Essay on Hinduism Jainism and Buddhism

Words: 3095
Pages: 13


Hinduism is the oldest and most complex of all religious systems. The origins of Hinduism can be traced to the Indus Valley civilization sometime between 4000 and 2500 BCE. Though believed by many to be a polytheistic religion, the basis of Hinduism is the belief in the unity of everything. This totality is called Brahman. The purpose of life is to realize that we are part of God and by doing so we can leave this plane of existence and rejoin with God. This enlightenment can only be achieved by going through cycles of birth, life and death known as samsara. One's progress towards enlightenment is measured by his karma. This is the accumulation of all one's good and bad deeds and this determines the person's next reincarnation.
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In fact there are certain castes whose members are found in both the Hindus and the Jaina and to some extent marital relations are still maintained between the Jaina and Hindu sections of the same caste.
From these similarities between the Jaina and the Hindus, it should not be considered that the Jains are a part of the Hindus or Jainism is a branch of Hinduism. On the contrary, if we compare Jainism and Hinduism, we find that the differences between them are very great and that their agreement is in respect of a few particulars only concerning the ordinary mode of living. Even the ceremonies which appear to be similar are in reality different in respect of their purport if carefully studied.
Hence the significant differences between Jainism and Hinduism can be briefly noted as follows: Scriptures
The sacred books of the Hindus like Vedas, Smrtis, Puranas etc. are not accepted by the Jaina and the Hindus also do not recognize even a single scripture of the Jaina. Origin of the world
While the Jaina regards the world as eternal, the Hindus hold it to have been made by a creator.

Objects of worship
In Jainism, worship is not offered to an eternal and eternally pure God, but to those great