Jainism & Hinduism

Jainism and Hinduism posses many similarities. Both religions emerged in India and still primarily exist there today. Both share similar belief systems- Jains and Hindus believe that life is an endless cycle of reincarnation, karma keeps us in bondage, and moksha is the highest goal (to attain spiritual liberation). They also believe in samsara, the continuous cycle of death and rebirth. The practitioners worship in temples, which contain statues and artifacts dedicated to prominent religious figures- Hindus worship deities, or symbols of Brahman, while Jains honor statues of the twenty-four Tirthankaras.

Both traditions celebrate religious festivals, including Diwali- a festival celebrated throughout India. To Jains, Diwali marks the liberation of Mahavira’s soul, the day he reached nirvana. To Hindus, Diwali celebrates Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The way in which Jains and Hindus celebrate Diwali is very different. Hindus lavishly decorate their homes, go shopping, and light fireworks, while Jains avoid firecrackers as they cause harm to living organisms and observe fasting and penance as a way to honor the legacy of Lord Mahavira.


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