Most of the eastern religion was started with a higher form of practice and later developed into a lesser form of practice. Western religions specially started with a lesser form of practice and some preachers tried to follow a higher form of practice, but numbers are only a few.
Let’s understand what lesser form and higher form of religion is
Lesser form of religion
A lesser form of religion includes prayers, rituals, tantric practice, pilgrimage, fasting, heaven, hell and practices who try to make a relation with a god or communication with a god. A lesser form of religion is more popularized because people understand these things very easily. Most of man or woman believe that God will only give you blessings if you make gods happy. These practices were evolved to make the gods happy.
Higher form of religion
A higher form of religion includes dissociation from all rituals, prayers, pilgrimage, fasting, heaven, hell and practices who try to make relation with god. Follower of these religions are mostly awaken people. It is very difficult to describe these forms of practices because it varies individual to individual. These people don’t fight over religions, they usually try to remain silent on these topics. Only a few people are truly following a higher form of religion. The higher form includes philosophy, reasoning, scientific methods of mind and body control techniques etc.
Understanding by examples
Islam started with lesser form, if we believe in Quran, it includes lesser form practices such as five times prayers, a pilgrimage to mecca and medina (Haj), keeping beards, fasting (Roza), Ramadan etc. Many people believe that Allah will give blessings only if they follow these practices. Sufi people tried to follow higher form by meditation and having mystical experiences however, they were persecuted by mainstream Islamic population. Overall, we can say Islam doesn’t allow to follow higher form or it never understands that.
As Islam,Christianity also started with a lesser form of practice, Some Christian tried to follow higher form practice by going into Syrian dessert etc.
Hinduism started with higher form but due to the complex nature of higher form. Later it evolved into lesser form, so common people can understand the religious concepts easily. Yoga and meditation in Hinduism are part of a higher form of religion. In Hinduism there are many sects who don’t take part in the active life of the world, they chose to go Himalaya and practice their religion secretly.
Buddhism born out of Hindu religion, it was established in response to the dominance of brahman in the society. Many people became followers of Buddhism as it was offering equality to every human being. Buddhism were also started with higher form however, it complexities made people develop a lesser form of practices.
Jainism was also coming out of Hinduism and it was contemporary to Buddhism. It was started with a higher form of practice and later it developed into a lesser form of practice.