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Jainism

JAINISM.

Famous for its promotion of nonviolence and often paired with Buddhism as one of ancient India's two greatest dissenting religions, Jainism is currently professed by roughly 0.4 percent of the population of India. Its adherents are prominent in business, and some of modern India's wealthiest and most powerful families are Jains. Jain communities are divided between a majority of lay men and women and a much smaller mendicant elite of peripatetic monks and nuns. The mendicants are a source of teaching and blessings for the laity, who in turn supply them with food and other forms of support. A disagreement over monastic discipline underlies the division between Jainism's two main sects: the Shvetambaras (white-clad), whose monks and nuns wear white garments, and the Digambaras (space-clad), whose monks wear no clothing.

Origin

Jainism first emerged into historical visibility in the sixth century b.c.e. when it was one among many religious movements of the period that stressed world renunciation and rejected the religious culture and ritualism of the Brahman priestly class. Western scholars often single out Mahavira (who lived, according to Shvetambara tradition, from c. 599527 b.c.e.) as Jainism's founder. The Jains, however, maintain that Jainism's teachings are eternal and uncreated, and consider Mahavira to have been only the most recent of an infinite series of great Jain teachers. In fact, although Jainism's roots predate Mahavira, he played a key role in defining doctrines and practices that became central to Jainism as it evolved. Viable monastic communities with lay followings formed and grew after Mahavira's death. Patronized mainly by newly emerging urban classes (especially merchants) Jainism spread in two directions from its region of origin in the Ganges River basin: down India's eastern coast into the south and westward in the direction of Mathura. The division between the Svetambaras and Digambaras crystallized in the fifth century c.e. The south ultimately became the heartland of the Digambaras; there they flourished and found royal patronage, especially in Karnataka. The Shvetambaras became prominent in the west, especially in what is now Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Canonical Texts

Although their soteriological beliefs are basically the same, the Shvetambaras and Digambaras possess separate bodies of scripture. All Jains believe that their most ancient scriptures, known as the Purvas, have been lost, and that existing texts represent only a remnant of Mahavira's actual teachings. The Shvetambara canon, usually said to consist of forty-five texts, probably assumed its present form in the fifth century c.e. Its most important texts are the twelve Angas (or limbs, one of which has been lost) and twelve Upangas (subsidiary limbs); they deal with a vast range of subjects, including doctrine, monastic discipline, duties of the laity, cosmography, and much else. The Digambaras reject the Shvetambara canon as inauthentic. Their most important texts, each containing material on the soul and the nature of its bondage, are two: the Shatkhandagam (Scripture in Six Parts), dating from the second century c.e., and a slightly later work entitled Kasayaprabhata (Treatise on the Passions).

Doctrine

The term Jain (in Sanskrit, Jaina ) means someone who venerates the jinas. Jina (conqueror) in this context refers to one who, by conquering desires and aversions, achieves liberation from the bondage of worldly existence. Achieving such liberation is the object of Jain belief and practice.

Jains believe that the cosmos contains an infinite number of immaterial and indestructible souls (jivas ). In common with other Indic traditions, the Jains also believe that each soul is reborn after death, and that the type of body it inhabits depends on the moral character of its deeds in past lives. According to Jainism, souls exist in every cranny of the cosmos: they inhabit the bodies of deities, humans, the inhabitants of hell, and plants and animals, and are also present in earth, water, fire, and air. Because the cosmos was never created, each soul has been wandering from one embodied state to another from beginningless time, and will continue to do so for infinite time to come unless it achieves liberation.

The cause of the soul's bondage is karma (action), which in other Indic religious traditions refers to the process by which one's good or bad acts give rise to consequences to be experienced in one's present or subsequent lives. The Jains, however, maintain that karma is an actual material substance (often likened to a kind of dust) that pervades the cosmos; it adheres to the soul, and the encumbrance of accumulated karmic matter is responsible for the soul's continuing rebirth. Karmic matter is drawn toward the soul by volitional actions, and its adhesion to the soul is a consequence of the emotional state of the actor. The passions, especially those of desire and aversion, create a moisture-like stickiness that causes karmic matter to build up on the soul.

