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Difference Between Jainism And Hinduism

Jainism and Hinduism are two distinct religious traditions that originated in ancient India. While there are some similarities, they also have significant differences in their beliefs, practices, and philosophies. Here are some key differences between Jainism and Hinduism:

Founders and Origins:

Jainism was founded by Lord Mahavira, who is believed to have lived in the 6th century BCE. It emerged as a reform movement within the religious landscape of ancient India.

Hinduism is a complex and ancient religious tradition that doesn't have a single founder or specific starting point. It has evolved over thousands of years and encompasses a wide range of beliefs and practices.

Belief in God:

Jainism is non-theistic, meaning it does not believe in a personal creator God. Instead, Jains focus on achieving spiritual liberation (moksha) through self-discipline and asceticism.

Hinduism is generally characterized by a belief in a diverse array of deities and gods, including Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), Shiva (the destroyer), and many others. However, some sects and individuals within Hinduism may also embrace non-theistic or monistic philosophies.

Concept of the Self (Atman):

Jainism teaches the concept of Jiva, which is an eternal and individual soul. Jains believe that each living being has a separate and distinct Jiva.

Hinduism also believes in the existence of Atman (the individual soul), but it is often seen as a part of Brahman (the ultimate reality or cosmic soul). Some Hindu philosophies emphasize the unity of Atman and Brahman.

Reincarnation and Karma:

Both Jainism and Hinduism believe in the cycle of reincarnation (samsara) and that one's actions (karma) in one life affect their future lives.

Jainism places a strong emphasis on minimizing the accumulation of karma through non-violence (ahimsa), truthfulness, and asceticism, with the ultimate goal of ending the cycle of reincarnation.

In Hinduism, the goal may vary among different sects and individuals. While some seek liberation (moksha) from samsara, others seek to fulfill their dharma (duty) within the cycle of life.

Religious Practices:

Jain religious practices include meditation, prayer, fasting, and strict adherence to principles like non-violence and truthfulness. Monasticism is highly regarded in Jainism.

Hindu religious practices are diverse and can include worship of deities, rituals, ceremonies, yoga, meditation, and adherence to dharma. Hinduism also has a strong tradition of temple worship.

Dietary Restrictions:

Jains follow a strict vegetarian diet and avoid consuming root vegetables as well as certain other foods and products.

While many Hindus are vegetarians, dietary practices can vary widely among different Hindu communities and individuals.


Jain temples and art often feature images of Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers), and Jainism avoids the use of anthropomorphic deities.

Hinduism has a rich tradition of temple art and iconography, with images of various gods and goddesses.

These are some of the fundamental differences between Jainism and Hinduism, but it's important to note that both traditions are incredibly diverse and encompass a wide range of beliefs and practices within themselves. Additionally, there can be variations and overlap in beliefs and practices among individuals and communities within each tradition.