the Vedas had long since passed away.  Worship of nature had degenerated into worship of new and less pure divinities.  The Vedic songs had faded into an obscure, unintelligible something with meaning only for the priestly.  The country was also split into principalities for the most part governed by petty despots.  There were, however, about a dozen free republics with aristocratic governments.  In these republics the reform movements met with support.
B  A convenient belief in transmigration satisfied the unfortunates who thought that their words were due to the natural results of this belief, and though unavoidable now, might be escaped in a future state of existence by good conduct in this present existence.  Occasionally ascetics strove to rise above the supposed degenerated condition of the gods, and hermits earnestly sought for some satisfactory solution.
C  The Sakya clan, which was at that time a free aristocratic republic, and was situated on a tract of country covering two or three thousand square miles, rose into prominence.  The chief town was Kapilavastu, which was situated a little distance north of Benares.  Suddhodana was the chief of this clan.  His headquarters was at Kapilavastu.  He had married the two daughters of a neighboring peaceful chief.  For years both of those women were childless.  However, in the course of time, the elder one gave birth to a son.  She and a group started for her parents' home, where she intended her child to be born.  The party halted for the night under a group of lofty satin[?] trees in a pleasant and beautiful garden.  Then that night, the future Buddha was born.
D  It is said that the young prince shunned his playmates at play and spent his time alone in the woods of his father's garden.  On reaching manhood, however, he showed himself strong, brave, and skilled in weapons of war.  He won his wife by a contest at arms over all rival chiefs.  For a time it is said he forgot the religious meditations of his early boyhood and plunged into the gaieties and pleasures of the world.  He tasted all that the world had to offer, and discovered to his disappointment that all such excesses were not satisfying
E  As he drove through the city once, he saw a helpless old person, a diseased person, and a dead person.  He then met a so-called holy person indifferent in his sublime calm to all about him.  Gautama envied the holy man, who seemed to have raised his soul above the cares of life.
F  After a period of about 10 years, his wife bore him a son.  Gautama, fearing lest this new tie should bind him too closely to the things of this earth, retired to a jungle cave.  He was than about 30 years old.  The story is told how he turned away from his wife's chamber, denying himself even a parting caress of his newborn son.  He then sprang on his horse and galloped off into the night.
G  After a gloomy night's ride, he sent back his one companion, his faithful charioteer with his horse and jewels, to his father.  He then cut off his long warrior hair and exchanged his princely raiment for the rags of a poor passer-by.  This constitutes his great renunciation, seldom equaled in world history, and just as seldom surpassed.  It supplies a favorite theme for the Buddhist scriptures (W. W. Hunter, Brief History of Indian People, p. 74)
H  Then for a time between 29 and 35 years old, he studied under two Brahman hermits in the Patro district.  They taught that the peace which the human soul longed for could be found only by mortifying the human body.  He then buried himself deeper in the jungles near Gaya.  For six years with five others he wasted himself with physical austerities.  This resulted in religious despair.  He then made up his mind that the path to salvation did not lie in self-torture and consequently he gave up penance or self-torture.  His five companions, shocked at this resolution, forsook him.  He was then alone indeed.
I  The Buddhist scriptures depict him as sitting under a Bo tree (fig tree), while demons whirl around him with flaming weapons.  From this temptation he came forth with all his doubts forever laid aside.  He than became the Buddha, the enlightened one.
J  Buddha then began his public career teaching in the forest near the city of Benares.  He preached to the poor people, and his first converts were common men, with a smattering of women among them.
a  After an intense period of about three months preaching and teaching, he gathered together about 60 disciples.  These he sent forth to the neighboring countries with the following instructions: Go ye now and preach the most excellent law.
b  Two-thirds of each year, he himself spent as a wandering preacher, and the remaining four months during the rainy season he stayed at some fixed place, teaching the people who flocked around him and in his little bamboo grove.
c  His first five followers who had forsake him when he broke with Brahmanism, returned to him.  Princes, merchants, artisans, Brahman hermits, serfs, semi-slaves, and women were added to those who believed.
K  He had dashed into the darkness of the night from his father's palace as a brilliant young prince.  Now he returned to it as a wandering preacher, dressed in dingy yellow robes, with shaven head, and a begging bowl in his hand.
a  His father listened to his son with reverence.  His own son, however, and his wife who he had left behind, were both converted to the faith.  His wife became one of the first Buddhist nuns.
b  Just previous to his death he said to his followers, Be earnest, be thoughtful, be holy, keep steadfast watch over your own hearts.  He who holds fast to the law and discipline and faints not, shall cross the ocean of life and make an end of sorrow  . . . .  Keep your minds on my teachings; all other things change.  This changes not.  No more shall I speak to you.  I desire to depart.  I desire the eternal rest (Nirvana).
c  He is said to have spent the night in preaching and comforting a weeping disciple.  According to one report, his last words were, Work out your own salvation with diligence.  He is said to have died calmly at the age of 80.
