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Jainism and Buddhism

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About Jainism and Buddhism

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In the Vedic period, when the society was divided into the 4 Varnas, which were - Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishyas, and Shudras, it was decided based on the birth of the individuals. The Brahmins and the Kshatriyas were the two dominated Varnas who competed to gain their supremacy.  While Kshatriyas were the rulers who did not support the domination of the Brahmin priests. 

Both the profound spiritual leaders Gautam Buddha and Mahavira Jain challenged the unreasoned dominance of Brahmins. Also, the importance of Vaishyas increased with the flourish of trade. 

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Difference between Jainism and Buddhism 

The difference between the two religions is tabulated as follows:

Buddhism 

Jainism



Practices Involved

The practice of - Meditation, Eightfold Path, to perceive the right view, to get the right aspiration, to deliver a right speech, to conduct right action, to live in a right livelihood, to give the right effort, have the right mindfulness, focus with the right concentration.

The Five vows are - Truth, Non-violence, Non-stealing, Non-attachment, also control over the desires and senses. With a Greater emphasis on non-violence and also the truth. They also follow 3 jewels of the Right Perception, Right Knowledge, and the way to Right Conduct.

Place of Origin

It originated in the Indian subcontinent

Originated in our country, India.

Belief of God

The idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator is rejected by the Buddhists. The Buddha himself refuted the theistic argument that this universe was created by a self-conscious, God.

Jainism does not believe in the one creator that is God.

Use of Statues and Pictures

They use statues, which are used as meditation objects, and it is revered as they reflect the qualities of the leader Buddha.

Common statutes.


Similarities between Jainism and Buddhism

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The similarities between the two are listed as follows:

  • Both religions believe in faith and Karma.

  • Both of them are non-theistic religions.

  • They both had a common background associated with the Aryan Culture.

  • Both religions are founded by the Kshatriyas of Northern India.

  • Both the religions were against Vedas and the Vedic culture as well as against Brahmanism.

  • Both opposed the sacrifice of animals.

  • Both the leaders in their religion preached Satya, Ahimsa, Brahmacharya, and detachment from the materialistic world. 

Jainism History 

The origins of the religion Jainism are uncertain. The Jains claim that their religion is eternal, and they consider Rishabhanatha as the founder in the present time-cycle, he who lived for 8,400,000 Purva years. Rishabhanatha is the first Tirthankara among other 24 Tirthankaras who are considered mythical figures by historians.

3 Principles of Jainism 

Jainism is a religion that believes in self-help. In this religion, there are no gods or any spiritual beings who will help human beings. 

The three guiding principles followed by Jainism are called the 'three jewels', which are – 

  • Right Belief

  • Right Knowledge

  • Right Conduct

Also, the supreme principle of the Jain religion is following non-violence or ahimsa.

Mahavira and Buddha 

Mahavira is often regarded as the founder of Jainism, but the Jains believe that the 23 previous Tirthankaras also embraced the religion. Parshvanatha was born 273 years before Mahavira was born. Parshvanatha is a Tirthankara whom the modern Western historians considered to be a historical figure, who lived in about the 8th century BCE.

Buddhism religion's founder is Buddha, who is considered an extraordinary man, but he is not a god. The word Buddha means the “enlightened one”. He believed that the path to enlightenment is attained by utilizing morality, meditation, and gaining wisdom. Buddha's most important teachings are known as The Four Noble Truths, which are essential to understand this religion.

10 Teachings of Mahavira

  1. One should always speak the truth.

  2. Control over self is very important.

  3. There is no logic in accumulating a lot of wealth that cannot be spent.

  4. Be honest with everybody.

  5. Following the path of non-violence.

  6. Be compassionate towards all living beings.

  7. Belief in the Soul and Karma

  8. Follow Nirvana

  9. Non-Belief in the one God

  10. Rejection of the Vedas

Founder of Jainism and Buddhism

Jainism

The founder of Jainism is Mahavira. He is often called the founder of Jainism, but the Jains believed that the 23 previous Tirthankaras also adopted this religion.

Buddhism

This religion, Buddhism was founded in the late 6th century B.C.E. by Siddhartha Gautama also known as the "Buddha". This is an important religion in most Asian countries.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What are Varnas?

Ans. The varnas which are known since a hymn in the Rigveda are the oldest surviving Indian text which portrays and identifies the Brahman priest, the Kshatriya noble, the Vaishya who is the commoner, and the Shudra who works as a servant. They are issued forth at creation from the mouth, arms, thighs, and feet of the primaeval person or the Purusha.

Varna while in context means the "colour, race, tribe, species, kind, sort, nature, character, quality, property" of an object or a people which in some Vedic and medieval texts are being referred to. Varna is the four social classes in the Manu Smriti.

Q2. What is Aryan Culture?

Ans. Aryan is the name that is given to a people who speak an archaic Indo -European Language. They settled in prehistoric times in the ancient Iran of the northern Indian subcontinent. The theory of the Aryan race was evident in the mid-19th century, which remained prevalent until the mid-20th century. The hypothesis said, those probably the light-skinned Aryans were the group who invaded and then conquered ancient India from the north and those whose literature, religion, and the modes of social organization subsequently shaped the course of the Indian culture, mainly the Vedic Religion.  

Q3. What do you mean by Ahimsa?

Ans. Ahimsa is a term that means not to do any harm. This word is derived from the Sanskrit root hiṃs – which means to strike; hiṃsā is an injury or harm. While, a-hiṃsā is the opposite of harm, i.e., non harming or non-violence. This is an important tenet in most Indian religions.