To achieve liberation, therefore, one must avoid attracting more karmic matter and shed one's already existing accumulations. This is a complex and arduous process that begins with the awakening of faith in Jain teachings and ends with the removal of the last vestiges of the soul's burden of karmic matter. The liberated soul then rises to the abode of liberated souls at the top of the cosmos, where it will exist for all of endless time to come in a condition of omniscient bliss.

Avoiding violence is essential to one's progress toward liberation. Because violent actions are associated with the passions that contribute to the influx and adhesion of karmic matter, Jains are strongly committed to nonviolence (ahimsa ). At a minimum, Jains should be vegetarian. Observant Jains avoid even vegetarian foods deemed to involve excessive violence in their acquisition or preparation. Root vegetables such as potatoes are proscribed because they are believed to contain multiple souls. Such restrictions are most onerous for monks and nuns who are debarred from activities that run the risk of harming even the humblest and most microscopic of living things. Lay Jains have been attracted to business precisely because buying, selling, and banking are activities that do not involve physical violence.

Ascetic practice is also essential to the attainment of liberation. Often likened to a fire that burns away karmic matter, ascetic practice subdues harmful passions that bring about the influx and adhesion of karmic matter and removes already existing karmic accumulations. Jain mendicants are renowned for the severity of their asceticism, and even lay Jains are expected to engage in periodic fasts and other ascetic practices.

The Jains maintain that the truth of their beliefs is guaranteed by the omniscience of their teachers. Known as tirthankaras ("ford-makers") or jinas, they are human beings who attained omniscience by their own efforts and without the guidance of other teachers, and who, before becoming fully liberated, imparted liberating knowledge to others. The Jains maintain that our section of the cosmos is subject to an eternally repeating cycle of world improvement and decline. Each ascent and descent is immensely long, and in each cycle exactly twenty-four tirthankaras successively appear. We are currently nearing the end of a descending era, and Mahavira was the twenty-fourth and hence the final tirthankara of our era and part of the cosmos. No new tirthankaras will appear until the next ascending period.

The concept of omniscience, seen as a natural quality of the soul when unoccluded by karmic matter, underlies Jainism's celebrated doctrine of epistemological relativity. Known as syadvad (the doctrine of "may be"), it holds that in contrast with omniscient knowledge, which incorporates all points of view simultaneously, ordinary knowledge discloses only partial glimpses of reality.

Contemporary Jainism

Although it was once a proselytizing religion and continues vigorously to promote vegetarianism and animal welfare, Jainism has become a religion into which one is born by virtue of birth in a particular family, lineage, or caste. The castes to which Jains belong are typically merchant castes, although there are many Jains in other occupations, including agriculture. The Jains cannot be said to constitute a single community. Even in situations where they live in close proximity, relations between Shvetambaras and Digambaras are usually minimal because they belong to different castes, and are frequently adversarial, especially because of disputes over control of sacred sites claimed by both sects.

A major recent development in Jainism is the emergence of a diaspora-based religious subculture. The spread of Jainism beyond the subcontinent has been inhibited historically by the requirement that monks and nuns travel only on foot, but in recent times the number of Jains living outside India has risen to around 100,000, most of whom live in North America, Great Britain, and Africa. The difficulty of practicing Jainism in the traditional way abroad has led to a weakening of sectarian differences. It has also given rise to a tendency to stress the contemporary relevance of Jainism by downplaying traditional soteriology and capitalizing on Jainism's emphasis on nonviolence and vegetarianism by recasting the tradition in an eco-religious and environmentalist mold.

See also Asceticism: Hindu and Buddhist Asceticism ; Buddhism ; Heaven and Hell (Asian Focus) ; Hinduism ; Immortality and the Afterlife ; Nonviolence .

bibliography

Babb, Lawrence A. Absent Lord: Ascetics and Kings in a Jain Ritual Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Banks, Marcus. Organizing Jainism in India and England. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992.

Carrithers, Michael, and Caroline Humphrey, eds. The Assembly of Listeners: Jains in Society. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Cort, John E. Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Dundas, Paul. The Jains. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2002. A comprehensive overview of Jainism and an excellent introduction to the subject.

Jaini, Padmanabh S. The Jaina Path of Purification. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. The standard general study of Jainism.

