Jainism Exposed

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Founder Mahavira

Jainism, in contrast to Hinduism, is based upon a founder and leader known as Mahavira. This name actually is an honorific title signifying “great man.” Tradition places the birth of Mahavira at 599 B.C. in northeastern India, which would make him a contemporary of Buddha. Tradition also relates that Mahavira was the second son of a rajah living in luxurious surroundings. He married and had one daughter.

When his parents died, Mahavira decided at the age of 30 to live a life of self-denial, pledging to deny himself the care of his body and not to speak for 12 years. After a short time, Mahavira put off the robe he wore and wandered naked through India receiving injuries from both man and beast. He wandered for 12 years until he reached enlightenment at the age of 42.

The Sacred Books of the East record, “During the thirteenth year, in a squatting position … exposing himself to the heat of the sun … with knees high and the head low, in deep meditation, in the midst of abstract meditation he reached nirvana, the complete and full, the unobstructed, infinite absolute” (F. M. Mueller, ed., Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 22, Oxford: Krishna Press, 1879-1910, p. 201).

After reaching enlightenment, Mahavira stopped living by himself and took on disciples, preaching his new-found belief. So he continued to live until the end of his life, at which time he was said to have over 14,000 monks in his brotherhood (Maurice Rawlings, Life-Wish: Reincarnation: Reality or Hoax, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc., 1981, p. 63).

Jainism and Belief in God

Mahavira was vehemently opposed to the idea of acknowledging or worshipping a supreme being. He once said:

A monk or a nun should not say, “The god of the sky!” “The god of the thunderstorm!” “The god who begins to rain!” “May rain fall!” “May the crops grow!” “May the king conquer!” They should not use such speech. But, knowing the nature of things, he should say, “The air” “A cloud is gathered, or come down” “The cloud has rained” This is the whole duty (E M. Mueller, ed., op. cit., vol. 22, p. 152).

Later Jainism, however, did acknowledge and worship a deity: Mahavira himself became their object of worship.

Deification of Mahavira

Although Mahavira denied that any God or gods existed to be worshipped, he, like other religious leaders, was deified by his later followers. He was given the designation as the 24th Tirthankara, the last and greatest of the savior beings. Mahavira was regarded as having descended from heaven without sin and with all knowledge.

He descended from heaven … The venerable ascetic Mahavira descended from the Great Vimana (palace of the gods) (Ibid., pp. 189, 190).
Having wisdom, Mahavira committed no sin himself… He meditated, free from sin and desire (Ibid., p. 86, 87).
He possessed supreme, unlimited, unimpeded knowledge and intuition (Ibid., p. 257).

Jainism and Christianity

Jainism is a religion of legalism, for one attains his own salvation only through the path of rigid self-denial. There is no freedom in this religion, only rules. In contrast to this system which teaches salvation in the Hindu sense of the word (through self-effort), the biblical salvation sets one free through Jesus Christ, who said:

If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36, NASB).
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light (Matthew 11:28-30, NASB).

The faith Jesus taught alleviates the burdens of people, while Jainism only adds to them. Any concept of God in a personal sense is missing from Jainism. Mahavira and early Jainism rejected the idea of the existence of a supreme being. Although prayer and worship were not advocated by Mahavira himself, after his decease Jainism took to worshipping Mahavira and the Hindu deities. The Bible condemns the worship of any other god apart from Yahweh.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2,3, NASB).

The doctrine of ahimsa, which is central to the Jain belief, is impossible to practice fully since there is no way to avoid killing millions of micro-organisms every time even a glass of water is drunk. This in turn should produce bad karma and thereby make any salvation virtually impossible.

Furthermore, there is no established source of authority for Jain beliefs in light of existing disputes over which of the various books are to be considered authoritative. These books did not even take any permanent form until 1,000 years after the death of Mahavira.

Contrast that with the evidence for the authority of the biblical documents, especially the New Testament. Sir Frederic Kenyon, former director and principal librarian of the British Museum, wrote this about the New Testament:

“The interval between the dates of original composition (of the New Testament) and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established” (Sir Frederic Kenyon, The Bible and Archaeology, New York: Harper and Row, 1940, pp. 288, 289).

The failure of Jainism to advance much beyond certain areas of India speaks to the fact that it does not meet universal human need. This can be contrasted to Jesus Christ, whose impact is universal.

Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God and there is no other (Isaiah 45:22, NASB).
Jesus sent his disciples out with these words:
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation (Mark 16:15, NASB).
… you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and
Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8, NASB).

