By: Vipin Khokad
The similarities between Jainism and Buddhism were such that for a very long time Jainism was considered as just an off shoot of Buddhism. It behooves us to have a comparative study of Jainism and Buddhism.
Similarities between Jainism and Buddhism can be put under the following heads.
- Historical background– Both the religions are contemporary and products of the same historical background. They are product of growing agrarian economy, sharp popular reaction against Brahmanism and intellectual-philosophical ferment of the sixth century B.C.
- No faith in Vedic religion-Buddhism, as well as, Jainism have no faith in Vedic religion and in divinity of Vedas. They reject the belief that Vedas are the sources of ultimate and whole truth.
- Emphasis on Moral values-Both of them put special emphasis on moral values of Satya,Ahimsa,Asteya ,Aparigriha ,and Brahmacharya.
- Faith in Karmafal and Rebirth-Both of them have faith in Karmafal and Rebirth.
Being products of the same age and background it was quite obvious for them to have some common features ,but,at the same time their differences were so marked that often there was a good deal of rivalry between them.The differences between Jainism and Buddhism are being mentioned below.
- God as creator-Jainism rejects the existence of God as creator.Buddhism considers the issue irrelevant and is silent on it.
- Souls – Jainism believes in the existence of souls while Buddhism does not believe.
- Path of Salvation-For Jainism ‘Kaya-Klesh’ is the path of salvation while Buddhism believes in the eight fold path of ‘Madhyam-Pratipada’ for salvation.
- Ahimsa-Jainism view of Ahimsa is extremist while Buddhist view is a moderate one.
From the above it is clear that at certain points Jainism and Buddhism both are similar while at certain points both agree to differ. So both are neither thoroughly similar nor thoroughly different.