HINDUISM VS. JAINISM
What is Hinduism? It is a religion of great Complexity. One school of it is an abstruse monistic philosophy in which all things are one and the duality of matter and mind is denied. The world of appearances –the manifest differences, apprehended by the sences is unreal and an illusion.Truth comes by inner contemplation and not by experiment or observation. Matter in contrast with spirit does not exist, the spiritual Brahma alone is real. Brahma has been defined as the power of ritul devotion a reality with which the priest , called a Brahman communication sacrificially. The gods themselves live by Brahma, for Hinduism is polytheistic.
The literature of classical Hinduism survives in three stages of development, the
first of which is represented by
the Vedas, the most important being Rigveda which consists of more than a thousand hymns.
The great deities of Rigveda
are Agni, the fire God, Indra who secures the earth’s fertility and Marutsor storm-gods-one
of them who is the evil Rudra.
Apart from the last all are kindly. Nature is on the whole man’s well-wisher.
In the later Vedic, the gods tend to merge losing their fixed second phase the Brahmans which are concerned with priestly rituals. Every aspect of life has its appropriate rite and is consecrated by religion. In the Brahmans the distinction of exclusive caste appears for the first time and the gods commune with this caste, who regard themselves as having divine authority through their possession of divine knowledge.
The third stage is the Upnishadas. There books numbering about 250, are of varying contents and include among much else hymn, philosophical aphoriyms and magic formulae. It is a monistic pantheism advaita.
(non-duality or oneness)
Hinduism has also developed a sense of devotional spirituality known as Bhakti. Here the specially favoured deity is Krishna god of love in all its forms (form the sensual to the mystical) and the most popular of the avtars of Vishnu.
The reader in invited to read also. “ The Vedas” the at beginning and vedicism under Allegories in the world religion.
Jainism:- The Jain about the universe matter and soul have been explained in this book. To reiterate Jainism is an ancient religion so called from the designation of its traditional reformers the Jina or conquerors, the first in the cycle of whom was Rsabha and the last was Mahavira. The Jaini doctrian includes the existence of mater, soul rebirth and Karma but excludes tha of a crater, destroyer and a manager. Unlike Budism it emphasises the soul’s reality and permanence . It stresses importance of Right knowledge and Right conduct for attainment of salvation. Notable among its teaching is the principle of Ahimsa in words, thoughts and deeds . The Jain who seeks salvation purses a simple ascetic and a meditative way of life.
Not an offshoot of Hinduism:- Some oriental scholars, who are not well acquainted with Jain literature once held the erroneous view that Jainism is an offshoot of Hinduism . This view mainly as the result of the researches made by Dr. Herman Jacabi a German scholar, has now been given up. He says:
“Jainism has a metaphysical basis of its own, which secured it a distinct position apart from the rival system is both of the Brahmans and the Budhists. Now I have never been of the opinion that Jainism is an original system of religion quite distinct and independent of philosophical thoughts and religious life in ancient India.
(Jain Gazette 1927, P 105)The Jains are proud to be called Hindu of the inhabitants of Hindustan but the use of the word ‘Hindu’ created complications and difficulties . it is no doubt that Hindi and Hindu mean almost the something but through common usuage and custom and also as defined by Late Shri B.G.Tilak, the author of Gita Rahsya; the word Hindu has acquired a particularly different authority of the Vedas. The Jains are therefore,as much non-Hindus as Muslims,Christians, Parses and Budhists who though aare the nationals of Bharat Varsha profess different faiths.
Dr. Rabindra Nath Tagore in his reputed National Anthm Jana,Gana,Mana, enuneratesJains, Budhists , Musims, Parsees and Hindus as different ‘people’ , who inhabit India. The lines referred to are;
“Day & night , the voice goes out from land to land calling Hindus, Budhists, Sikhs & Jain. And Parsees, Musalman & Christians authority throne. Offering are brought to thy shrine by the East & West to be woven in a garland of love. Then dispenser of India’s destiny, Victory , Victory, Victory to thee”.
