Term Paper: Jainism and Hinduism

Pages: 7 (2280 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] For example, the concept of Lesya differs in Jainism. Lesya refers to the color of the aura of the soul.

The special aura of the soul can be described in terms of colour, smell, touch or taste indicating the stages of spiritual progress of a living being, whether human, animal, demonic or divine. Lesya is determined by the adherence of karmic matter to jiva or soul, resulting from both good and bad actions. This adherence is compared to the way dust particles adhere to an oil-smeared body.

Gangar, A)

While Hindu and Jaina schools of thought agree generally, "Jaina thinkers developed significantly different accounts of these phenomena, including lesyas."

Skoog, Kim)


There are many other areas of subtle differences between Jainism and Hinduism. The essential aspect that differentiates them is the Jaina mode of thought, which denies the theistic and ritualistic aspect that Hinduism incorporated into its doctrine. In fact, Jainism is more radical and is opposed to all forms of doctrine as it sees all human knowledge as flawed and therefore not essential or even helpful in the quest for the liberation of the soul from the world. In this sense Jainism is more aligned with Buddhist modes of thought. Another crucial aspect is the emphasis on liberation through self-knowledge and through the radical denial of the world and all sensual aspects associated with it. In practice however, there are many similarities between the two religions and many of the Hindu Gods for example are accepted within the actual context of Jainist practice.


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While this is the accepted view there are also other theories which suggest that Jainism developed undependably and even earlier than the Hindu Vedas. "The finds in the excavations at Harappa and Mohanjadaro offer convincing support to the view that Jainism is an ancient religion, quite independent of any other. Sir John Marshall's monumental works refer to the seals found during the excavations of Mohanjadaro. The figures on plates xii and cxviii have been studied and are found to resemble Jaina yogis in the Kayotsarga posture. Prof. Prana Nath Vidyalankar has said that the inscription on Indus seal No 449 reads according to his decipherment as "Jinesharah/" These excavations are said to be more that 4000 years old. "There can be little doubt' observed Sir C.V. Kumarswami Sastriar, the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, "the Jainism as a distinct religion was flourishing several centuries before Christ." One can, therefore conclude, without fear of contradiction that Jainism is a pre-vedic religion which flourished in India even before… [END OF PREVIEW]

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