Jainism And Christianity: Comparing Jainism Vs. Christianity
1766 Words8 Pages
This essay will be comparing Jainism and Christianity. Jainism is a religion located almost solely in western and central India, founded by Vardhamana Mahavira in 580 BCE. Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ in 30 AD and has spread all throughout the world, especially in Europe, the United States, and South America. There are currently more than two billion Christians in the world, while Jains number close to four million. There are approximately 200 million Christians in the US, while Jain numbers are too marginal to count at less than 1% of the population. Christianity is much larger in both numbers and in variety. One of the reasons that Jainism hasn’t spread as far is that they don’t try to convert members of other religions to Jainism, and don’t send out missionaries, while Christianity has had many famous missionaries. Both groups have regular laypeople, and groups who follow the teachings more strictly, like priests and monks.
Jainism, as it is known now, was founded by Vardhamana Mahavira in the sixth century BCE. He was born in 599 BC in a village near Vaisali in what is now the State of Bahar. (Smart 81) He grew up as a prince, but at age 28, hoping to the escape what he believed to be the endless cycle of birth-death-rebirth, decided to give up his riches to become a wandering holy man.(Langley 36) At age 40, he reached enlightenment by subjecting himself to long periods of fasting and meditation, and gathered 12 disciples, who followed him and