A Peep into Jainism by Late Shri Khub Chand Jain

JAINISM V/s Budhism

The confusion regarding Jainism being akin to Budhism arises because:


1. Both Lord Mahavira and Lord Budha were contemporary.
2. Both the teacher began preaching their religion in the same locality viz the Bihar Province,      through they never met each other.
3. Lord Mahavira had this chief disciple Gautama, who was however, quite a different man from      Lord Budha.
4. Both deny the authorities of the Vedas.
5. Both discountenanced the supremacy of the Brahming.
6. Both despite the caste-system of the Hindu, though later on the Jains, who were mostly      converted from Hindus, adopted this pernicious system.
7. Both strenuously repudiated animal sacrifices in yagnsa.
8. Both had different conduct for monks and the followers of their religions.

The earning historians and scholars ignore the points of differences which are:-

1. Jainism totally prohibits the use of meat, fish and eggs. Budhism entertains the idea that when the life is extinct, it is no sin to partake of animal flesh. Budhists do not themselves kill but they do not consider it bad to buy meat or beat from a butcher’s shop.

2. Lord Budha scrupulously keeps silent over the inscrutable and ever perplening questions of metaphysics regading soul and life after death.

But there is no future basis nor future, heaven beyond the virtuous life here? Malukaypulta pressed the question on Gautama and desired to know if the perfect Budh did or did not live after the death. Guatama pur a counter-question. “Have I said; Come Malukaputra and lie amy disciple , I shall teach thee whether the world is everlasting or not?”

“That tho hast not said, Sire, “ replied Malukaputra.


“Then ,” said Gautama. “Do not press the enquiry if a man struck by a poisoned arrow says to his physician, I shall not allow my wounds to be treated until I know who the man is by whom I have been wounded whether he is Kshytriya or a Brahman or Shudra? And so would the man perish who did not strive for after enlightenment and a holy life, because he did not know what lay beyond. Therefore Malukaputra whatever has not been revealed by me, let that remain unrevealed and whatever as been revealed let it be revealed.

To be short, Budha’s directions were “Obey the law never mind who the law-giver is.” Jainism on the contarary , eloquently dwells on such questions.

3. Gautama did not believe in the existence of soul , but nevertheless the theory of transmigration of soul, was too deeply implanted in the Hindu mind to be eradicated and Gautama, therefore, adhered to the theory of transmigration without accepting the theory of soul.

But if there is no soul what is that which undergoes transmigration?

His reply was that Karmas or actions of a man cannot lie and when a living being dies, a new living being is produced. It is the quint essence of individual character or experience a sort of lighting one taper by means of another which continues. Gautama’s religions, so to say, offers no rewards in a world to come. Virtue is its own Reward, virtuous peace on earth is Budhist’s Nirvana. Salavation is no more than an extinction of desires and the will to be and Karmas aenot subtle matter which can have a influx into soul.

Jainism on the other hand confirms the continued existsnce of souls, the effect of Karmas of one life being carried on in a strict mathematical order to the other lives. Nirvana in Jainism is not non-existence, it is an existence par-excellence without an end. The Predeemed souls do not loss Their identities only Their attributes of Omniscience, blissfulness, and immortality etc. are common to all.

The fat is that Gautama Budha was himself a member of the order or Lord Parshwa’s cult, which is clear from the following passage Majjame Nikaya.

“ Thus for Saripulta did, I go in my penance I went without clothes. I liked my fod from my hands! I was no complier with invitation of coming in your reverence stay, your reverence! I took no food that was brought or meant specially for me; I took no alms from within a tresh-hold or through window bars, or within the pounding place nor from the two people eating together, not from a pregnant woman , nor from a woman sucking a child nor form one in intercourse, not from good collected here and there, nor food where a dog stood by, nor from places where flies were swarming , nor fish, nor flesh, nor drink fermented nor drink distilled, nor yet sour gruel did I drink.”

Budha could not stand or sat any rate, did not countenance the extreme Jain penances. Budhism is, in a way, a compromises a via media between the rigid austerity of the Jains on the one hand and the life of unrestrained licentiousness of the Vam margi Hindus misusing Kama Yoga which means doing of all worldy acts without attachment to their fruit lotus-like to be in water but not being drenched- on the other.

Far from being an off shoot of Budhism authorities like Colebrook and Dr. E. Thomas held that Budhism was derived from and was an off shout of Jainism. Dr. H. Jacobi even calls Jainism to be the mother of Budhism.