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In other words, the old Vedic religion had ceased to be a living force.
The spiritual unrest and the intellectual stimulation led to the rise of various heterodox religious movements.
The changing features of social and economic life, such as the growth of towns, expansion of the artisan class and the rapid development of trade and commerce also focused on the necessity to bring about changes in society and religion.
The new ideas brought about by the reform movements challenged the established social order particularly the caste-system, the religious rituals and sacrifices, the supremacy of the Brahmanas, particularly by the Kshatriyas, and all the dead customs of the society.
They did not want to start new or independent religions but drew their inspiration from the teachings as embodied in the Upanishads.
They provided a rational approach to handle the problems that had crept in the Indian society as a result of the prevailing complexities.
At the same time, Hinduism by this time had made its influence so widely spread on Indian soil that people started realizing that the degeneration in Indian society was mainly because of the evils of Hinduism. The emphasis on sacrifices, rituals and the dominance of Brahmanas had vitiated the original doctrines of Hinduism.
In this period, we notice a growing resentment to the ritualistic orthodox ideas of the Brahmanas.
Band of Brothers - According to Roman records, the Iron Age Celtic peoples of Britain consisted of war-like tribes - but this could well be propaganda of the age.
In 43 AD, as now, invaders found ways of justifying their subjugation of the native people whose country they colonized and whose land they took.
It still thrills us to see an apparently impossible phenomenon happen before our eyes.
Reaching back through to prehistoric times, the pagan magicians, who could conjure material from nothing or predict the future, would almost certainly have been held in the highest regard.