refers to a nontheistic faith that originated from India. The JinaVardhamana Mahavirain founded it the sixth Century BC as a rejoinderagainst the orthodox Brahmanism teachings. Te religion is stillpracticed in the country. The Jain faith advocates salvation throughfaultlessness via noninjury to live creatures, successive lives andascetic lifestyle. The religion was previously known as Jain Dharmaor Jin Sashana. Historians claim that the faith developed around thesame period with Buddhism. Aceticism is indispensable forenlightenment and liberation of the soul that leads to independencefrom the frequent soul transmigrations after the body dies.Allegedly, Karma attaches the soul to the body. Mahavira, the Janismfounder, supposedly succumbed to death after a deliberate extendedfasting period. The ascetic practice is known as salekhana. Believersclaim that ascetism is based on three jewels that include conduct,right faith and knowledge that can at least elevate or release thesoul to a better home after reincarnation. Conversely, sins make thesoul take a lower home in the subsequent life. The objective of thisessay is to trace the development, major beliefs and foundationalconcepts the faith encompasses (Chapple, 2002).

Thedevelopment of

is both an Indian philosophy and religion. It also classified amongthe oldest religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. It began in 3,000B.C.E. The three faiths are interconnected since they share similarprinciples such as the Karma ideology, which claims that, the presentactions of an individual determine his or her afterlife. In addition,the religions also have literary historical heritages and customsassociate asceticism. Its followers worship sculptures. In fact, TheJains and Hindus have collaborated to construct one temple where theyshare the veneration room. is a derivation of a Sanskrit termthat means “to conquer.” The implication of the term in thecontext is to surmount individual feelings selfishness, hate andgreed. The believers decline materialistic requirements with a motiveto realize moksha or bliss (Chapple, 2002).

Accordingto the tradition of the faith holds that twenty-four Tirthankaras, orthe great teachers, established the culture of the faith. VardhamanaMahavira (Jina) was the latest prophet. The actual dates of theinitiation of the church are hard to determine because there is noarcheological evidence to back up the assertion. Nevertheless,traditional Buddhists’ literature does also refer to Jaisnism(Chapple, 2002). Archeologists also identified the sculpture remainsat Harappa and Mohenjodaro respectively as that of Lord Rishabhaamong other affiliated saints. Furthermore, the latest evidenceindicates that the Indus Valley locals believed in the idols ofYogis. Historians have discovered a figure that assumes the`Kayotsarga` pose, a position that is renowned as a meditationposture for the Jainisim followers. On the same note, the `swastika`symbol is also present in numerous seals, thereby signifying that thefaith existed prior to the Aryan duration (Chapple, 2002).

Historicaldevelopment of the religion

Buddhismreligion had an established missionary tradition that assisted tospread the denomination in many places. Nonetheless, advocated a strong laity. The belief started in Northeast India, justlike Buddhism, but severe drought forced the believers to migratesouthwards to the kingdoms of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Otherbelievers also settled in the western Indian regions such as MadhyaPradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Consequently, the settlement resultedinto two sects. The believers found in Southern and CentralIndia are known as the Digambaras while the members who reside inWestern India are called the Svetambaras (Chapple, 2002).

Thesects agree on the foundational concepts of nonviolence andKarma. Nonetheless, they have a different biographical history ofMahavira. In addition, they hold differing ideologies regarding theprospective spiritual condition of women, renouncing clothing andconsider different literature as genuinely canonicals. According tothe Svetambaras (the white clad), both nuns and monks can attain thehighest spirituality level even without rejecting their regularoutfit. Furthermore, they believe women can achieve the liberatedstate (kevala) (Tobias, 1991).

Onthe contrary, the Digambaras or the “sky clad” assert thatbelievers must reject their ordinary clothes. However, only men cantake the oath. As such, a woman cannot acquire the pure state(kevala) until she is reborn as a man. The geographic separation madethe two faiths to develop into two divergent schools back in theCommon Era (Tobias, 1991).

