(Last Updated on : 20/09/2014)
Like Sunga period, Satavahanas was also the period of the rise of the Brahmanism. Many types of yajanas were prevalent during this period. It can be known from Navaghat inscription that various kinds of sacrifices were performed during this period. Satkarni I is said to have performed two Asvamedha sacrifices and one Rajasuya sacrifices. Sacrifices like agnyadhaya, aiviramshtniva, gavamayina, angirasatirattra, aptoryama, angirasamayana, gargatisutra, chhandb gspapvarnanatiratra, trayodasaratra, etc. were also performed by satakarni I. The system of giving charity and dakshina to the Brahmans were also prevalent. There was prevalence of the rites and rituals all over the place.
Along with the Brahman religion Vaishnava and Shaiva religion were also developing at that time. It can be understood from the names such as 'Vishnupalit', 'Vishnudutt', etc. Various inscriptions indicate the prevalence of the Vaishanava religion likewise names, such as, 'Shivadutta', 'Shivabhut', 'Bhutapil', 'Skand', etc., found in the inscriptions and elsewhere indicate the prevalence of the worship of lord Shiva in the society.
Thus it can be seen that Nandi, nag etc. were also worshipped in the society, places of pilgrimage were given much importance and it was considered pious to go and have bath in holy places and to give charity to the Brahman.
Because of the tolerant attitude of the Satavahana towards the religion, Buddhism also flourished during the reign of the Satavahana dynasty. The Buddhist caves and epigraphs built during this period at Pitalkhara, Nasik, Bhoja, Bedsaondane and Kuda and the Buddhist stupas at Bhattiprobe, Amaravati, Goli, Ghantasala and Gmmadidurru show the progress which Buddhism had made during this period. Various Buddhist caves built during this period. These were mainly of two types. Chaityagrihas or temples, and Layanas or residential quarters for Bhikshus. Buddhist monks and other followers of Buddhism were here to propagate their religion. Some of the Buddhist monks had enough money for this purpose. Buddhist Bhikshus remained in caves only in rainy season while in other seasons they propagated their religion.
Another important feature of the Satavahana period was that a large number of foreigners embraced either Buddhism or Brahmanism. Many of the Yavanas, Sakas, Phalanas and Abhiras settled in Gudoa and became follower of Brahmanism or Buddhism. For example Heliodorous, an ambassador to Bhagabhadra of Vidisa was a follower of Brahmanism.
Thus it can be seen that the Satavahana period was the period of religious tolerance. Not a single example of religious persecution is found.