•  Concept of ahimsa (non-violence) was its chief contribution. In its
        contemporareous period, it helped to boost the cattle wealth of the
        country, and later it became one of the cherished values of Indian
     •  In the field of art and architecture Buddhism takes the credit for: (i)
        first human statues to be worshipped; (ii) stone-pillars depicting the
        life of the Buddha at Gaya, Sanchi and Bharhut; (iii) Gandhara art and
        the beautiful images of the Buddha; (iv) cave architecture in the
        Barabar hills at Gaya and in western India around Nasik; (v) art
        pieces of Amaravati and Nagarjuna Konda; and numerous other
        works and sites.
     •  Buddhist architecture developed essentially in three forms, viz. (i)
        stupa (a domical structure in which the relics of the Buddha or some
        prominent Buddhist monk are preserved; hence some kind of a tomb),
        (ii) chaitya (a temple or a shrine with a prayer hall), and (iii) vihara (a
        monastery or residence of monks).
     •  Promotion of education through residential universities like those at
        Taxila, Nagatjuna Konda, Nalanda, and Vikramasila.
     •  Promotion of Pali and many local languages, such as Kannada,
        Gujarati, etc.
     •  Improvement in the condition of women and other downtrodden
     •  Replacement of dogmatism and faith by reason and logic.
     •  Promotion of trade and commerce.
     •  Spread of Indian culture to other parts of Asia.
Origin of Jainism
The origin of Jainism is shrouded in mystery. In the Rig Vedic hymns there
are clear references to Rishabha and Arishtanemi, two of the Jaina
tirthankaras. The story of Rishabha also occurs in the Vishnu Purana and
Bhagavat Purana where he figures as an avatara (incarnation of Narayan).