Difference Between Jainism and Hinduism

Jainism vs Hinduism

Jainism and Hinduism are two religions of the world that show differences between them when it comes to their concepts, religious beliefs and the like. Jainism has its founder in Vardhamana Mahavira, whereas Hinduism has no founder for that matter. It is said to believe in the principles of universal acceptance, and hence it is called by the name Sanatana Dharma.

The basic tenets of Jainism are explained in three great principles namely non-violence or ahimsa, non-possession or apraigraha and non-absolutism or anekanta. Non-violence is a kind of goddess according to Mahavira. Man should treat other living beings of the world as his own, and hence should behave towards them in a very friendly and brotherly manner. On the other hand, Hinduism stresses the importance of equanimity of living beings.

Varnasrama Dharmas or the division of castes is the basic principle mentioned in the texts of Hinduism. There are four Varnas according to Hinduism, and they are Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shudra. There are four stages of human life too and they are called as the Brahmacharya stage or the stage before marriage, the Grihastha stage or the stage after marriage, the Vanaprastha stage or the stage during retirement to forest after the performance of all kinds of duties, and the Sanyasa stage or the stage of renunciation of worldly affairs. Man should undergo all these stages in this life.

Man is supposed to educate himself in the Brahmancharya stage according to Hinduism. Jainsim on the other hand, does not speak of the division of human beings into various classes. It does not also speak of the various stages of human life either. On the other hand, Jainism speaks about the virtue of non-possession. It calls non-possession is the basic virtue, which every human being is supposed to have. This virtue is referred as the complementary virtue of non-violence.

Jainism considers wealth, house, clothes, family and one’s own body as possessions. At the same time, man cannot totally discard them too, but he should live without any sort of attachment towards them. He should not consider them as his possessions, although he enjoys them for the time being. This is the underlying principle of Jainism.

On the other hand, Hinduism speaks about the various duties of the man in his life. It describes the Dharmas of the four castes too. The Brahmana has to engage himself in the study of the Vedas. The Kshatriya should take care of the protection of people as the king of a land. The Vaisya should look after the business world. The Shudra should serve the other three types of caste. These are called as the Varna Dharmas. Hinduism says that a person that belongs to a particular caste should not perform the dharmas of the other castes. This type of action is prohibited.

On the other hand Jainism does not speak of the duties of the classes of human beings. It is silent about the duties but speaks a lot only about the virtues a human being should have and should imbibe in his life. It speaks about the conduct and behavior of individuals. Jainism insists on the establishment of exploitation-free society. It encourages the sharing of resources with desire-free mind for the welfare of the people. It believes in spiritual piety.