L  After the cremation, it is said that the ashes were divided into eight portions.  Six portions were given to six clans of the neighborhood.  Stupas or cairns were said to have been erected by the sakyas in the new Kapilavastu often through destruction of the older towns.


1  As we have said, the historic founder of Buddhism in India was prince Siddhartha of the Gautama family.  He was the son of a wealthy rajah of the Sakya clan, which clan occupied the region at the foot of the Himalayas, not Nepal.
2  Prince Siddhartha was born about B.C. 560, and died about B.C. 480.  His period of search would have been between 29 and 35, and his period of service would have been between the ages of 35 and 80.  We could date the beginning of his work when he was about 30, or B.C. 530.  In any case, his work is dated in the sixth century B.C.
3  During his lifetime, he was in no sense regarded as a god, or as a prophet, or even as one divinely inspired, but merely as an enlightened one.  He regarded himself merely as a man, and thus not a savior.  His followers were to find enlightenment as he found it.  He was then merely a guide to the way.  Wonderful stories, however developed later, were told about his birth.
4  Buddhism developed in India, but it was absorbed into Brahmanism, and thus ceased to exist as a separate religion in the land of its birth.  It was later and is now found in Japan, China, Tibet, Burma, Ceylon, Siam, and some other places.


1  God.  Early Buddhism had no God, and appeared to be more of an ethic than a religion.  Because of this aspect, it is sometimes denied a place among the religions.  Buddha is thus materialistic and knows no creator as such.  Creation was effected by the laws of nature, cause and effect.  Destruction and renovation are constantly going on by the forces of nature, causing continuous changes everywhere.  Buddha had no god higher than a perfect man.  He declared that he knew no one he ought to worship.  His followers have erected his images in every Buddhist temple, and millions offer their prayer before him.
2  Man.  The five skandhas or the material and mental aggregates which constitute the individual person.  Those aggregates are bound together by karma.  When they are thus connected, they constitute Atman, or the soul.  This soul is an immaterial, invisible slippery something that is itself absorbed into Nirvana, when all the karma is used up (Wright, p. 89).
3  Heaven.  The goal of the Buddha is nirvana.  A good definition of this term is near impossible.  The Buddha himself gave no clear ideas with regard to just what was meant by nirvana.  He was asked whether Nirvana was post-terrestrial or post-celestial.  He refused to answer.  Possibly he had no answer to give.  Contemplation or thinking oneself back into nothingness, or the drop returning to the ocean and losing its identity and consciousness therein is nirvana. 

a   The highest good, then is release from the law of karma and consequently release from incarnation.  Their release is achieved by absorption into the over-soul, or reunion with the over-soul.  This involves the annihilation of individuality; hence, nirvana is nihilism.  Etymologically, the word nirvana means to blow out or a blowing out or the absorption of the soul.  It is rather annihilation than absorption.  This oversoul or nirvana is said to have been their early god (New Shaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia).
b  Hell or purgatory for the Buddhist is their normal round of births and deaths.  The purpose of purgatory is therefore to get them ready to pass into the Buddha or the state of final enlightenment or nothingness.  The problem of Christianity is What shall I do to be saved?  The problem of Buddha is What should I do to be annihilated?
4  Sin is irrational conduct that tends to destroy more value than it creates.  Real value is the loss of Karma.  Hence, sin increases rather than decreases.  (Pratt, The Pilgrimage of Buddhism, p. 20)  To desire anything is sin.  One must lose himself in meditative contemplation, and thus become absorbed into Buddha and Nirvana.  The very basis of sin would be to desire to better oneself in this life.  That sort of a definition of sin dooms one to misery.
5  Salvation depends on knowledge; knowledge that I am nothing.  Know nothing.  Desire noting.  It includes the extinction of all desires attained by following the eight-fold path.  Birth is sorrow.  Age is sorrow.  Sickness is sorrow.  Death is sorrow.  Clinging to earthly things is sorrow.  Birth and rebirth is sorrow.  Passion and desire is sorrow.
a  Escape is possible only by right belief, right resolve, right word, right act, right life, right effort, right thinking, right mediation.  The goal is evaporization into Nirvana, which is the highest happiness.  This is salvation.  (Schaff-Herzog,72).
b  The formula is said to be something like this.  Take refuge in the Buddha.  Take refuge in the doctrine.  Take refuge in the brotherhood.  This would generate desire apparently, but one must not be too logical in evaluating this system.
6  Ethics.  The main trend in Buddhist ethics is negative.  In this general negation, 10 prohibitions are enjoined upon the higher grade of monastics.  They are: (1) do not kill, (2) do not steal, (3) do not commit adultery, (4) do not lie, (5) do not drink intoxicants, (6) do not eat at forbidden times, (7) abstain from dancing, singing, music, and seeing spectacles, (8) abstain from garlands, scents, unguents, ornaments, and fineries, (9) abstain from high or broad beds, (10) abstain from accepting gold or silver.  Children, unchastity, and wealth were to be forsaken.
