Buddhism and Jainism are the two branches of the Shramana tradition that still exist today. Jainism is largely confined to India, whereas Buddhism has only flourished abroad. However the two traditions share notable similarities A shramana (Sanskrit śramaṇa श्रमण, Pāli samaṇa) is a wandering monk in certain ascetic traditions of ancient India including Jainism, Buddhism, and Ājīvika religion (now extinct). Famous śramaṇa include religious leaders Mahavira and Gautama Buddha. Traditionally, a śramaṇa is one who renounces the world and leads an ascetic life for the purpose of spiritual development and liberation. Typically śramaṇas assert that human beings are responsible for their own deeds and reap the fruits of those deeds, for good or ill. Liberation, therefore, may be achieved by anybody irrespective of caste, creed, color or culture (in contrast to certain historical caste-based traditions) providing the necessary effort is made.
Jainism derives its philosophy from the teachings and lives of the twenty-four Tirthankaras (ford-makers or enligtened teachers), of whom Mahavira was the last. Jain Acaryas - Umasvati (Umasvami), Kundakunda, Haribhadra, Yaśovijaya Gaṇi and others further developed and reorganized Jain philosophy in its present form. The distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are its belief in the independent existence of soul and matter, predominance of karma, the denial of a creative and omnipotent God, belief in an eternal and uncreated universe, a strong emphasis on non-violence, an accent on relativity and multiple facets of truth, and morality and ethics based on liberation of the soul. The Jain philosophy of Anekantavada and Syadvada, which posits that the truth or reality is perceived differently from different points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth, have made very important contributions to ancient Indian philosophy, especially in the areas of skepticism and relativity. ...
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