Laidlaw, James. Riches and Renunciation: Religion, Economy, and Society among the Jains. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Lawrence A. Babb

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Jainism

Jainism

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Currently numbering only about 4.2 million (according to the 2001 census of India), the Jains are an ancient religious community of India. They are basically an urban community, and their largest numbers are found in the Indian states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. Trade is the traditional occupation of Jains, and they are extremely prominent among Indias merchants, especially in the countrys north and west. Contrary to stereotype, not all Jains are rich traders, but many are, with the result that Jains have achieved a degree of economic and political influence in modern India disproportionate to their relative smallness as a community.

The Jains themselves believe their religion to be eternal and thus uncreated. They maintain that it is merely rediscovered by omniscient teachers known as Tirthankaras (fordmakers) or Jinas (victors), that it is something that has already occurred, and will continue to occur an infinity of times, because time itself is beginningless and endless. Modern scholarship, however, traces the origin of Jainism to Lord Mahavira, a genuine historical figure whom Jains consider to be the most recent of the Tirthankaras to have appeared in our region of the universe. Mahaviras date and place of birth are not certain, although tradition maintains that he was born in 599 B.C.E. in a city called Kundagrama in the Ganges basin near modern-day Patna. It is possible that Mahavira was influenced by the teachings of an earlier figure named Parshva, the only other Tirthankara considered a historical figure by scholars.

Mahavira lived and taught during a period of rapid social change and urbanization in which the Vedic orthodoxy promoted by the Brahman priesthood of those days faced powerful challenges. Wandering ascetics were preaching new religions that devalued Vedic ritualism and emphasized instead the centrality of the individual salvation seeker who renounces the world. Of the nonorthodox traditions that emerged at that time, only two survive as living religions, Jainism and Buddhism, and of these, only Jainism survived in India. As did the other dissenting traditions, Jainism seems to have found special favor among newly emerging urban classes, especially the urban nobility and the merchant class. Merchants (as well as wandering mendicants) played a key role in the spread of Jainism from the Ganges basin to other regions, and royal patronage was an important factor in establishing Jainism in the south.

A major disagreement emerged early in Jainisms history over the question of whether Jain monks should wear clothing, and the dispute crystallized into a schism in the fifth century c.e. Monks and nuns belonging to the Shvetambara (white clad) sect wear white garments; monks (not nuns) belonging to the sect known as Digambara (space clad) are nude. The divide between the Digambaras and Shvetambaras has been deep and lasting, and is the principal sectarian divide in Jainism today, with further subsectarian divisions on either side. The Digambaras are especially prominent in South India, with the Shvetambaras strongest in the northwestern states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The Jains maintain that the cosmos contains an infinite number of souls (jivas ) that do not perish when the body dies, but are reborn in other bodies. Each soul recycles unceasingly, finding rebirthas determined by its behavior in lifeas humans, denizens of hell, deities, animals and plants, and even as primitive life forms inhabiting inanimate objects and substances. The cosmos is a vast structure with multiple heavens above and hells below, separated by a small zone where human life is found. Even the gods in the heavens, however, are caught in the same cycle of death and rebirth as all of the other creatures of the cosmos. Indeed, the Jains maintain that because the cosmos was uncreated and will never cease to be, all souls have already inhabited all possible bodies an infinite number of times, and will do so an infinite number of times to come unless liberated from the cycle, which is the ultimate goal of Jain religious life.

The Jains say that karma is the cause of the souls bondage to the cycle of death and rebirth. In contrast to other Indic traditions, the Jains consider karma to be an actual material substance that accumulates as an encrustation on the soul as a result of its actions. To attain liberation, therefore, one must bring the accumulation of additional karmic material to a stop and rid ones soul of past accumulations. Because violent action is a potent cause of karmic influx, nonviolence (ahimsa ) is a key strategy in the pursuit of liberation and is the foundation of Jain ethics. However, the attainment of liberation also requires the eradication of already accreted karmic matter. Ascetic practice, for which the Jains are justly famous, is said to burn away karmic accumulations, and is a conspicuous feature of Jain life. Once liberated, the soul rises to the apex of the cosmos, where it remains for all eternity in a state of isolated and omniscient bliss.