7  Scriptures.  The Buddhist scriptures consist of the tripetaka (the three baskets of wisdom);
a  Vinaja Pitaka (the discipline basket); 
b  Sutta Pitaka (the teaching basket),
c  Abidhamma Pitaka (the higher doctrine or the metaphysical basket.  The language of this Pitaka is Peli, the dialect of the common people in north central India.  Among those the Buddha lived and taught.  There is also, however, a large body of non-canonical Buddhist literature written in the related Sanskrit language.
8  Special features in Buddhism
a  Primitive Buddhism worked out its system of salvation apart from divine help or interference.  Hence it is called an atheistic religion.
b  Its extreme pessimism, degraded life, and the worth of life.
c  The human body and human activity and the individual as such are all worthless.
d  Its tendency toward monasticism degraded human society and organization.
e  Karma and rebirth and the ultimate absorption into the all or into the indefinite impersonal Nirvana.  This is the only real thing.
f  Buddhist believes in the fundamental justice of the world order and in a moral universe inflicting its own punishment for broken law.  This to them checked crime.
g  There was also a sisterhood established for women, and a brotherhood for men without regard for race or caste. 
9  Further notes on Buddhism
a  Five hindrances: desire, malice, doubt, torpor, and wrong
b  Four intoxicants: sensuality, becoming, delusion, and ignorance
c  Four attachments: sensual pleasures, continued existence, erroneous views, illusion
d  Khandas.  Body, feeling, sense perception, mental prowess, and cognition.  These five are bound together by Karma.  As they are bound together, they constitute the soul.  When Karma is used up by rebirth, they are absorbed into nothingness.
e  The key to the whole scheme of Buddhist salvation lies in the Four Noble Truths.  These supposed truths are:
i. Concerning suffering
ii. The origin of suffering
iii. The destruction of suffering
iv. The way to do it: destroy.

10  Buddhism in Ceylon
a  Buddhism has been the religion of Ceylon within historic times.  It is still the faith of almost the entire south and central areas, or of about 2/3 of the entire island.
b  Tradition claims that the Buddha himself visited the island on three different occasions.  The real introduction of Buddhism into Ceylon, however, dates from the third century B.C., when Mahinda, son of the Indian King Asoka, came from India and established the faith under the patronage of King Tissa, who was a contemporary of Asoka.
c  Mahinda's own sister, the princess Sanghanitta, brought with her a branch of the original Bo-tree, from which the famous tree at Anuradhapurais descended.
d  Under Parkakrama Baku I, who was the greatest Buddhist of Ceylon, Buddhism reached its peak in 1200 A.D.  In spite of all contending faiths, Buddhism is still paramount, and particularly free from sects.  Its style of Buddhism is southern Hinayana (narrow interpretation) type.
e  To get a proper perspective of Ceylon's religious history, we should take a census of its religious adherents before the present upheaval of peoples.  We shall take the census of 1911.  Buddhist: 2,474,393; Hindu, 939,301; Christian, 410,525, Mohammedanism, 284,428.
f  The history of Buddhism as the national religion of Ceylon is found in the Pali Chronicles of Ceylon, The Mahavansa and the Dipauanish.
11  Buddhism in Tibet
a  Tibetan history begins with the coming of Buddhism into the country in the 7th century A.D.  It came in through two wives of an able chieftain.  One wife was from Nepal, and the other wife was from China.  Both Nepal and China had become Buddhist countries previously.
b  The prevailing state religion later became and is now a corrupt form of Buddhism called Lamaism. There are several sects, but the most powerful is Gelugpa.  It really constitutes a state church, for the masses, both of lamas and others, religion is reduced to a system of magic in which worship's only purpose is to conjure evil spirits.  Members of this sect wear yellow caps, distinguishing them from the unreformed Nyingnepas, who wear red caps and are the next most powerful sect.
c  The lamas are numerous and live in great lamaseries.  The largest lamasery is seven miles west of Lhasa, and is known as the Dunan lamasery.  It is a city in itself, and accommodates 7500 lamas.  Here too the great state oracle is operated by supposed inspired lamas.  Its influence is even greater than the ancient Grecian Delphic Oracles.
d  The Sera lamasery at Lhasa has 5500 lamas and the Gandan lamasery has about 2000.  Those 15,000 lamas practically control the country.  At times even the Dalai Lama and Amban Lama are found to give way to them.  Education and all else are chiefly in the hands of the lamas.
