Our lives are full of traditions. No one can argue against that. Be it in whatever country, there are some certain rules and traditions that one has to follow. Most of these traditions that one is forced to follow is those of the religions, which one has been born into. It is a known fact that one does not really choose a religion, not for some time though. We are all born into a certain religion, where we go from there is our choice. The tradition of following religion has been there ever since the beginning of time. But not ever religion that has taken over the world started as a religion. Most of them started as simple philosophies and most of them simply in revolt against those religions which had been in power. India is a secular state, dominated by Hindus. But one cannot deny the existence of the other religions. Ever since the beginning of time the land of India has given birth to many a new religions, which have travelled all over the globe and are followed more religiously there. If one looks back then one will see that these religions were not really religions, but pure philosophies and philosophical traditions which had been started to bring about the change and not a new religion. They were converted into religions by people years and years later after the death of its founder. So here are some philosophical traditions which have been converted into religion :
Without any doubt Buddhism is one of the extremely well known religions in Asia especially in the eastern Asia. When one travels to east Asia they find more and more people who follow this religion. Originally an Indian philosophy, Buddhism arose out of discontent from the vedic authority. In the time of Gautama Buddha, the authority of the Vedas was regarded as the highest and no one could defy that. Everyone knows the story of Gautama Buddha, it is taught in school, year after year.
He was indeed someone who stood for the suffering of the people and wanted to free them for the suffering of the world. But he did not believe that he was God. He himself was a man who stayed away from any metaphysical proclamations. If one goes through the texts of Buddhism then one will find hardly any talk regarding metaphysics. The main and the only goal of him was to rid his people of the daily suffering they bore to themselves as well as others. Like a guru in the Himalayas, he did the same. But he drew larger crowds and his philosophical theory had a place for every man, but not for women.
After the death of Gautama, his followers passed his teachings which were later written down. After years and years of it being followed down, it was turned into a religion by the people.
2 Sikhism :
A religion which is mostly concentrated in the northern area and is a community of warriors, was actually a philosophy which turned it’s path. Guru Nanak Dev, is said to be the founder of the religion. He was a Hindu, born in East Punjab, which now lies in Pakistan. When he started preaching his philosophy to the masses, he never claimed it to be a religion. But instead all that he preaches was for the lessening of the suffering for the people. He saw the suffering around him and wanted to help people.
He appointed his successor, so that people would not feel loss after his death and that there would be someone who would preach the same thing as he did. His followers consisted of both Hindus and Muslims alike. This philosophy was arisen out of the discontent from both the major religions of that time which were Hinduism and Islam. As time passed by his successors, worked on the philosophy and turned it into a religion. As it was turned into a religion and its preaching was recorded into a holy book, many people flocked towards it and became a part of this religion.
Jainism, which is also known as Jaina Dharm was not founded by Mahavira, also known as Vardhama, who was the 24th Tirthankara. It was instead founded by Rishaba, the very first Tirthankara. It is indeed one of the oldest religions in the world. This was another religion which grew out of the discontentment of the Hindu religion. The theories of most of the earlier Tirthankara are not known as Mahavira was the one who made Jainism popular. It was the basic teaching in order to cure the suffering of people. All the 24 Tirthankaras worked towards it. Years after the death of Mahavira, one of the biggest philosophical schools of India was converted into a religion.
The one thing which all of these philosophical schools cum religions hold in common is that they grew out of the discontent of the authority of the Vedas and also that the founders of these school were tired of the suffering which people went through in their everyday life. All they wanted was to help them get rid of this never ending suffering. All the religions have philosophies attached to it. Most of the leading religions of the world came up as religions which had philosophical significance. But these religions were of philosophical significance before they were turned into religions. Wars are being fought on religion all across the globe. What one should do is consider the philosophical teachings behind the religion and grasp them as a whole. If something can cure your suffering and free you from the never ending cycle, then why not?