Jain tradition divides the Jain social order into four components: laymen and laywomen and monks and nuns. The monks and nuns constitute a small and peripatetic mendicant elite, and although all Jains are supposed to aspire to liberation, the mendicants are viewed as more directly on liberations path than are the laity. The mendicants daily conduct is governed by five great vows (mahavratas ): (1) nonviolence (ahimsa ), (2) truthfulness, (3) not stealing, (4) celibacy, and (5) nonpossession. All five vows leave a deep imprint on mendicant life, but especially notable are the first and fifth. The vow of nonviolence is the foundation for much of the distinctive character of Jain mendicants day-to-day life, which is organized around the need to avoid violence even to microscopic forms of life. For example, they carry special brooms with which to clear living things from surfaces on which they intend to sit or lie, and in some subsects wear masks over their mouths to prevent their hot breath from harming microscopic life forms in the air. The vow of nonpossession cements the lay and mendicant communities into a single social order by ensuring that the mendicants are totally dependent on the laity for their most basic needs, including nourishment, which must be sought from lay households on a daily basis.

Although Jainism was once a proselytizing religion, recruitment today is by birth, and most Jains belong to merchant castes that are Jain or partly Jain in composition. Lay religious life centers on support of mendicants, ascetic practices (especially fasting), observance of Jain calendrical rites, andin those subsects that permit itworship of the Tirthankaras images in temples. By comparison with the mendicants, the requirement of nonviolence is relaxed for laity, but there are normative minima applying to all lay Jains, and of these, strict vegetarianism is the most essential. Laity do the work of the world and support the mendicant elite, with the result that the mendicants are insulated from the negative effects of the violence that is an inevitable requirement of making a living, food preparation, and simply living in the workaday world. Laymen and laywomen, in turn, benefit from the mendicants teaching and from the worldly and spiritual rewards of the merit generated by supporting them.

SEE ALSO Hinduism; Religion

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Babb, Lawrence A. 1996. Absent Lord: Ascetics and Kings in a Jain Ritual Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Cort, John E. 2001. Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dundas, Paul. 2002. The Jains. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

Jaini, Padmanabh S. 1979. The Jaina Path of Purification. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lawrence A. Babb

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Jainism

Jainism

Jainism is an ancient religious and philosophical tradition that is thought to have originated in the Ganges River basin. There remain some 4 million Jains in India, spread mainly between five states, and there is also a small but influential community of emigrants in both Europe and the United States. The great philosophers of Jainism evolved a view of the universe as material and permanent, in strong contrast to the Buddhist view that everything is illusory and transient and nirvana or moksa means the merging or extinction of individuality in an undifferentiated final state. In contrast, in Jainism death leads ultimately to the liberation of the soul into an individual state of total knowledge and bliss, although this process may take several cycles of death and rebirth. In Hinduism, unlike Jainism, there is no possible form of transmitting conscious memory from one life to another, because its domain belongs to the world of illusions and dissolves at death.

The distinctive aspects of the Jain tradition are the belief in unending cycles and "half cycles" of time as well as of life and death; the spiritual model provided by twenty-four leaders (jinas ) who regenerated the Jain tradition in the present "half cycle" of time; the five vows of noninjury or nonviolence; speaking the truth; taking only that which is given; chastity; and detachment from place, persons, and things. The aim of Jain spiritual endeavor is to liberate the soul (jiva ), which is believed to leave the physical body with one's karmic matter. This matter supplies the energy for onward travel to a new destiny in the cycle of death and rebirth (karma ), which in the Jain tradition has a material nature. "Drier," more dispassionate souls are not so easily polluted by negative karma, whereas karmic matter is more easily attracted to souls that are "moist" with desires that might contravene the five vows. The soul can leave the body through several orifices. The soul of a sinner is perceived as leaving an already decayed body through the anus. The suture at the top of the skull is the purest point of the soul's exit, reserved for those who have led a life of renunciation, such as that of a dead ascetic. Just before the body of the deceased is cremated, the eldest son may help the soul of his father on its way by cracking the skull.

"First there must be knowledge and then compassion. This is how all ascetics achieve self-control" (Dasavaikalika 4:33). In Jainism, a good life through moral conduct (ahimsaa, or nonviolence and reverence for life in thoughts, words, and deeds) leads to a good death, one in which the body remains, to the last, under an ascetic type of control. Jain scriptures detail the destiny of the soul after death and the causes of physical death. These causes are classified as death because of old age or degeneration; death with desires; death without desires; the fool's death; the prudent person's death; a mixed death (i.e., the death of one who is neither a fool nor a prudent person, but one who is only partially disciplined); holy death, and (the highest state) omniscient death. "The concept of omniscience," writes Natubhai Shah, "is the central feature of Jainism and its philosophy. . . . The ultimate goal of worldly life is to acquire omniscience" (Shah 1998, 2:114). Thus, by definition, the state of perfect knowledge or omniscience (kevala jnaana ) is the highest form of life before death.