12  Lamaism
a  Lamaism is Buddhism corrupted by Sivaism and by a mixture of Shamanism and sorcery which goes back in part to Bon, or primitive Tibetan religion.
b  Buddhism was not known in Tibet until the seventh century A.D, when King Sron Tsan Gam Po ((638-641) married two princesses; one from India and the other from west China, both of whom were devoted Buddhists.  Through their influence, the ruler was converted.
c  A later king, Thi Ston Detson, invited a Buddhist monk named Padma-Sombhava, to come to Tibet from northern India, and became the real founder and organizer and patron saint of Lamaism in the west of Tibet.
d  He at once gave battle to the sorcerers and exorcists, fighting them with their own weapons, and aided by the king, established the Order of Red Lama Priests. The later emphasis of his pupils or magic brought his into disrepute to the more intelligent lamas, the yellow-cap monks.
e  The character of this Tibetan faith is largely a priestly mixture of Sivaite mysticism, of magic, and of Indo-Tibetan demonology overlaid with a thin varnish of Mahayana Buddhism.  To the present time Lamaism retains this character.
f  Now Lamaism extends beyond the borders of Tibet to China, Siberia, Russia, and along the borders of India.  It is estimated by some that its followers include some 10 million.
i. They worship gods, spirits, and saints, and write prayers and sacred texts, intone hymns, and worship takes place three times daily.  They also have three great religious festivals per year, and then a lantern festival, and the chase of the scapegoat of bad luck.
ii. Their two principle sacraments are baptism and confirmation.  They also have two lama popes.  There are three orders of the clergy, and then a lower order.  Their scriptures are in three voluminous collections.  Hinayana is the name of the southern school of Buddhism and closely and narrowly adheres to the teaching of Buddha (it is the narrow vehicle).  Mahayana is broader (the great vehicle), and holds to more.  In fact, it accommodates itself to its environment.
13  Buddhism in Burma
a  The Burmese are the practical Buddhists of the world.  Their Buddhism is the Hinayana (narrow) type, closely approximating the original form taught by Buddha himself.  Buddhism has been their teacher and their civilizer, stimulating their folklore and literature.
b  It has prevented castes and has covered the settled parts of the country with temples, shrines, and monasteries.  Theoretically, every boy at school in the whole country is a monk.  He is, however, not bound by vows to remain a monk.
c  The most famed temple in the country is in Pagan and was founded in 100 A.D, and flourished to about 1000 A.D.  Its ruins now cover about 8 square miles.  This ancient temple and all others consisted almost entirely of corridors, one within the other, and vaulted tent roofs of masonry springing from the outer or lower wall to the inner or higher.
d  Spirit or nature worship prevails among the non-Buddhist tribes.
14  Buddhism in Siam
a  The Siamese are among the most religious of the Eastern peoples.  Their religion is the original Hinayana or orthodox.  Pali is their sacred language.  Their Buddhism is referred to as Sinhalese Buddhism.
b  Buddhism seems to have been introduced into Cambodia and then into Siam about 422 AD.  For many years the whole Buddhist theology of Siam was based on the Traiphom (three places).  This is not an original Pali work, but rather a compilation in Siamese of works and commentaries of the Buddhist Pali canon, composed at the request of King Tak (1767-1780).
c  The fervor of the Siamese is shown in the number of the monks and the esteem in which they are held.  The pagoda in Siam is a place of prayer.
d  The establishment of Christian missions (Roman Catholic) in Siam introduced Western culture, which was received at court with enthusiasm, particularly the astronomy and mathematics as taught by the Jesuits.  Other foreign faiths are received with tolerance.
15  Buddhism in China
a  Buddhism was introduced into China in the Han dynasty by the emperor Ming-Ti as a result, it is said, of a dream.  It is not known for sure whether it entered in Hinayana or Mahayana form.  It is, however, evident that at a very early date the Mahayana form prevailed with its paradise, its goddess of mercy, its scriptures, and its voluminous writings.  No fewer than 2213 works are mentioned in the oldest catalog (518 A.D.).  Again, 276 of those are yet in existence.  In 972 A.D., the so-called holy books were printed collectively for the first time.  Since then, several Tri Pitaka editions have been made in China, Korea, and Japan.
b. Buddhism in China has a voluminous and imposing ritual, a passionate rhetoric, and various stimulating influences to satisfy a mental craving not provided for in the material of Confucianism.  Monastic life represents the highest stage of devotion and piety to which man in China without Christ has been able to raise himself.
c. The Buddhist codes in China do not merely preach abstinence from crime and sin, but they endeavor also to enforce the active cultivation of virtue.
d. The essential doctrines of Chinese Buddhism are the vanity of all material things, the supreme importance of charity, and the certainty of rewards and punishments by means of the transmigration of souls.  The Five Precepts forbid: the taking of life, stealing, lust, improper speech, and the use of wine.
