Founded in the 5th century BC by Mahavira
(599-527), at the same time than Buddhism.
- Buddhism is the "middle way", Jainism is the "most
strict religion" with two Denominations: The "Diganbara"
(naked) are monks and nuns with vow of "nudity", living in
monasteries. The "Svatembara" (white-robed), have 5 rules:
1- Destroy no life.
2- Do not lie.
3- Practice charity.
4- Practice chastity.
5- Posses nothing, want nothing.
6 Devotion of whole life to task (Moshka).
Like Buddhism, it is a rebellion against Hindu life: No gods, no
priests, no caste system... but they have the Law of Karma and
- "Jina", "the conqueror":
To obtain "Nirvana", Mahavira left his rich home and
wandered for 13 years with a spartan life of denial of all worldly
things, even walking nude... until enlightenment suddenly came to
him after meditating for 2½ days under saia tree on a river bank in
Nepal... here enlightenment is called "Jina" (the
conqueror, victorious), and from "Jina" comes the name
- It is a most paradoxical religion:
They rejected the gods of Hinduism, but now practically every
existing thing is a god: The mountains and earth and stones have a
"soul", every plant, every animal is a god... this leads
to respect for the sanctity of life: They carry a small broom to
sweep all forms of life from their path, and even they ware masks
over their months so as to not accidentally swallow flies or other
- There is no god to help you to obtain "Jain", but
Mahavira is god, and they have beautiful temples like the one in
Calcutta I have seen... and Mt. Aby in central India is a most holy
- They are only 5 million Jains in India, but very influential,
because they are most successful bankers and merchants, in spite the
Jainism most rigid restrictions on accumulating wealth...
- The first rule is to avoid any bad karma, to control all passions,
emotions, pride, anger, lying, greed... and to build good karma, one
must practice charity, give freely of one's wealth to aid the poor,
build hospitals, homes for the orphans, schools, and build temples
for the Hindu gods... though all Hindu gods are no gods, all of them
are inferior deities subordinated to Mahavira.
are the "Agama", the teachings of
Mahavira; the "Cheda-sutras", the rules of asceticism; and
the "Culika-sutras", texts concentrating on the nature of
the mind and knowledge.
are most important, as in all Hindu related
- August-Sept.: "Pajjusana": A period of forgiving, giving
to the poor, and confession of sins.
- Sept.-October: "Oli": A period of fasting and of
mythical celestial worship of Jina images.
- Oct.-November: Commemoration of the Jina of Mahavira, by lighting
- March-April: "Oli": 9 days fasting.
I met a few Jains in India, and
they were very respectful, kind, living a spartan hard life... but
their main problem is "Reincarnation"... The Jains agree
that for a laymen it is almost impossible to obtain "Jina",
even after such an spartan life of denials; to obtain Jina you have
to be a monk, and a male one!... Come to Jesus!... He is God!, He
made miracles to back his words... and resurrected!... and He is at
your side to clean all your bad karma, just by believing in Him...
and to give you a new life on earth, to do wonderful things... and a
real Paradise after death... without any reincarnations!...
Copyright © 1998 E-Mail to: Rahnuma.org
Last update: Wednesday, June 14, 2000
| About Us
Rahnuma.org 1999-2000 All rights reserved