"When a wise man, in whatever way, comes to know that the apportioned space of his life draws towards its end, he should in the meantime quickly learn the method of dying a religious death." This extract from the Jain holy scriptures, known as Sutra krtraanga, identifies a ritual almost unique among the world's religions (except in the most ascetic sects): a holy fast unto death, which through inaction rids the soul of negative karma and brings about death with dignity and dispassion (sallekhanaa ). Within the Jain tradition, this is not regarded as an act of suicide (which involves passion and violence and is thus anathema) and is recommended only for a few spiritually fit persons and under strict supervision, usually in a public forum, with the approval of the family and spiritual superiors. People who die in this "death of the wise" (pandita-marana )are considered to be only a few births removed from final liberation from the painful cycle of death and rebirth. Two other forms of withdrawal from life are also practiced in conjunction with abstention from food. These are death through renunciation (sannyasana marana ) and death through meditation (samaadhi marana ).

At a Jain deathbed, the sacred mantra of surrender, obeisance, and veneration to the five supreme beings (Navakara Mantra ) is recited and hymns are sung. The same mantra is recited after death, when hymns are sung and other prayers recited. In the Indian subcontinent, the dead person is normally cremated within twenty-four hours of death (though there may be a delay of up to a week among the diaspora in Europe and the United States). Before the body is consumed in the crematorium oven, there is a period of meditation for the peace of the soul, a sermon on the temporary nature of worldly life and advice to those present not to feel grief at the departure of the soul, which will be reborn in a new body. In the Indian subcontinent, the ashes of the deceased are dispersed in a nearby sacred river, or in the absence of a suitable river, a pit. The departure of the soul at death is part of a Jain worldview in which the concept of a living soul is thought to exist in all human beings, animals, insects, and vegetation, and even in the earth, stone, fire, water, and air. The distinctive Jain respect for life and refusal to kill animals, insects, and plants for food arises from this worldview.

See also: Buddhism; Cremation; Hinduism; Immortality; Reincarnation; Zoroastrianism

Bibliography

Cort, John E. Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Laidlaw, James. Riches and Renunciation: Religion, Economy, and Society among the Jains. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.

Shah, Natubhai. Jainism: The World of Conquerors. 2 vols. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 1998.

RICHARD BONNEY

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Jainism

Jainism. An ancient Indian śrāmaṇic religious and philosophical tradition still vigorous today. The religion derives its name from the jinas (spiritual victors), a title given to twenty-four great teachers or ‘ford-makers’ (tīrthaṅkaras) whom Jains claim have appeared in the present half-cycle (avasarpiṇī) of time. In fact, Jain teaching is uncreated and eternal, being reactivated by the ‘ford-makers’ (as the Three Jewels) in unending cycles. In the present cycle, historical evidence clearly reaches back to the last two of these teachers, Mahāvīra (24th), who was a contemporary of the Buddha, and Pārśva (23rd), but it is evident that these teachers were reviving, restoring, and re-forming a thread of ancient śramaṇic teaching whose origins lie in Indian prehistory and may have links with the Indus Valley Civilization (see ṚṢABHA). The aim of Jain spiritual endeavour is to liberate the soul (jīva) by freeing it from accumulated karma. Every soul is potentially divine and can aspire to mokṣa by following a course of purification and discipline demonstrated by the tīrthaṅkaras. At the heart of Jainism lies a radical asceticism based on five great vows which monks and nuns follow and which the laity attempt to the best of their ability. The major schism of Jainism between the Digambara (‘the atmosphere clad’, i.e. naked) and Śvetāmbara (‘white clad’), began to emerge as early as 300 BCE ostensibly over whether monks should go naked or wear a simple cloth; but the two schools came to embody differing views towards the scriptures (see AŃGA), women, and monastic practice.