16. Buddhism in Japan
a. Japan has three major religions: Shinto, Buddhism, and Christianity.  Under the constitution of 1889, absolute freedom of speech and freedom of religious opinions were granted.  We are here interested in Buddhism only.
b. Buddhism entered Japan via Korea in 552 A.D. along with the arts and sciences and letters of China.  Its gilded images and gorgeous temples and rituals appealed to the Japanese.  Hence it became popular.
c. It gained imperial favor in 621 A.D. and was made the state or established religion.  Priests were sent to China by the government to study.   They returned with the new faith and the new scriptures.  New sects soon began to arise in Japan.
d. Kobo Daishai, in 816 A.D., founded the Shingon, or the sect with the form of true words.  In 1202 A.D., the Zen or contemplative sect was introduced.  Then in 1211 A.D., the Judo or Pure Land sect was founded.  In 1262, the Shinshu or True Sect was founded. In 1282, the Nichekon sect was founded.  There are possibly 70 sects or sub-sects, all based on or developed from the Mahayana.
e. The most important of the sects is the Jodo, which finds nirvana too hard to attain to, and provides instead a paradise in the west presided over by Amita.  There the faithful may enjoy a happy existence through the unwinding circles.
f. The Shinshu, a branch of the Jodo, has been called the Protestants of Japan.  It teaches that salvation may be obtained by faith in the mercy of Amita without works of any kind.
g. No change in heart is required.  Nothing is required but loving each other and keeping orderly and observing the laws of the government.  The officiating priests of the Shinshu may get married, eat fish, or flesh of any kind.
h. In 1899, its temples numbered 19,213.  Buddhism was disendowed in 1874, and disestablished some time later.  Its tenants were Mahayana.  There is now no state religion.
17. Buddhism in Seattle
a. Buddhism came to Seattle with the influx of Japanese.  It now has a very fine temple and is the only Buddhist temple owned outright by the Japanese.  In 1932 there were over 4,000 Japanese Buddhists in Seattle.
b. In a small area within the shrine, there is a bronze statue about 7 inches high, brought recently from India, and said to be over 2,300 years old.  This statue has its right hand raised, and is believed by the local Buddhists to be a representation of Gautama shortly after his birth.  According to the legend he then walked three paces with uplifted arms, and proclaimed his own greatness in a voice of thunder.
c. The rosary is used.  Indeed a priest in the temple owns one, for which his great grandfather carved the beads by hand from small peach stones.  This rosary is over 100 years old and is an exquisite piece of work.
d. Candles are burned before the shrine, and the priests are gorgeously robed for these services.  The services take place every Sunday evening.  In 1932 they were conducted in Japanese.  Generally they subscribe to the dogmas held by the Buddhists in Japan (The Outlook, July 4, 1932, p. 375)

1. Introduction: Shinto was founded by no one person.  It is dated as having begun about B.C. 660 in Japan.  Its gods are nature gods.  There are three periods in its development.
a. The first period of Shinto terminated with the sixth century B.C.  In this first period the religion had no name, and was consequently not clearly distinguished from other religious efforts.  It had neither dogmas nor moral precepts nor sacred writings.  The objects that were worshiped were called KAMI  Some gods were good and some were bad.  Some were mortal and some were wedded to women.  From one of the latter the emperor is said to have descended.  In their thinking, there were gods of pestilence, gods of storms, and gods of heavenly bodies.  In fact, everything or anything which excited fear or dread or awe was worshiped
b. The second period terminates at the 18th century A.D.  The nature gods were then regarded as incarnations of the Buddha.  Buddhist priests also introduced many ideas and customs.
c. The third period continues from the second period to this present time.  Furthermore, a succession of scholars appeared: Mabuchi (1697-1767), Motoori (1730-1801), and Hirata (1776-1843).  They were prompted largely from love of antiquity and also a hatred of all things foreign.  They sought to re-establish pure Shinto.  They taught that its essence was obedience to nature and to the emperor.  They produced an effect on literature and politics, but Shinto was too shallow and too ill-defined to gain a permanent hold on the people.
2. The founding of Shinto
a. The dominant Japanese tribe evidently came from the western peninsula called Yamata.  This was the district of the tribe which produced the Mikado system.  It was through this tribe that Japanese history assumed its distinctive character.
b. The Yamata men advanced and conquered, activated, as they believed, by divine command.  Their chief or Mikado, they believed, was one of the gods.  Their enemies were derived from the earth.  All worship was thus concentrated upon the Mikado, who was regarded as the earthly representative of the son of heaven.
c. Their dates were at least 660 B.C. and their land is chiefly that of Japan.  Its god is called kami, which really means pure, bright, superior.
3. The nature gods of Shinto
a. There are 80 myriads of gods in the Nihongi and 800 myriads in the Kogoshui.  There are gods of high heaven and gods of heaven, of earth and heaven, of earth and grain, and of the hills, and of the rivers, etc.  The origin of such deities is said to have occurred after the origin of the earth and heaven.  They are thus nature gods.
b. The two principal deities are:
i. The Izanagi is the male who invites
ii. The Izanami is the female who invites.  These two became the progenitors of all subsequent deities.  They have the desires, activities, and passions of human beings.
c. Shinto was chiefly a nature worship.  The sun goddess, Kagu-Tsuchi, meaning the heavenly shining one, is the most important object of worship among the nature deities.  Mikado worship is a direct lineal descendant from this sun goddess.