Griffith Thomas sums up the universal appeal of Christianity: “Other religions have had their ethical ideal of duty, opportunity, and even of love, but nowhere have they approached those of Christ, either in reality or in attractiveness or in power. Christ’s message is remarkable for its universal adaptation. Its appeal is universal; it is adapted to all men from the adult down to the child; it makes its appeal to all times and not merely to the age in which it was first given. And the reason is that it emphasizes a threefold ethical attitude toward God and man which makes a universal appeal as nothing else does or perhaps can do. Christ calls for repentance, trust and love” (Griffith Thomas, Christianity Is Christ, Chicago: Moody Press, 1965, p. 35).

Source http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Books,%20Tracts%20&%20Preaching/Printed%20Books/Religions/default-16.htm

7 thoughts on “Jainism Exposed

  1. Moksha

    Your argument is based on a false assumption. Jainism is about MINIMISING pain to all living things- doing what’s humanly possible to minimise pain, not eliminate it. Because elimination is not humanly possible. Don’t try and compare two religions and put one down. It shows more about what kind of a person your religion has made you.

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  2. Angels The Protectors

    Whoever has written this has very poor knowledge about Jainism, if you say your God Jesus is creator then can you tell me the date of creation? a period when did he created this universe? Jainism is into existence since millions of years and Christianity, Judaism, or Islam all these religions are into existence few thousands of years ago. Jainism has 24th Tirthankars and Mahaveer was Last. First Tirthankar was Rishabhdev who was in existence billions of years ago and he lived 70,560,000,000,000 YEARS. and there many other Tirthankar who lived similar age and thus Jainism don’t believe in God’s Creation Theory, you are only fooling yourself, even Science accepts that Universe or any being doesn’t need any God to create any being. It’s Natural and it doesn’t need any God. for your information Jainism don’t worship Mahaveer for any boons or wishes, we PRAISE him for the difficult path he choose, we believe in NON Violence and So does Jesus, we all know Jesus was crucified if he want he could have easily defeated or killed all his enemies and the people who were hurting him, do you agree? but he did not hurt anyone and accepted to be crucified that shows Jesus himself was somewhere doing the same as what Mahaveer did, Once The cow herder picked long nail like thorns and pierced the ears of Lord Mahavir deeply by hammering the thorns in. If still you don’t see any similarity then I am so sorry to say but you are very wrong. Your blog is nothing but just your own misconception or less knowledge about Jainism. you are so wrong my dear, Jainism is the way to free our soul from the birth and death and attend MOKSHA. Buddha was Originally belongs from Iksvaku Dynasty so Jainism and Buddhism is similar and when you compare Buddhism and Judaism then you will find similarity too and Jesus was originally Jew and also Jesus has visited India and met Buddha in his missing year and he did followed Buddhism few concepts as well. if you deny then search for Saint Brigid of Kildare and her Swastik Cross which is the Symbol of Jainism. you will not get the place in heaven to spread false rumors around about Jainism or Lord Mahaveer. search for the truth not for the promotion for your religion to prove your religion is superior than others. you are just trying to prove what you believe and not what is truth. well anyway May God give you good knowledge first and then blessings.

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  3. Angels The Protectors

    Also forgot to tell you that Jainism doesn’t worship Hindu God, Jainism consider Hindu Gods as demigod (Yaksh). who are guardians of Tirthankaras. Then you are talking about killing millions of micro-organisms every time even a glass of water is drunk. That proves you have very poor knowledge about Jainism. you should study well before you point on any particular religion. Jainism also explains scientifically about senses. you should be familiar about living beings and sense. while breathing or drinking water what dies are known as ekindriya Jeev (One Sense Living Beings) and what does Christians do? Christians are killing Panchindriya Jeev (Five Sense Living Beings) in that case I should spread rumors about Christianity is pure Satanic religion isn’t it? Remember it’s very easy to spread hate or false rumors around Jainism never did any promotions about it’s religion or even forced anybody to follow Jainism like Christianity does or any other religious does. So you have no rights to spread hate or false information about Jainism. If any religion is not famous or popular that doesn’t mean it’s false religion or satanic. It’s only when it is really hard to follow and it’s not about rules, but it’s the way to get rid of the cycle of birth and death. Christianity doesn’t even believe in Rebirth or Re-incarnation so I should call Christianity is false religion? even in present modern days I can show you with evidence many people have taken re-birth in different countries and including Christians. so no religions or no God is perfect you get that? get the better life and mentality before you write such posts.

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  4. Nikunj

    First of all its ture that we dont have book during 6th century because Mahaveera already knew that Plants too have life so why to cut them for the sake of books.

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