In early years, the Jain movement diffused from its place of origin in the Ganges basin. The diffusion of Jainism accelerated the tendency to form separate groups (see GACCHA). Jain philosophy rejects the authority of the Vedas, caste, and the idea of a God who creates. It is characterized by a realistic classification of being and a theory of knowledge which has connections with Sāṃkhya and Buddhist thought. Jain philosophers have made many distinctive contributions to Indian philosophy particularly in the kindred doctrines of nayavāda and syādvāda which together form the doctrine of the manysidedness of reality (anekāntavāda). This enables a tolerance which may account in part for the remarkable survival of Jainism in India. Whilst accounting for less than 0.5 per cent of India's vast population, Jain influence on the religious, social, political, and economic life of the country has been and is quite out of proportion to their numbers. Until the last cent., Jainism was strictly an Indian phenomenon, but many Gujarati Jains, who had settled in E. Africa, migrated to Europe in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a result of pan-Africanization policies; so that today there are estimated to be 25,000 Jains in Europe, largely in the UK. Some estimates suggest a similar number may be found in N. America.

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Jainism

Jainism (jī´nĬzəm) [i.e., the religion of Jina], religious system of India practiced by about 5,000,000 persons. Jainism, Ajivika, and Buddhism arose in the 6th cent. BC as protests against the overdeveloped ritualism of Hinduism, particularly its sacrificial cults, and the authority of the Veda. Jaina tradition teaches that a succession of 24 tirthankaras (saints) originated the religion. The last, Vardhamana, called Mahavira [the great hero] and Jina [the victor], seems to be historical. He preached a rigid asceticism and solicitude for all life as a means of escaping the cycle of rebirth, or the transmigration of souls. Thus released from the rule of karma, the total consequences of past acts, the soul attains nirvana, and hence salvation. Mahavira organized a brotherhood of monks, who took vows of celibacy, nudity, self-mortification, and fasting. Since the 1st cent. AD, when a schism developed over the issue of nudity, there have been two great divisions of Jains, the Digambaras [space-clothed, i.e., naked] and the Svetambaras [white-clothed]. Jainists, then as now, accumulate merit through charity, through good works, and in occasional monastic retreat. Early Jainism, arising in NE India, quickly spread west, and according to tradition Chandragupta, the founder of the Maurya empire, was converted to the sect, as were several kings of Gujarat. The Jaina canon, however, is preserved in an ancient dialect of NE India (see Prakrit literature). As Jainism grew and prospered, reverence for Mahavira and for other teachers, historical and legendary, passed into adoration; many beautiful temples were built and cult images set up. However, as time passed, the line between Hindu and Jain became more and more unclear. Soon Hindu gods such as Rama and Krishna were drawn into the Jaina pantheon, and Hindu Brahmans began to preside at Jaina death and marriage ceremonies and temple worship. The caste system, which primitive Jainism had rejected, also became part of later Jaina doctrine. Modern Jainists, eschewing any occupation that even remotely endangers animal life, are engaged largely in commerce and finance. Among them are many of India's most prominent industrialists and bankers as well as several important political leaders. A distinctive form of charity among Jains is the establishment of asylums for diseased and decrepit animals.

See M. S. Stevenson, The Heart of Jainism (1915, repr. 1970); M. L. Mehta, Jaina Philosophy (1970); A. K. Chatterjee, A Comprehensive History of Jainism (1984).

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Jainism

Jainism a non-theistic religion founded in India in the 6th century bc by the Jina Vardhamana Mahavira as a reaction against the teachings of orthodox Brahmanism, and still practised there. The Jain religion teaches salvation by perfection through successive lives, and non-injury to living creatures, and is noted for its ascetics.

The name Jain, for an adherent of Jainism, comes via Hindi from Sanskrit jaina ‘of or concerning a Jina (a great Jain teacher or holy man, literally ‘victor’)’, from ji- ‘conquer’ or iyā ‘overcome’.

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"Jainism." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Jainism." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved December 13, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jainism

Jainism

Jainism Ancient religion of India, originating in the 6th century bc as a reaction against conservative Brahmanism. It was founded by Mahavira (599–527 bc). Jains do not accept Hindu scriptures, rituals or priesthood, but they do accept the Hindu doctrine of Transmigration of Souls. Jainism lays special stress on ahimsa – non-injury to all living creatures. Today, there are c.4 million Jains.

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"Jainism." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Jainism." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 13, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jainism-0

"Jainism." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 13, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jainism-0