Distenction. It may be pointed out that the Jain scripture called Agmas, Jain Gods called Tirthankaras, Jain Tirths, festival, art ethic acsthetcsi and their view of life are all distinctly separately from those of Hindus. Unlike the Hindus that Jains do not eat offerings made in their worship.
No spiritual or religious sanctity is attached to take a dip in a stream or a sea. Worship of the Sun, the Moon, the mother earth, trees, quadrupeds, serpents crocodiles or any imaginary gods and goddesses sometimes half human and half animal or with large number of heads, hands or other limbs, is absolutely forbidden. Animal sacrifice to propetiate any deity, flesh eating or hunting ;for sports, whether hunter is a king or his subjects, are strictly for hidden in Jainism God is the perfect state of soul and the Creator, Sustainer & Destroyer God of Hinduism finds no place in the Jain pantheon . The Jain saints never let the marriage parties to the doors of the brides, nor they had dance and merry-making in the jungles while all the time calling themselves Rishis. Non-possission of any wardly things is a distinguishing mark of Jain saints.
Persecation:- The inhuman hear-rending and harrowing execution of ains at the hands of the fanatic Hindus affirms the plea that the Hindus have always recognised the Jain as belonging to an alien faith.
Vincent Smith, in his History of India, says, “Tradition exists that 800 of them (Jains) were impaled. Memory of the fact has been preserved in various ways , and to this day the Hindus of Madura, where the tragedy took place, celebrate the anniversary of impalement of the Jains as a festival.”
To perpetuate the memory of the struggle between Hindus and Jain these bloody episodes are depicted in a series of frescoes on the walls of the Golden Lily Tank of Manakshi Temple at Madura.
In his valuable arlicle on Kanda Jain Literature, Prof. R. Taracharya M.A. of Rajalmundi College enlightens:
“Religious persecution intolerance bigotry conservation and the like has done much to keep away from public all that is valuable in Kannada literature. Thousand of temples have been destroyed and the libraries set on fire. Several thousands of Palmyra manuscripts have been thrown into Kaveri and Tungbhadra.”
(Eng. Jain Gazetta Aug. 1920Not to sya of Jain, why Hindus should be proud to call themselves as such. The word does not occur in Vedas, the Brahmans, the Upnishads, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Puranas and even in the Ramcharit Manas of Tulsi Das written in 16th Century.
The word ‘Hindu’ occurs in Persion literature Darius I (525 B.C.) used it for a subject in his empire
(reference rock inscription in west Persia at Bihistun). In India, the word was used by the Persian-speaking
Pathan and the Mughal rulers for the native non-muslim population. This word was adopted by the British
rules for the non-muslim and non Christian population in India and the concerned people tamely accepted
it as a subject race. The Hindu in Persian means black, a servant, a slave, a bobber, an infidel, a
watchman, a mole on the cheek of a mistress (ref. Page 1514 of Persian English dictonery by F.Steingars,
Ph. D. London Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd. Broadway House 2 R-74 Carter Lane E.C. 4’)
Our country is knownas Bharat, we shold call ourselves Bharti, we have many religions in India like Vedic,Jainism, Chrishanity but our nationality is Bharti and our language should be called Bharti not Hindi.
Legal Opinion:- Men of high legal reputation have not been wanting in upholding the right of Jains being recognised as a religiously distinct people.
Mr. Justice Rangnekar of the High Court of Judicture of Bombay, vide A.J.R. 1039, Bombay 377observer.
“ It is true the Jain reject the scriptural character of the Vedas and repudiated the Brahmnicul
doctrines relating to obsequail ceremonies the performance of sharadhas and the offering of ablution for
the salavation of the soul of the deceased. Amongs them there is no belief that a son by birth or adoption
confers spiritual benefit on the father. They also differ from the Brahmnical Hindus intheir conduct
towards the dead; omitting all obsequies after corps is burnt or buries . Now it is true as latter
historical researches have shown that Jainism prevailed in the country long beore Brahminism came into
enisteuce or converted into Hinduism.It is a also true that owing to their long association with the
Hindus, who formed the majority in the country , the Jains have adopted many of the customs and even
ceremonies strictly observed by the Hindus and pertaining to Brahmical religion.”
