Rels/Huma 304 - 500


Edward Hopkins, “ A religion in which the chief points insisted upon are that one should deny God, worship man, and nourish vermin, has no right to exist.” The Religions of India , p.297, 1895

Albert Schweitzer ... Jains are the true Christians. If Jesus returned he would be a Jain, not a Christian.

Five Vows

  1. Ahimsa. Do not harm any living thing.

  2. Be absolutely truthful.

  3. Do not steal.

  4. Chastity in thought and deed.

  5. Non-attachment to the world. Limit possessions.

In practice it is sometime difficult to separate Jains and Hindus. Many people have combined their beliefs. It is however, very easy to separate them in doctrine.

Jains are pluralistic realist. Classical Hindus (UPANISHADIC Hinduism) ( Brahmanism) are monistic idealists. Radakrishnan stated “Jainism is a Hindu reform movement, or heresy . It was a protest against monism, the Brahmin class and its castes, and against animal sacrifice which was prevalent in Hinduism at this point in history.”

  1. Denied the authority of Hindu scripture.. Specifically the Upanishads. They have the Angas and the Upangas.

  2. There is no Brahman. No monistic entity. Technically, there are no Gods. Atheistic religion.

  3. The world is not divided between Brahman, monistic reality, and maya, illusion. Matter is real. The world is divided between jiva, and ajiva.

  4. The goal of life is not union with Brahman, but freeing your jiva from ajiva.

  5. You can be reincarnated as free spirits, human, animals, plants, or even rocks.

  6. Karma is accepted, but it is not a record of bad actions alone. It is rather matter which weighs you down.

  7. Temples are very different. Circular alter, Large statue of Tirthankaras. Often naked standing men.


Mahavira. 599-527 bce.

Child of petty king. Protected childhood. Had nursemaids, that gave him everything before he asked.

Married, had one daughter.

At age of thirty, his parents died, by suicide, starvation

Left home Hindu wanderer. 12 years.

Last 13 months. Extreme measures gave him moksha.

Abandoned all clothing. Set on fire, Wintered in North, Summer in South, Did not bother mosquitoes.

Called Jina, “conqueror.”

Tirthankaras =df Ford Finders
Jains teach Mahavira is 24th Ford Finder.

Older than Hinduism

Hinduism is a Jain heresy

Digambara - Sky clad

Svetambara - White clad

Many Jains are bankers.