About Jainism

ABOUT JAINISM

Jainism is the one of the oldest religious traditions not only India, but perhaps the world. It is based on the principles of non-violence, non-possession, self-control and strenuous effort in pursuit of spiritual goals.

Jainism is one of the oldest of the three major religions that developed in the Indian sub-continent before the Common Era. The exemplary figure of the Jains is Mahavira, an older contemporary of Buddha. Mahavira is often described by non-Jains as the founder of Jainism. However, Mahavira is the last of the twenty-four Tirthankaras (spiritual path founders) or Jinas (self-conquerors) of our era, and the successor of the religious teacher, Parsvanath.

Today there are over 5 million Jains in India and sizable numbers in Europe, USA, Canada, East Africa, Australia, Japan and Singapore. The majority of Jains are engaged either in business or in professions such as law, medicine, engineering, and journalism.

The Jain community and tradition can be seen as a microcosm of Indian society and ways of thought. Scholarship within the Jain tradition has spanned centuries and has covered such fields of inquiry as science, mathematics, logic, religion and philosophy.