Jainism And Buddhism: A Comparative Analysis

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These texts are an immaculate historical description of two heterodox religions of South Asia namely Jainism and Buddhism which emerged in the post-Vedic period. The authors cover all the aspects fundamental to the basic understanding of the above mentioned religions which I held nill knowledge about. The first text provides a chronological grasp of these religions starting from the historical background of their founders and the time period in which they emerged and subsequently evolved to its basic key concepts and teachings, followed by the upkeep of this religion after the death of their founders or preachers. The author then shifts his focus into a broader arena and points out the significance and impacts of these religious beliefs and…show more content…
In spite of the similarities, there are a great deal of disparities between the two when studied carefully. The founders or teachers of both the religions belonged to the kshatriya caste and opposed and undermined the orthodoxy of brahmanical religion. As opposed to the brahmanical religion, both of them were non expensive religions as they didn't have any complex and elaborate rituals and ceremonies. While Jainism hinged on soul theory and self mortification, Buddhists didn't see eye to eye with them on their rigorous asceticism and declared a Middle Way. Both of them upheld the principle of amsira-nonviolence to living beings but Jains took it to the point of extreme insanity whereas in buddhism it stayed within reasonable limits. Both of them were non-theistic religions and did not believe in the existence of any God or supreme…show more content…
The aim of a Jain life is to attain Moksha i.e liberation of jiva-soul from the constant cycle of reincarnation by purging it of from karmic bondage. In order for one to do that, he must strictly follow the five basic principles of Jain living such as speaking truth, restraint from violence to any form of life, non stealing, chastity and non possessiveness. Similarly, the aim of buddhist follower is the attainment of nirvana- enlightenment from the cycle of suffering and misery. In contrast to Mahavira, Buddha was not interested in finding answers to speculative questions about soul, universe, creator etc and was in fact bothered and disturbed by the universal problem of dukhta- human sufferings in life. He believed that desire and attachment were the sole and root causes of suffering and eliminating them would result in the cessation of suffering. As opposed to the extreme asceticism which Jains practised, Buddha suggested an Eightfold Path commonly known as the ‘Middle Way steering between the extremes of worldliness and asceticism’, which if followed, would ultimately put an end to life’s
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