4. The literature of Shinto
a. Kojiki (words of ancient matters) was compiled in 712 A.D.  Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan) was issued in 720 B.C.  The author if Kojiki presents himself as a court noble of the fifth rank, who was commanded by the emperor to gather up and arrange the genealogies of the emperors and also the words of former ages.
i. The authority and authenticity of those documents were rejected by Prof. Hume of the Imperial University at Tokyo.  He was deprived of his professorship in 1893 as a result of his activity.
ii. We are also told by Hume and that the translator of Kojiki translated obscene passages into Latin instead of English.  Such cases can be put into Latin much milder than into English.
iii. Engi-shiki was compiled during the first quarter of the 10th century.  It is a collection of about 50 so-called books
iv. Many-Oshu (myriad poems)
v. Norito, a description of the active side of religion
5. Ethics and emperor worship
a. Shinto had no definite code of ethics.  They, however, hold the following precepts (their ethics are strictly materialistic):
i. The truth shall be told
ii. Gluttony should be avoided
iii. Covetous desires should be forsaken
iv. Evil, wrath, and envy should be avoided
v. Cruelty and unequal marriages are to be avoided
vi. One should kneel on entering the palace gate
vii. Knightly behavior is to be encouraged.
b. Emperor worship.  There were 3132 officially recognized shrines in 1000 A.D.  In 1880 the shrines numbered 183,047.  In 1920 they decreased to 111,181. During the same period, government shrines increased.
i. There is one supreme god, but because of his exalted position, he does not receive human worship directly, but through his minor deities.  The Mikado traces his ancestry to the goddess of the sun.
ii. The supreme god is called the central and supreme god of the heaven.  Two gods, Izanami (female) and Izanagi (male), are the Adam and Eve of Shinto and have been the source of created things.  They have many other gods and a sun goddess.  Heroes are also deified.
iii. They call their places of worship shrines, and priests may marry.  Indeed, they may leave the priesthood if they so wish.  The Mikado was a direct lineal descendent with the sun goddess.  The people obeyed him as one possessing divine right.  Hence, the thought of prophecy or written revelation was not needed
iv. Shinto is thus a system of ancestor worship with no ethical system and no sin, as the Japanese were descended from the gods.  There was no hell, and heaven is a place where heroes are, and heroes are worshiped.
6. Creation and Man
a. Before the gods existed, all things were developed by a huge egg.  In this egg was the germ of life.  The egg grew and burst.  The lighter substances floated up and made heaven.  The heavier substances floated down and made earth.  Japan was the first part created, and is the land of the gods.  Shinto apparently means the way of the gods.
b. All Japanese have come from the sun goddess.  The emperor is the direct and favored descendant, and is worthy of worship.  Man's soul cannot be defiled, but the human flesh can.  As a result, flesh will bear the punishment.  Hell for them is now, and there is no transmigration.  The flesh alone takes the rap when such is necessary.
c. In spite of it all, there is little to show that they believed in a conscious existence.  The question could have been an open one.  Wives might have been sacrificed at the Mikado's grave.  But such a custom was no proof that they believed in a conscious beyond.
7. Contributions
a. Political contributions
b. Supplied the need for a religion in early days
c. Purity with regard to personal cleanliness
d. Simplicity
e. Lack of idols in comparison with other religions
f. Loyalty to government and the head of the government
g. Loyalty to superiors
h. Reverence for beauty
8. Features and weaknesses
a. No personal founder
b. Literature is unduly obscene
c. Emperor worship
d. Paramount regent of the whole cosmos is feminine in gender
e. A blinding patriotic religion
f. Nature gods
g. About 16 million adherents


1. Introduction
a. Judaism today probably consists of an orthodox group, a reformed group, and a thoroughly modernistic group. We are not now too much interested in these groups.  Rather, we are more interested in orthodox Judaism, with the Old Testament as its only authority.
b. The Jews from Judea were called Jews while they were in Babylonian captivity, and their religion is called Judaism, or the religion of the Jews.  The word Judaism first occurs in 2 Maccabees 2:21, and also in 8:1, about B.C. 100.  Ezekiel did add to it, and interpreted it, but he is not the father of Judaism at all, as say a few modernists.
c. Judaism is the oldest of 9 personally founded religions, and may well be the oldest of all now living religions.  We would date the story of Moses at the base of Sinai at about B.C. 1450.  Thus, when Abraham was living at Ur, and later roaming around in Canaan, and when the children of Israel were groaning under Egyptian bondage, the Aryans or Bactrians were entering India and driving back the Dravidians, organizing their castes, and setting up their nature religion.
d. Abraham was in an idolatrous environment while at Ur of the Chaldees.  He left Ur and idolatrous friends behind and moved northwest to Haran.  He then moves southeast to Canaan proper, where he sacrificed to and worshiped the one True God, Elohim.  This word is both singular and plural in structure.  Abraham worshiped, walked and talked to, and obeyed and loved this God as a person.  Moses carried this Elohim back to the Elohim in the Garden.
