ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on November 20, 2015


The ideas followed by Jains constitute Jainism. Jains are the followers of Jina. Jina means conqueror. It is the title given to Vardhamana for conquering misery. For the same conquest, he is also called Mahavira, the great hero.

Vardhamana Mahavira was born in 540 BC at Kundagrama near Vaishali, Died in 408 BC at Pavapuri. He belonged to 'jnatri' Kshatriya clan. He was born to Siddhartha (his father) and Trishala (his mother). He was married to Yasoda and they had a daughter Jamili. He attained Kaivalya under a Sal tree on the bank of river Rijupalika.

Origin of Jainism

Non-violence, truth, non-stealing, not acquiring property and observe continence (Brahmacharya). The first four ideas are supposed to have been contributed by Parsava the 23rd Thirthankara. The idea of Brahmacharya was added by Vardamana, the 24th Thirthankara. Rishaba was the first Thirthankara. According to Jain tradition, there existed 24 Thirthankaras, literally means bridges across the stream of existence which means those who guide in overcoming the problems during the life span of a person.

Jainism aims at attainment of Siddha Sila (blissful abode) which puts an end to transmigration of souls. The means of attaining Siddha Sila is three fold path of right belief, right knowledge, and right action. No ritual is needed to attain Siddha sila.

Factors that contributed to the spread of Jainism

  • Vaisyas who were dissatisfied with the lower status ascribed to them and the varna system patronised Jainism.
  • Use of prakrit language for propagation contributed to its spread as it was a people's language.
  • Royal patronage like that of Chandragupta Maurya's, Chalukyas', etc. also contributed to its popularity.

Causes for the limited popularity of the Jainism

  • It is difficult to follow due to its advocacy of extreme austerity like that of nudity, and extreme ahimsa including tilling of soils as it might lead to killing of earthworms.
  • Adoption of Brahminical ideas like acceptance of the service of the Brahmins, and idol worship blurred the difference between Jainism and Brahmanism.
  • Discarding of Prakrith and adoption, of Sanskrit from early medieval times alienated the common people from Jainism.
  • Rise of moderate Buddhism during the same period eclipsed Jainism. And, reform of Brahmanism checked the conversion of Vaisyas and others to Jainism.

Contribution of Jainism

Jaina scholars contributed to learning. Hemachandra a Jain monk who lived in the 12th century AD was a great grammarian and a poet. Narayanachandra, another Jain monk of the 14th century AD, was one of the last great poets in sanskrit. Jain monks showed exemplary love for literature. They considered copying manuscripts, even secular works, of great religious merit. Due to this attitude the old Jaina monasteries of Western India have preserved many rare works even of non-Jaina origin.

They contributed to the growth of Prakrit, Kannada and Sanskrit languages by adopting them for preaching and writing their works. The contribution of Jainism to architecture and sculpture is considerable. Bhilwara Jain temple at Mount Abu in Rajastan, and the temple at palithana in Gujrat are remarkable examples of its contribution to architecture. Jains have contributed to the erection of gigantic and magnificient statues. The 57-feet statue of Gomateshwara at sravana belagola in karnataka can be cited as an example.

The contribution of Jainism to the non-violent tradition in India is significant. It also made an attempt to mitigate the evils of Brahmanism by maintaining that lower caste men can also attain Siddasila (salvation or moksha) without rituals and sacrifices.

Jain Councils

  • First council held in 4th century BC at Pataliputra. Schism in Jainism DIGAMBARAS (the sky clad) and SHVETAMBARAS (the white clad).
  • Second council in 5th-6th century AD at Valabhi. Made a final compilation of Jaina scriptures.

Old Jaina literature was known as 14 PURVAS. Later compilation was known as 12 ANGAS. (Verbally compiled in the first council).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Very informative and thanks for sharing this, Dilip.

    • vydyulashashi profile image


      10 years ago from Hyderabad,India

      Wonderful Hub on Jainism.

      God Bless You!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)