Jainism – A Religious Movement (Notes with Quiz)

Hello readers, last week we had learnt Buddhism – A Religious Movement, today we will discuss, about its successor Jainism. Jainism – A Religious Movement is a very important topic , it is advisable to go through this topic properly.


So, let’s take a route to the Age of Jainism.  🙂 


 Arrow Always remember, Rishabhadeva is the founder of Jainism.


The word “Jaina” was originated from the word “Jina”, which means conqueror. Before heading further, we will discuss the causes that led to the origin of Jainism. Mainly, these are same as Buddhism. We will revise those again.


Causes led to rise of Jainsim

  • Complexity of Vedic rituals – These were not understood by the common man and were explained with the help of Brahmans.
  • Vedic Literature in Sanskrit – Sanskrit was not used by the common man and it was considered as the language of the elite class.
  • Supremacy of the Brahmans – Because of the above two reasons, society was influenced by the supremacy of the Brahmans.
  • Rigid Caste system


Tirthankara in Jainism

Tirthankara is a savior, who preaches the right path. As per Jainism tradition, there were 24 Tirthankar (Prophets), out of them, first Tirthankar was Rishabhadeva (Symbol – Bull)and last i.e. 24th were Vardhamana Mahavira.


   Arrow The names of the 2 Jain Tirthankaras – Rishabhadeva (1st) and Arishtanemi (22nd & Symbol – Conch Shell) are found in Rig Veda.


Now, we will learn about key Tirthankaras.


23rd Tirthankar –  Parshwanath (Symbol – Snake)

  • He was a prince of Banaras and son of King Ashvasena.
  • He gave up his family and started living a renunciationed life in search of truth.
  • He died on Parshwanath hill, Giridih, Jharkhand.
  • He taught 4 teachings to his disciples viz. Ahimsa (non-injury), Satya (non-lying), Asteya (non-stealing) and Aparigraha (non-possession).


24th Tirthankar – Mahavira (Symbol – Lion)

The Mahavira accepted the 4 teachings of Parshwanath and added one more teaching, Brahmcharya (chastity).

Details about Mahavira table

  • At the age of 30, he renounced his home and became ascetic.
  • He attained Kaivalya (Supreme Knowledge) at the age of 42 & in the 13th year of asceticism, under a Sal tree at Jambhikagrama on the banks of Rijupalika river.
  • After this, he was called Mahavira, Jitendriya, Arhant, Kevalin, Nrigrantha and his followers were named as a Jain.
  • He gave his first sermon at Pava to his 11 disciples or Gandharvas.
  • He died at the age of 72 in 468 BC at Pavapuri, Biharsharif, Bihar.

Before his death he established Jain Sangha and after his death only 1 disciple Sudharma was alive, who expanded Jain community.


Jainism Doctrines

Three gems of Jainism i.e. Triratna are as as follows:

Jainism Triratna table


5 Vows of Jainism

These are also known as Pancha Mahavaratas. The following table shows the 5 Vows of Jainism, out of them, first four are were given by Parshwanath and the 5th was added by Mahavira.

5 Vows of Jainism table


Types of knowledge

There are 5 types of knowledge which are given as below:

Types of Knowledge - Jainism table


Principles of Jainism

The Principles of Jainism were given by Mahavira. These were:

Principles of Jainism table


Jain Councils

Jain Councils table


Jain Literature

It is comprised of 6 texts. These texts were written in Ardhamagadhi language, which is a part of Prakrit and are classified as follows:

Jain Literature table

ArrowOther Important Jain texts are:

  • 14 Purvas – It is a part of 12 Angas and the oldest text of Mahavira’s preachings.
  • Parishishta Parvan (an appendix of Trishashthishalaka Purush).
  • Kalpasutra in Sanskrit by Bhadrabahu.
  • Bhadrabahu Charita.


Sects of Jainism

There are two sects in Jainism:

  • Shvetambaras – They wear white dress.
  • Digambaras – They remain naked.


Reason behind the split

Around 300 BC, there were serious famine in Magdha, which led to the emigration of Jain monks to the Deccan and South India. Bhadrabahu went to South with his disciple, where, he gave an important place to nudity in Mahavira’s teachings, while, Sthulabhadra remained in Magdha, they started wearing white dress. After 12 years, when Bhadrabahu came back, they formed different sects.


Important Points

  • Jain Temple at Sravanabelgola in Hassan district in Mysore is known as “Kasi of the Jains”.
  • Dilwara Jain Temples at Mount Abu in Rajasthan is a famous center of Jain worship. These were built by Chalukya Dynasty kings.
  • Gomateshwara (Bahubali) Temple in Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district of Karnataka, is one of the largest monolithic statues in the world.
  • Ahimsa Paramo Dharma is the sacred hymn of Jainism.




With this we have completed Today’s topic. Hope you have learned today.

You can also take  Quiz on Jainism to enhance your preparation.

Please give your feedback in comments, we are ready to serve better  🙂 

Subscribe and Share ! 

Keep Visiting !

Happy Learning !