The acting Chief Justice Kumar-Swami Shastri marks the following remarks in 50 Madras pp. 228 and 230.
“Were the matter res-intgra, I would be inclined to held that the Jains are not Hindu dissenters but that Jainism has an origin and history long and anterior to the Smrities and commentaries which are recognised authorities on Hindu law and usage . In fact, Mahavira, the last of the Jain Tirthanakas, was a contemporary of Budha and died about 527 B.C. The Jain religion refers to a number of previous Tirthankara and there can be little doubt Jainism as a distinct religion was flourishing several centuries before Christ. In fact, Jainism rejects the authority of the Vedas which form the bed-rock of Hinduism and denies the efficiency of the various ceremonies which Hindus consider essential, so far as Jain law is concerned it has its own law books of which Bhadra Bahu Samhita is an important one. Vardhman Neeti by great Jain teacher Hemchandra deals also with Jain law. No doubt, by long association with Hindus, who form the bulk of the population, Jainism has assimilated several of the customers and ceremonial practice of the Hindus. But this no ground for applying the Hindu Law as developed by Vijayaneshwar and other commentators.
Several centuries after Jainism was a distinct and separate religion with its own religious with its own religious ceremonial & legal system, enblock to Jains, and throwtng on them the right showing that they are bound by the law as laid down by the Jain law-makers. It seems to me that in considering the question of Jain Law, relating to adoption, succession and partition we have to see what the law expounded by the law gives is, and to throw the onus on those assert that in any particular matter the Jains have adopted the Hindu Law & customs and have not followed the law as laid down by their own Shstras.
All India Reporter 1927 Bombay, 185 (189) Sugan Chand Bhic Chand versus Magni Bhai Gulabchanda.
“ In view of the aforesaid arguments & evidences of the eminent Scholars the following arguments of the government of Bombay to include Jains in the category of Hindus that “All legislation which is intended for the benefit or uplift of Hindu society has in the past been made applicable to Jains also without discrimination, does not stand to reason on equality and justice. True devotee of truth & non irolence should not take pride in his past mistaken notions rather he is expected to rectify this erroneous stand as early as possible.”
The point that Jainism is nor an off short of Hinduism was made clear by our lae leaders and Prime Minister Pt.Jawahar Lal Nehru, who in a chapter headed ‘ what is Hinduism!’ of his book Discovery of India’ Page 52 wrote.
“Budhist or a Jain in India is hundred percent of Indian thought and culture,yet neither is a Hindy by faith. It is entirely misleading to refer to Indian culture, as Hindu culture.................... Budhism or even Vedic Dharma.”
Considering the Jain as a separate Community the President of the Constituent Assembly Dr.Rajendra Prasad nominated Shri Kasturbhai Lalbahi as aJain representation to the Minister Advisory Committee.
The Position was officially recognised in a letter No. 23/94/50 P. M.S. New Delhi dated- /3/50 from the Principal Privae Secretary of the Prime-Minister to Shri S.G. Patil representative of the Jain deputation which waited on the Prime Minister Sh.Nehru on 25th January, 1950. It reads:-
“ With reference to the deputation of certain representatives of the Jain who met the Prime Minister on the 25th January, 1950, I am desired to say that there is no cause whatever for Jains to have any apprehension regarding the future of their religion and community.
Your deputation drew attention to the article 25 of constitution. The constitution only lays down a rule for limited purpose of the provision in the Article and as you will notice, it mention not only Jains but also Budhists and Sikhs. It is cler that Budhists are not Hindus. There is therefore no reason for thinking that Jains are considered as Hindus. It is true that Jains are in some ways closely aliked ;to Hindus and have many customs in common but there is no doubt that they are a distinct religious community and the constitution does not in any way effect this well recognised position.”
The word ‘Hindu’ includes Jains have been detailed by M.P. Govt. From the Harijan Temple Entry Act. See Article 26.