Buddhism gave the greatest jolt to the orthodox Brahamism.Buddhism exercised profound influence in shaping the various aspects of Indian society. It developed a popular religion without any complicated, elaborate and unintelligible rituals requiring necessarily a priestly class. This was one of the reasons for its mass appeal. The ethical code of Buddhism was also simpler based on charity, purity, self sacrifice, and truthfulness and control over passions.
It laid great emphasis on love, equality and non violence. It became an article of faith for the followers of the Buddhism. It laid emphasis on the fact that man himself is the architect of his own destiny. It was devoid of any elaborate idea of God. Although Buddhism could never dislodge Brahmanism from its high position, it certainly jolted it and inspired institutional changes in Indian society.
Rejecting the caste system and its evils including rituals based on animal sacrifices, conservation, fasting and pilgrimage, it preached total equality. Promotion of social equality and social justice helped Buddhism to cross the frontiers of Indian sub-continent and became a world religion. In the field of education Buddhism tried to make education practical, action oriented and geared towards social welfare. Most of the ancient Indian universities like Nalanda,Taxila were products of Buddhism.