Atsome point, was a mainstream faith in India. However, itsfaith dwindled significantly after Islam rulers invaded the countryand destroyed several Jain temples. Besides, they destroyed numerousscriptures. Although numerous Hindu rulers promoted the faith, andthe British colonists did not oppose it, Jain followers reducedsubstantially since they converted to Hinduism. Additionally, thebelievers were attracted to the concepts of the Hinduism because theyprefer less stringent divine (Tobias, 1991).

Significantdoctrinal issues

Oneof the vital philosophies of is the ahinsa or the concept ofthe nonviolence. The followers of the faith avoid causing harm toother people through their thoughts, actions and speech. The religionsupporters also extend the doctrine to other living animals. However, respects the hierarchy of creation that gives higher priorityto the human life, animals, insects and then plants. Subsequently,most Jains are vegetarians because plants rank low in the hierarchyof protection. However, the believers encourage lacto-vegetarianismsince the animals do not suffer injury when producing dairy products.The insects also receive the third priority in protection among thebelievers. As such, they avoid the deliberate infliction of injury oninsects. For instance, a believer escorts household insects awaywithout killing them since the principles of the faith stipulate thatbelievers are supposed to show compassion to all living things(Tobias, 1991).

Despitethat the Jains accept that humans have to destroy plants for theirsurvival, they advocate that one should only destroy as many plantsas necessary for survival. Nevertheless, staunch Jains such as thenuns and monks refrain from cooking root tubers because one is likelyto cause injury to the soil microorganisms. As a result, Jains areactive advocates of the religion. They also discourage injuries thatmay result from war, unless in situations that an amicable solutionunachievable (Chapple, 2002).


Theprinciple is also known as “anēkāntavāda”. It recommendsbelievers to maintain an open mind such that they will willinglylisten to other people. Consequently, the believers respect differentviewpoints, as well as uphold the principles and propositions of theopposite side. The significance of the thoughts flexibility isovercoming potential conflicts that might arise from personaldifferences. Famous leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi believed in ahinsaand religion tolerance, therefore, he readily allowed the opposingside to contribute to the development of oppressive (Chapple, 2002).


Theprinciple is also called Aparigraha and it discourages greediness andlooting as well materialism. It encourages the followers to take asmuch as they need for their personal use. The believers are alsoallowed to own objects, but they are discouraged from developing thepersonal attachment that would make them find it hard to get rid ofthe object. Instead, the faith encourages sharing and donating theirwealth to the needy as frequently as need be. The attachment topersonal materials is discouraged because it may cause harm to anindividual (Tobias, 1991).


Wheelof time – the device is also called kālachakra. It rotatescontinuously since it symbolizes time as beginless and unending. Thedevice is sliced into sections known as avasarpiṇī and utsarpiṇī.The latter refers to the happiness and prosperity period whileavasarpiṇī is a time of escalating immorality and sorrow.

Temples– these are centers of worship where the believers can share theirdivinity blessing (Tobias, 1991).


Prayer– they have established prayers that may be recited as one pleases.The premise of the prayer is to request the spiritual Supreme to givefavor to the humans so that they can practice the desired behaviors.However, the prayers restrict individuals from requesting materialgood (Tobias, 1991).

Fasting– Jains decline to eat as they wish. For instance, some may eatonce or twice in a day while some believers only consume water. Thepremise of fasting is to acquire higher body control, as well asdedicate higher devotion to prayers (Tobias, 1991).

Meditation– also known as samayika, the principle teach humans to achievedeep calmness that is essential for individuals to comprehend theconstant truths concerning their bodies (Tobias, 1991).

ReferencesChapple,C.K. (2002). Introduction. Centerfor the Study of World ReligionsHarvard Divinity School, Web.Available athttp://fore.yale.edu/publications/books/cswr/jainism-introduction/Tobias,M. (1991). Lifeforce: The world of .Freemont, CA: Jain Publishing Co.