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Jainism and Buddhism + Our Reflections

by Abhay, Shloka, Shiv, Ilina and Priymishree

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JAINISM AND BUDDHISM
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+
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OUR REFLECTIONS
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By Abhay, Shloka, Shiv, Ilina and Priymishree
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What is Jainism?
Jainism or Jain Dharma is one of the oldest Indian religions practiced till date.
The three main pillars of Jainism are ahimsa (non-violence), aparigraha (non-possession) and anekandaveda (metaphysical truth). There are two major sects of Jainism, Svetambara and Digambara, which are divided on the basis of difference in their beliefs and ascetic practices.

Rishabhanatha is said to be the founder of Jainism. Rishabhanatha is one of the five Tirthankaras that attract the most devotional worship among the Jains. He is the spiritual leader of the Jains.
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What Is Buddhism?

Buddhism is an Indian religion and philosophy based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha. Buddha started Buddhism on the basis that suffering is inherent in life and that one can be liberated from it by cultivating wisdom, virtue, and concentration.

When Buddha passed away in around 483 B.C., his followers began to organise a religious movement. Buddha's teachings became the foundation for what would develop into Buddhism. In the 3rd century B.C., Ashoka the Great, the Mauryan Indian emperor, made Buddhism the state religion of India.
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Gods Worshipped By Jains:

Jainism is a religion based on the teachings of a long line of jina tirthankaras (victors) of whom Mahavira was the 24th.

According to Jain tradition, a jina or tirthanka is one who has conquered anger, greed and ego through meditating. Out of the 24 tirthankaras, Jains worship four: Mahavira, Parshvanatha, Neminatha and Rishabhanatha. Among the non-tirthankara saints, devotional worship is common for Bahubali among the digambaras.
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Gods Worshipped By Buddhists:
The founder of Buddhism was Lord Buddha.
The word Buddha means “enlightened."

Most people who follow Buddhism (Buddhists) do not believe in gods. They look up and respect Lord Buddha, but they do not believe he was a god; instead, he is considered an extraordinary being and they worship him as a form of respect.

Buddhists value and learn these characteristics of Lord Buddha: love, wisdom, goodness, calmness, self-control, faith and energy.
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Rules Followed By Jains:

Jains followed five major vows which were called the Anuvratas: non violence (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), non-stealing (achaurya/asteya), non-possession (aparigraha), and chastity/pure conduct (brahmacharya).

Their belief in non violence extends beyond harming humans but includes animals, plants and even micro-organisms; they believe that all life is sacred and so are strict vegetarians.Jain monks white masks to make sure they don’t kill any insect or animals and carry brooms to sweep away insects before they walk or sit.

They also took a vow of generosity which meant that they would give to the monks, nuns, and poor people.

Jains also followed the three jewels: right belief, right knowledge, and right conduct.
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Rules Followed By Buddhists:

The Buddhist Code of Conduct, also known as the Five Precepts, are used to help people behave in a moral and ethical way. Buddhists should follow the Five Precepts to ensure they are living a good life and make sure they get rid of suffering.

The Five Precepts are as follows:
• Refrain from taking life.
• Refrain from taking what is not given to you.
• Refrain from the wrong use of the senses.
• Refrain from wrong speech.
• Refrain from intoxicants that cloud the mind like alcohol etc. that can mess with you senses
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Material Belongings of Jains:

Jains believe that possessions are an obstacle to liberation. Jain monks have virtually no possessions, while lay Jains try to minimise their possessions. The spiritual problem is that people form attachments to possessions. They hoard their wealth and desire more possessions: possessions become an end in themselves.
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Material Belongings of Buddhists:

• Buddhist Prayer Bell (the ring of the bell represents the enlightened voice of Buddha teaching dharma)
• Dorje: the symbol of the Vajrayana school of Buddhism
• Drum (Damaru): a sacred instrument used for their prayers
• Buddhist Right-Turning Conch Shell (Shankha): one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism
• Prayer Beads (malas): used to aid in counting the number of repetitions of mantras or phrases
• Gawu Box: an amulet which holds an image of Lord Buddha
• Prayer Wheel: used to accumulate wisdom and purify negativity
• Butter Lamp: a conspicuous feature of Buddhist temples and represents wisdom
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Relationship with Food - Jains:

Jains are strict vegetarians. They believe that killing even the smallest of animals is a sin. They don’t eat roots because they believe that eating the support of the plant will kill it which goes against their belief that all life is sacred.
Relationship with Food - Buddhists:

Traditional Buddhist cuisine is simple and features a staple (rice or noodles) with vegetables that are stir-fried, braised or cooked in broth. The Buddhist diet that originated in monasteries keeps food light in its original flavour and avoids ingredients like garlic, leeks and onions.

In general, Buddhism prohibits the eating of any and all meat, because of two reasons:
1. The killing of animals violates the First Precept.
2. Meat is considered an intoxicant to the body, which violates the Fifth Precept.
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