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(äjē`vĭkə), religious sect of medieval India, once of major importance. The Ajivikas were an ascetic, atheistic, anti-Brahmanical community whose pessimistic doctrines are related to those of JainismJainism
[i.e., the religion of Jina], religious system of India practiced by about 5,000,000 persons. Jainism, Ajivika, and Buddhism arose in the 6th cent. B.C. as protests against the overdeveloped ritualism of Hinduism, particularly its sacrificial cults, and the authority of
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. Its founder, Gosala (d. c.484 B.C.), was, it is said, a friend of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. Gosala denied that a man's actions could influence the process of transmigration, which proceeded according to a rigid pattern, controlled in the smallest detail by an impersonal cosmic principle, Niyati, or destiny. After a period of prosperity under Aśoka, the sect rapidly declined and only retained local importance in SE India, where it survived until the 14th cent.


See A. L. Basham, History and Doctrines of the Ajivikas (1951).

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References in periodicals archive ?
(53) Despite this suggestive language, Kalupahana does not unpack any account of how the intermediate position is supposed to work, except perhaps what is hinted at in his discussion of Ajivika fatalism.
As a postulate of degeneration it indeed is an instance of power, particularly when its attachments to naturalistic Brahminical ideologies become clear, but what is immediately noteworthy is the fact that such deep notions of time also abound in the staunchly anti-Brahminical Buddhist, Jaina, and Ajivika texts.
See, for example, the issue of cave donations: "Ascetics of the Ajivika order had, as we saw, prophesied glad tidings for Ashoka, so a disinterested distribution of caves to sundry sects may not have been the idyllic scenario painted sometimes by those desiring to boost the emperor's proto-secular credentials" (p.
The second section comprises four articles that explore the links between Jains and other communities, including evidence of contact between Jains and Buddhists (Padmanabh Jaini), the value of studying Jain materials to understand Buddhism (Kenji Watanabe), a frame of Ajivika doctrine drawn from Buddhist, Jain and, perhaps most interestingly, Hindu sources (Johannes Bronkhorst), while Muni Jambuvijay's piece--in Sanskrit--gives a short overview of Jainism, which is interesting as an example of the manner in which a learned Jain mendicant integrates his knowledge of Jainism with those fleeting references to Jainism in the writings of others.
the Buddha), Makkhali Gosala (the Ajivika teacher), and Vardhamana Jnatrputra (a.k.a.