Aspects of Jainism
There is a wise saying which goes:
"Do you wish for kindness? Then be kind.
Do you desire truth? Then be true.
Whatever you give yourself you will find;
Your world is a reflex of yourself."
Jainism and Buddhism Compared
Jain.ism \'ji--.niz-*m\ n : a religion of India originating in the 6th
century B.C. and teaching liberation of the soul by right knowledge,
right faith, and right conduct
- According to Buddhism, nothing really is permanent in this universe,
and that everything changes from moment to moment.
According to Jainism,
change and permanence are both real. Jains believe that the doctrine of
non-eternalism or momentariness is one sided.
- The Buddhists deny the existence of a permanent soul. They propose
that it is an aggregate of mental states, known as the stream of
According to the Jains, the soul is eternal by nature,
and mainifests itself taking on the form of the respective body.
- Nirvana or emancipation is absolute extinction or annihilation of
individual existence or of all desires and passions, according to the
Buddists. It is compared to the flame of a lamp which is extinguished but
the exhaustion of oil, and the end of the wick of the lamp.
According to the Jains, Nirvana is an eternal and state of absolute
blessedness of the
soul, characterised by infiinite vision, knowledge and energy.
- Buddha refused to answer questions related to metaphysics such as
the world is eternal or non-eternal, whether the soul and the body are
identical or different, and whether the sould exists after death or not.
Mahavira expressed definite views about the world, soul and
- In Buddhism, ascetic practices are not essential for reaching the
ultimate goal. Buddha envisaged the middle path, exhorting his disciples
to avoid the two extremes, the pursuit of desires and pleasures, and that
of pain and hardship. Jainism lays more stress on asceticiasm than
Buddhism does as can be noticed in the ascetic career of Mahavira himself.
- Buddha allowed his monks to accept non-vegetarian diet under certain
conditions, Jainism preaches adherence to strict vegetarianism.
- Buddhist doctrines were permeated by Tantric practices. Jainism has
remained, for the most part, free from such practices.
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