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Nattaputta Mahavira or Vardhamana Jnatiputra and Gautama Buddha or Siddhartha Gautama were the founders of Jainism and Buddhism respectively. There are much in common between Buddhism and Jainism. Because of this striking resemblances between these two religions, certain scholars say that Jainism originated from Buddhism or Jainism is a part of Buddhism. But this view is not accepted by most of the present day scholars.
There are similarities between the two but the basic difference between the philosophical system of the two gives them a separate space in the book of religions. In this article we will look into the basic similarities and the differences between Buddhism and Jainism.
Buddhism vs Jainism: Similarities
|Similarities in Buddhism and Jainism|
|Place of Origin||
|Caste of the Founders||
|Large Converts from lower castes||
|Nirvana or Salvation||
|Authenticity of Vedas||
Buddhism vs Jainism: Differences
Although Jainism and Buddhism resembled each other very much, there are distinctions between the two as follows:
|Time of Origin||Jainism is a much more ancient religion as compared to Buddhism.
|Buddhism came in to existence in the 6th century compared to Jainism which is believed to be originated in the 5th century|
|Founder||According to Jainism it had 24 Tirthankaras out of them Mahavira was the last of them.
That is why, Mahavira is always regarded as a reformer of an already existing religion
|Buddha is the only one originator of this religion.|
|Concept of Soul||Jainism believe that everything in nature including the stone and water has its own soul.||Buddhism does not believe in this concept.|
|Concept of Ahimsa or non-violence||High emphasis in Ahimsa.
Focuses on non injury of all beings
|Buddhism remained liberal in its interpretation in other countries, and even allowed eating of animal meat where it was a necessity or traditional diet of the people.
Focus on loving all beings
|Cast distinction||Jainism did not emphasis in cast distinction as much as Buddhism did.||Emphasized on elimination of caste distinctions.|
|Asceticism||Jainism practice strict asceticism to attain nirvana or salvation.||Buddism follows the middle path called Tathagata marg.|
|Who can attain Salvation?||In Jainism women and men who are householders cannot attain salvation.||In Buddhism anyone can attain salvation.|
|Going Naked||In Digambara sect of Jainism, the monks must go naked||Buddhism criticised it.|
|Organisation||Did not emphasis much on organisation of Sanghas.||It emphasized the organisation of Sanghas|
|Concept of Salvation||In Jainism salvation is possible only after death
In Janism salvation is freedom from body.
|In Buddhism one can attain salvation by denouncing the worldly existence.
In Buddhism salvation is detachment from the world or destruction of the self.
|Spread of religion||Jainism remained confined to India as it was difficult to follow due to stricter rules.||Buddhism was easy to adapt as it was not very difficult to follow.
Buddhism spread all across Asia.
|Comparing with Hinduism||No much conflicts between Jains and Hindus as Jainism remained closer to Hinduism.||Buddhists and Hindus proved rivals to each other.|
|Presence in India||Jainism originated in India and is still a living force in India.||Although Buddhism spread all across Asia it has practically vanished from India.|
There is no doubt that Jainism and Buddhism were and still are two distinct and separate religious sects. But sometimes they even proved rivals to each other during and after the lifetime of their founders. Buddha had disapproved certain aspects of Jainism during his lifetime.
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