The Background of Buddhism
The sixth century B.C. was an age of turbulence in India. The political tumult of the day led to the final emergence of an empire, i.e. Magadh. The socio-economic convulsions of the day set many thinking individuals seek new answers.
It is inherent in human nature to seek answers to all the imponderables of life like meaning of birth and death, meaning of life, what lies for life after death etc.
Caught in the vortex of the mighty socio-economic transformation of society along with the tumultuous developments in the political field, an average individual could find no comfort in the orthodoxy and the superior arrogance of Brahmanism. In a way society witnessed some kind of normlessness or anomie.
It was in this context that a large number of schools of thought came into existence and Buddhism was one of them. The marked changes of the day increased the sufferings of man.
It was this social situation that moved Prince Siddhartha of the Sakya Clan of Kapilvastu. Disillusioned with princely life, he renounced his status at the age of 29 after the birth of a son. This is known as the Great Renunciation.