e. Moses received a further revelation from this same God at the burning bush.  There this God revealed Himself as Yahweh, or Jahwe, and He revealed Himself as a Person of power.  He commissioned Moses to lead the Israelites from Egypt to the Mount of God.  Jehovah through Moses split a sea, defeated armies, gave light at night and shade by day, and brought them to Mt. Sinai.  There Jehovah clothed the mount in darkness and wrapped it in flame, and rocked the mount greatly.  He first spoke in audible tones the Ten Commandments.  He than wrote them on stone and gave the Law for the most part and the pattern for the tabernacle.  It is little wonder that the Jews have difficulty in transferring their allegiance from Sinai to Calvary.  Deity broke through at Sinai as it has scarcely broken through in human affairs since, and certainly never before.
f. Judaism is the earliest one of the three religions that teach that there exists one Supreme Being who is Creator of all and upholder of all and to whom every rational creature in existence owes allegiance.  This concept has passed into Christianity, and in a sense into Mohammedanism.  Christianity, however, for the conservative, in no sense is to be regarded as a different religion.  Judaism prepared the ground for Christianity, or Christianity completes Judaism.  This is Paul's great argument as he stood before Agrippa as stated in Acts 26:6-7, 22.  Paul there declares that he is the true orthodox Jew, and those who oppose him are heretics; they have defected from the heart of Judaism.
2. Historical division of Judaism.  Here we make no distinction between the religion of Israel and Judaism.  The one was merely a development from the others and Israel or the Jews remained Semitic in origin.
a. The Israelites were ground into a nation by suffering while they were in Egypt.  Had Israel had no Egypt experience she would probably have been split into 12 nations.  As it was, she was welded into one by suffering.  The time in Egypt is somewhat uncertain.
b. Israel then passed into the wilderness for 40 years.  She left Egypt by acts of divine power, and received at Sinai a code of laws which dealt with religion, society, morals, hygiene, domestic matters, and also political matters.  It is one of the greatest documents of all history.  We call it the Pentateuch, or the Five Books of Moses.
c. Israel then crossed Jordan under Joshua, and took possession of their promised land.  They were guided and ruled first by warrior judges, as expressed in the Book of Judges, from Joshua to Samuel.  This would again be a period of uncertain length.
d. We then have the monarchy introduced by Samuel in the persons of Saul, David, and Solomon.  This is called the period of the united Kingdom.
e. We then have the divided kingdom, the united kingdom split in two as a result of Solomon's son, Rehoboam's folly.  The Northern ten tribes was known as Israel, and continued down to the Assyrian captivity in 722 BC.  The Southern 22 tribes was known as Judah, and continued down to the Babylonian Captivity.
f. Judah was then 70 years in Babylonian captivity.  Cyrus' edict of 536 BC covered the captives of both east and west, and a remnant of both north and south returned to the south, thenceforth known as Judah.
g. From B.C. 606 to 70 A.D., we have them in Judah under various kinds of overlords.  At their rejection of their Messiah, they said We have no king but Caesar, and His blood be on us and on our children.  Both have been and are true.  Today they are under guilt and condemnation for guilt in rejecting the Messiah.
3. Basic beliefs.  Judaism rests on 2 basic doctrines, which may be divided into several: (1) Monotheism or one God.  The belief in one and only one God; and (2) Israel was chosen by this God to be the bearer of this belief to all mankind.

a. This God is both transcendent and immanent.  He is transcendent in that he is unbounded by any form or manifestation.  Spiritually he is thus omnipotent.  Thou, God, seest me (Exod. 16:13).  He is immanent in that his activity extends to the physical as well as the spiritual.  Acts of and in nature are referred to as deeds of God by many Old Testament writers.  Thus, whether in harmony with nature or out of harmony, events were acts of God.
b. This God is the Ground of all existence or being in the natural field or out of the material field.  He is the Creator of everything except his own being.  He Himself is uncreated.  He thus brought everything into existence, and upholds everything in existence.
c. As a transcendent and immanent being, God is a rational and free personality, possessed of ethical or moral attributes.  No attribute can be violated in the exercise of another attribute.  God is absolutely holy and absolutely righteous, and can neither do an unholy or unrighteous thing.  Furthermore, being free himself, and having created free rational creatures, he must permit action which he does not approve of.  His holiness and righteousness demands that he judge those actions.  The idea of a judgment arises, and a general final judgment becomes a necessity as a result of his righteousness.  This idea of absolute righteousness in God was a tremendous step forward in Hebrew thinking from the old pagan idea of capricious and evil gods.
d. The Hebrew religion had a vital concern for individual and moral betterment.  Hebrew monotheism not only affirms the ethical character of God, but also makes conformity to the divine pattern the supreme task of man (Lev. 19:2).  This idea presupposes some things:
i. Man was created holy and righteous in the spiritual image of his Creator, but unconfirmed in his moral direction.  His loyalty to his Creator had to be tested to confirm his direction.  Man fell in that test and became exceedingly sinful in practice and in heart (Gen. 1:27, 6:5).
