In almost a total contrast to the Theravadan way of thinking is the much earlier teaching of the Vedic religion of the Aryan people. According to Vedic thought, Brahman or the atman is a passenger of a chariot. The chariot is the body and the driver of the chariot is the mind which the atman is trying to escape from. In their religion there are numerous gods like Indra the god of war and Agni the god of fire. There are eventually four classes structured from the body of Purusa, these are Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. While people liked the idea of having gods watching over them, the fact that the Brahman class began to gain a monopoly on maintaining cosmic order and power made many uneasy. People begin to see the earth as a trap, and they doubt the greatness of and the oneness, unchanging unity in the world. From this is a rise to the Upanishads. These are speculative elaborations of the Vedas.


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