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What is the difference between Buddhism and Jainism?

Gautam Buddha and Lord Mahavir
Gautam Buddha and Lord Mahavir - Image Source : Unacademy
  • Buddhism and Jainism are two ancient religions that originated in Ancient India.
  • Buddhism is based on Gautama Buddha’s teachings, while Jainism is based on Mahavira’s teachings.
  • Mahavira is the source of the Buddha’s teachings. Hence, the viewpoints are similar.
  • The central Buddhist doctrine is that existence is suffering, and that the only way to avoid suffering is to dispel ignorance by understanding the Four Noble Truths and following the Eightfold Path.
  • They emphasise the respect for all living beings in Jainism. Taking the Five Vows and following the precepts of the Three Jewels leads to liberation from the circle of rebirths.
  • Moreover, Jains place a higher value on God’s existence, Buddhists place a higher value on personal emancipation and rarely mention God.
  • Buddhism’s aim is to achieve enlightenment and so be free of the cycle of rebirth and death, which is known as Nirvana.
  • While the purpose of Jainism is to achieve liberation from the cycle of rebirths and to follow a path of nonviolence toward all living beings.
  • Elements of Jain theology opposed Animal sacrifices such as ahimsa.
  • In Buddhism, the principle of Ahimsa (nonviolence) is unique because it permits the consumption of animal meat where it is a necessity or part of the people’s customary diet.

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