ii. God's own moral nature and moral government forbid him to arbitrarily forgive.  Someone must take the punishment and then forgiveness can be extended to the repentant sinners.  This is the crux for God clothing Himself in human flesh; and in that nature paying the price of sin so that he can forgive the repentant.  This is the reason for the promise of the Messiah in the first place (Gen. 3:15), and for the setting up of the sacrificial system to illustrate and make understandable the death of the Messiah to come (Luke 24:44-47).
iii. The two-fold nature of sin is thus taken care of by a two-fold system of redemption.  First the person is forgiven for his acts of wrong, and second, the evil nature is removed from his heart.  We refer to the sacrificial system of Moses and to such scriptures as Ps. 24: 3,4; Ps. 51:1-7; Ps. 73:1; Deut. 30:6; Ezek. 36:25-27; Isa. 6:5-7; Exod. 19:1ff; Lev. 27:34; Heb. 1:1- 13:25.
e. Redemption by this means is universally extended to all who will.  This was true in Egypt with regard to the paschal lamb and the sacrifices in the desert and later in Canaan.  The sojourner could partake of the sacrificial benefits.  Isaiah called the Gentiles.  Jesus commanded his disciples to go into all the world (Mark. 16:15).  Paul implemented that command to the full. (Acts 13:1).
f. In the light of the history of Israel, history itself becomes a unit with an axis.  That axis is the redemptive death of the Christ.  History becomes His story, with a beginning and an end, and a purpose.  The purpose is, then, the bringing of many sons to glory in the moral image of the Son.
4. The sacred scriptures
a. Here we have references not to the Talmud, etc. but to the sacred scriptures alone.  Those scriptures were in a collection of 24 documents.  We divide the 24 into the 39.  Judaism in Jesus' day placed them into three books.
i. The Law or the Torah or the Pentateuch: The five books of Moses for the most part.  This was probably their greatest sections, and also their first literary effort in Judaism.
ii. The Prophets.  The 17 books attributed to the Prophets, better known as the Major and Minor prophets.
iii. The Psalms.  The Poetic and Wisdom literature.  This area is sometimes known as the writings and take in more than the poetic and wisdom literature.
iv. The Sacred scriptures were written in Hebrew, with the exception of half of the book of Daniel, certain official documents in Ezra, and a single verse in Jeremiah.   What is not in Hebrew is in Aramaic.  There are, however, lone words from five different languages in Daniel.
1. It must be remembered that the Hebrew scriptures are inspired.  Yet, in spite of that fact, there are areas and sometimes whole books which rank with the literature of all times: Deuteronomy, Job, parts of Isaiah, and certain psalms (1, 23, etc,)
2. The Old Testament was written over a period of about 1000 years; that is, from Moses to Malachi.  They were written by men from almost every level of life and training.  Each generally wrote on his own level.
3. There are a great many different types of literature in the Bible.  Some of those types are: prose, history, biography, short story, essay, letters, orations, prayers, parables, visions, and straight poetry, devotional, drama, laments and dirges, nature lyrics, epic poetry, didactic prose, didactic poetry, elegy, prophetic literature, ritualistic, patriotic.  Some of those types are broken down into sub-types like satire and irony.
v. Great characters
1. Israel was never a large nation, and never had great universities as we know them.  She did, however, have an excellent system of education, led by the Levites in particular.  They were strong on language, fine arts, and letters.  She had far more than her share of great men who have lived in history.
2. Those men were in many fields of endeavor.  Some of them were Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Samuel, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.  She had great architects, agriculturists, and soldiers: Joshua, Saul, David, Joab.  She also had great statesmen: Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon.  She excelled in many other fields.  Remember that Paul and the apostles and other early Christians were Jews.
vi. Messianic Hope
1. The first Messianic Hope was for a Savior to come and redeem man from sin.  This was the child born and a declaration given, and the substitutionary offering to which the sacrificial offerings and system pointed.
2. The second aspect of the Messianic Hope was the glorious appearing of the God in the Person of the Christ to gather Israel and the rightful ruler of the world.  The Jews ignore prophecy of the first and look for the second only.
vii. Evaluation
1. Elements of strength
a. One Righteous and Holy God
b. This God is the Moral Governor of the universe
c. All sin is against this God
d. There is a relationship between God and man
e. There is an ethical relationship between God and man.
f. Satisfaction in obeying the laws of God
g. A highly ethical and lofty worship
h. A lofty destiny held out to the people of God
i. Its interest in its adherents
j. High standards for domestic life
k. Steadfastness in affliction
l. Hope for a better future
2. Elements of weakness.  Most of its weaknesses spring from its 4000-years-ago ethnic and social setting, and from human interpretation and failures in persons of great position.
a. Its exclusiveness
b. Its emphasis on God's preference for Israel
c. Its emphasis on past customs or laws
d. Its tendency to regard sin as a ceremonial something.
e. Legalism and formalism emphasized
f. No effort to convert the world
viii. In the Americas, there are 5,783,000 Jews.  In Eurasia; 4,763,000 Jews.  In Africa and Oceania; 767,000 Jews.  A total 11,313,000 on synagogue rolls.  There are probably more Jews in New York than in Palestine. 


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