Ajivika - Informative & researched article on Ajivika
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesIndian Philosophy

 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
History of India|Indian Temples|Indian Museums|Indian Literature|Geography of India|Flora & Fauna|Indian Purans|Indian Philosophy|Indian Administration|Indian Languages|Education
Home > Reference > Indian Philosophy > Indian Philosophy > Ajivika
The Ajivikas believed that a precise and non-personal cosmic principle, known as, Niyati, determined the transmigration.
 An ancient philosophical and ascetic movement that occurred in the Indian Sub Continent was known as Ajivika. They were the contemporaries of the early Buddhist and historical Jains. They might be a loosely organized group of wandering ascetics known as the `samans` or `sanyasins`. The Ajivikas believed that a precise and non-personal cosmic principle, known as, Niyati determined the transmigration of the human soul. It is completely independent of the actions performed by a person. They were believed to be the strict fatalists who did not believe in `karma` or the possibility of free will.

The information that has been collected from the fragments of Ajivika doctrine preserved in Buddhist and Jain sources, states that they were strict fatalists who did not believe in `karma` or the possibility of free will.

As stated in the Pali and Sanskrit literature, Makkhali Gosala was the founder of the Ajivika faith. Other sources report that Gosala was a leader of a large Ajivika congregation, but was not the founder of the movement. Another leader of the Ajivika was Purana Kassapa. Again, Gosala was believed to be a friend of Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. But according to Jain Bhagavati Sutra, Gosala was a disciple of Mahavira for a period of six years.

During Emperor Ashoka`s time, the Ajivika philosophy reached its peak of popularity but later declined into anonymity. Ashoka`s father Bindusara was a great believer of this philosophy. Inscriptions from southern India reports that the Ajivikas might continue to exist in India till the 13th century CE.

One of the interesting points to note is that the founder of the Mauryan Dynasty, Chanakya and the preceptor of Ashoka`s mother Subhadrangi was an Avijika.

Although it is known that most of the Avijikas were atheistic, there were many theistic figures too. Such as, Gosala Mahakali was a devotee of Shiva and Chanakya was a devotee of Vishnu.

They are believed to possess many scriptures. Of these scriptures the existing are the scattered selections of verse in Buddhist and Jain sources that seem to represent quotations from Avijika scriptures.

(Last Updated on : 08/09/2009)
More Articles in Indian Philosophy  (62)
Recently Updated Articles in Indian Philosophy
Concept of Ethics in Buddhism
Concept of Ethics in Buddhism is usually based on the elucidated perspective of Lord Buddha or of his followers. Moral instructions or the Concept of Ethics are included in the Buddhist scriptures.
Dravyas or Substances in Jain Philosophy
Dravyas or Substances occupy an important place in the Jain school of thought. The Jain philosophers believe that the universe or the ultimate reality is made up of animate and the inanimate objects.
Lord Pushpadanta
Lord Pushpadanta was the Ninth Tirthankara among the twenty-four Jain Tirthankars. He left all the worldly pleasures and attained nirvana.
Reform Movements in Digambara Sect
Reform Movements in Digambara Sect initiated ‘the Dasas` Right to Worship Movement` and the `shastra-mudrana Virodhi Andolana`. Both the movement had been successful under their individual leaders.
Psychic Life of Incarnate Souls
Psychic Life of Incarnate Souls has arisen from unlimited power according to Jain Philosophy. It has been said as long as the soul is bound to any kind of matter it needs an organ to express itself.
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
Forum on Indian Philosophy
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Reference
Ajivika - Informative & researched article on Ajivika
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.