Jainism vs Buddhism: Difference and Comparison

What is Jainism?

Jainism is a historical Indian spiritual way of life that emerged within the 6th century BCE. Founded by means of Mahavira, it emphasizes non-violence (Ahimsa), reality (Satya), non-stealing (Asteya), non-ownership (Aparigraha), and non-attachment. Jainism rejects the idea of an author god and believes in the everlasting life of man or woman souls (Jivas).

The final intention in Jainism is to gain salvation or Moksha from the birth cycle and demise (Samsara) via losing karmic attachments. This is attained through ascetic practices, rigorous willpower, and the cultivation of virtues.

Jainism places first-rate importance on the idea of Ahimsa, extending it to all living beings, no longer just human beings. Jain priests and nuns adhere to a strict code of conduct, regularly leading ascetic lives without worldly possessions. The faith also advocates for compassion, non-possessiveness, and equality in social systems.

Jainism had intellectually impacted Indian philosophy, ethics, and tradition. While its followers are concentrated in India, there are Jain communities worldwide, and the teachings of Jainism hold to inspire individuals seeking a course of spiritual enlightenment and moral residing.

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a first-rate global faith that originated in historical India around the sixth century BCE. It was founded through Siddhartha Gautama, who’s known as the Buddha, meaning the “Enlightened One.” Buddhism revolves around the Four Noble Truths, known as the life of suffering, identifying its reasons (attachment and desire), advising the cessation of suffering through Nirvana (liberation from suffering), and description of the Eightfold Path as a manual to moral and mental development.

One distinctive thing of Buddhism is the rejection of an author god. Instead, it focuses on personal enlightenment and private religious growth. Buddhists trust the concept of rebirth and karma, wherein one’s moves in this existence impact one’s future life.

Buddhism has several colleges or traditions, such as Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, with precise practices and interpretations. It has spread throughout Asia and beyond, influencing various cultures and societies.

Meditation, mindfulness, and ethical residing are essential elements of Buddhism. Monks and nuns lead monastic lives, even as lay Buddhists seek to observe the teachings of the Buddha in their daily lives. Buddhism’s enduring enchantment lies in its emphasis on internal transformation, compassion, and the pursuit of liberation from the cycle of suffering.

Difference Between Jainism and Buddhism

  1. The 24th Tirthankara, the well-known Lord Mahavira, founded Jainism. In contrast, Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha, popularly known by the name Lord Buddha.
  2. Jainism originated in the 6th century BCE in the Magadha region. On the other hand, Buddhism originated in the 6th century BCE in Northen India. 
  3. Jainism emphasizes acquiring moksha from the birth cycles, whereas Buddhism emphasizes nirvana – freedom from suffering.
  4. In Jainism, priority is given to the ethical and moral principles of equality and non-possessiveness.
  5. The ancient scriptures of Jainism are canonical texts (agamas), while the ancient scriptures of Buddhism are pali canon (tripitakan). 

Comparison Between Jainism and Buddhism

Parameter of ComparisonJainismBuddhism
FounderLord MahaviraLord Buddha
Place of OriginAncient India, i.e., in the Magadha RegionAncient India, i.e., in Northern India
GoalMoksha, or salvation from the birth cyclesNirvana or freedom from suffering
ScripturesCanonical Texts (Agamas)Pali Canon (Tripitaka)
Non-violenceIt is the core principle of JainismIt talks about the moral but is not a centric part of religion
SoulIndividual soulNo permanent self
ReincarnationBelieve in the concept of rebirth, and the soul is eternalBelieved in the subject based on individual karma
RitualsMinimalExplained or elaborated
WorshipTirthankaras and idolsDevoted to Bodhisattvas and Buddha
Monastic OrdersSadhus and sadhwisBhikkus and bhikkunis
Social StructurePrioritize the principles of equality and non-possessivenessPrioritize the principles of compassion and equality
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References

  1. https://www.anthro.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/anthro/documents/media/jaso21_2_1990_141_163.pdf
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2XJfEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA315&dq=Difference+Between+Jainism+and+Buddhism&ots=08zCYKPy1v&sig=GSaWARIrdm10xy5ul2p-xCiQ4vA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Difference%20Between%20Jainism%20and%20Buddhism&f=false

Last Updated : 27 January, 2024

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