Jainism


Jainism is an Indian religion that emphasizes complete non-violence and asceticism. Jainism emerged in 6th-century BCE India, the same time Buddhism was developing. The faith is named for the jinas, spiritual conquerors who have achieved liberation and perfection. Included among these are the 24 spiritual leaders called "ford-makers" or tirthankaras. The last of the tirthankaras was Mahavira (599-527 BCE), a contemporary of the Buddha who is generally considered the founder of Jainism.

Jinas are believed to reside in the top level of heaven, above the realm of the gods. Accordingly, liberated souls are revered more than the gods. Jainism incorporates the traditional Hindu concepts of karma and reincarnation, but rejects the Veda scriptures, castes and the idea of a creator god. The goal of life is to reach liberation by a life of purification, discipline, and nonviolence as taught by the tirthankaras.

Followers of Jainism are called Jains, and there are about 4 million worldwide. Jain ritual centers around on sacred images and mantras.


  • Jain Beliefshttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/beliefs

    Jainism has historical roots in Hinduism, but there are many differences between the two Indian religions today. Central to Jian belief is the material and the spiritual realm...

  • Books on Jainismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/books

  • Jain Ethicshttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/ethics

    Mahavira is said to have taught five principles to live by in order to rid oneself of karma and escape the wheel of rebirth: nonviolence (ahimsa) truthfulness (satya) taking only that which is freely given; i...

  • Fast Facts on Jainismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/facts

  • Glossary of Jainismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/glossary

    ahimsaprinciple of non-violence to any living thingajivanonlivingAmbikaMother-Goddessanekantvadprinciple of multiple viewpoints (illustration: story of blind men and elephant)apirigrahamprinciple of avoidance of material possessionsArihanta"destroyer of enemies" - the spiritual state at which inner passions have been destroyed (ego, deceit, greed, anger, etc...

  • History of Jainismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/history

    What is the story of the Jain faith?What is the historical context of the Jain religion? Jainism arose in 7th century BC Eastern India, home to Hinduism and Buddhism...

  • Links on Jainismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/links

    General Information on Jainism BBC Religion & Ethics: Jainism Basic information on history, beliefs, etc., plus illustrated feature articles...

  • Rituals and Practices of Jainismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/practices

    What are Jain religious practices? The Jain religion was born in India in the 6th century B.C. Jainism shares similarities with Hinduism and Buddhism, due in large part to the historical and cultural context in which it arose...

  • Jain Symbolshttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/symbols

    What are the Symbols of Jainism? Name: Ahimsa Hand The hand represents fearlessness. The wheel on the palm represents the dharmacakra, which is the desire to stop the cycle of reincarnation through non-violence...

  • Timeline of Jainismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/timeline

    A Chronology of the Jain faith Although many people associate theHindu religion with India, Jainism is another world religion that was established in that historic country...