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Jainism Essay

By | Jan. 2011
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The religion of Jainism has many components that are said to be very similar with certain parts of Hinduism as well as Buddhism. The Jain religion is most popular in India where it was first found. There are millions of Jain people around the world.

Jainism first started in ancient East India. The success of this religion all comes down to the 24 Jinas. Jinas are those who overcome or conqueror. The first Jina is believed to have been a giant around 8.4 million years ago (Robinson, 2010). The most recent, and last, was named Vardhamana (also known as Mahavira or The Great Hero). He is known to be the founder of the Jain community.

Jainism was very different from things that the regular community was used to. It went up against the caste system and the performance of sacrifices. It was believed that the Jain followers should avoid hurting all animal life. It also preached vegetarianism and purity of the body and soul. This meant that no material possessions and actions should be used against anyone or anything to hurt them both physically or emotionally.

Non-violence is the most important aspect of Jainism. The word Ahimsa is found on the Jain symbol of the open palm (which means stop). Ahimsa is the first vow that is taken by all Jain followers. It means to not harm any human being and giving protection to all living beings as well.

Many religions practice non-violence but Jainism extends this principle to all jivas (living beings). They believe that not only humans and animals, but everything else someone finds in this world should be treated with the same respect. They only eat food which can be done no harm to in the process of making. It is believed that when the vow isn’t followed through, the person automatically gets unwanted karma.

Karma is usually seen as a way to determine the quality of life. The Jain idea of karma is much more than the karma known to other religions. Jains believe that karma is almost like a physical substance that is...

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