Shared Origins Offer some general comparisons and contrasts between Jainism and Sikhism


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Shared Origins

Offer some general comparisons and contrasts between Jainism and Sikhism.

They are faiths of native Indian subcontinent. Jainism and Sikhism both rejected the authority of the Vedas and created independent textual traditions based on words and examples of the early teachers. Eventually they evolved new ways for interacting with the lay community.

Jainism is the oldest religion while Sikhism is the youngest of the world’s major religious. Jains are all vegetarian while Sikhs are not. Lastly, the Jains code of practice is Ahimsa, which state to always be kind and compassionate and prevent hurt to oneself and others, while Sikhs reject Ahimsa.
Describe some features Jainism shares with Buddhism.

Jainism and Buddhism share the believes of Karma and the reincarnation of the soul theory. They are both branches of the Shramana tradition.

Mahavira and the Origins of Jainism

  1. What is some of the symbolism behind the image of the twenty-four tirthankaras?

    1. The tirthankaras in Jainism is a special sort o Arihant who established fourfold religious order consisting of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen. They show the path to liberation, their inner knowledge is perfect and identical in every respect. More or less they symbolize the perfect human beings together who go through infinite birth and deaths. People respect them because they are so perfect and they have shown then the path to enlightenment.

  1. Discuss the traditional life story of Mahavira.
    1. He lived an absolute life of truthfulness, a life of perfect honesty, and absolute chastity. He never possessed any property. He revised the Jain doctrine and was a reformer of the faith. At the age of eight he observes the twelve vows of Ahimsa. He immersed in self contemplation. And he knew that the pleasures of this world were transitory and they strengthen the letters of karma. He also knew that renunciation would lead to the attainment of eternal bliss. He abandons home even though his mother begs him to help his father govern he kingdom. Mahavira distributed all of his wealth to the poor with his own hands and then he went to the forest. He took off even the piece of cloth which he was wearing, turned to the north and became a monk. He obtained omniscience and preached his message for another 30 years.


  1. What are the philosophic arguments Jainism uses to defend its atheism?

    1. They defend their atheism by claiming that neither perception, nor inference can prove the existence of god.

  2. How does Jainism conceive time?

    1. They conceive time as eternal and formless.

  3. Explain the dualism found in Jainism and how it shapes understanding of human beings?

    1. Jainism thinks of matter and soul to be two entirely different types of substance. They think that matter is evil and it affects the soul.

  4. How are human beings different from other things composed of matter and spirit?

    1. Human beings are different from other things composed of matter because they have abilities of various kind which distinguish them from plant and animal like. Human have consciousness and we are capable of knowing things and of sensations of bliss. A true living being is one of complete knowledge and complete bliss. Additionally people could feel and interpret.

  5. Discuss the Jain goal and the understanding of karma and rebirth.

    1. The goal of Jainism is the liberation of the soul from the negative effects of unenlightened thoughts, speech and action. They take karma as the nature process which cannot be avoided. And they think of rebirth after rebirth as a continuous process.

  6. What role do superhuman beings occupy in Jainism?

    1. They thoughts of super-humans as heavenly beings, they think of them as the ones that establish the teachings and preach the jain religion, ethics and conducts. They think that every person could be a super human but it requires nonviolence, truthfulness, non stealing, and chastity.

Jain Ethics
  1. Explain ahimsa and how this ethical recommendation is lived out.

    1. Ahimsa means non-violence, non-injury, or the absence of desire to harm any life forms. A way that this is lived out is by the required vegetarianism in Jainism. Additionally, a person that lives a life of non-violence can be a super human.

  2. Briefly describe the ethical recommendations of nonlying, nonstealing, and chastity.

    1. The ethical recommendation of non-lying, non-stealing, and chastity are part of the Five vows that are followed by lay people and monastic’s. In order to reach liberation a person needs to live by these vows.

  3. Discuss the importance of nonattachment for Jains.

    1. Jains believe that the more worldly wealth a person possess, the more likely he is to commit sin to acquire and maintain the possession and in the long run he may be unhappy. The worldly wealth creates attachments, which will continuously result in greed, jealously, selfishness, etc. Also they view an attachment to worldly objects results in the bondage to the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, one who desires spiritual liberation should withdraw from all attachments.

  4. Explain how a "holy death" fits into the Jain religion.

    1. They are expected not only to live a disciplined life but also to die a detached death, which is a peaceful, hold and faced willingly. This voluntary death should be distinguished from suicide, which in Jainism is considered a sin.

The Development of Jainism and Its Branches

  1. Discuss similarities and differences between Buddha and Mahavira.
    1. Both attained enlightenment and Nirvana. Both were princes and renounced their respective kingdoms at the age of 30. Mahavira's father's name was Siddhartha (Buddha's name) which seems coincidental. Both spent their life spreading the teaching they believed in so much.

  2. What beliefs distinguish the Digambara branch?

    1. Digambara means “one who is naked” or “one who has the sky as his clothes”. Only men can become Digambara monks. They believe that if you have anything to your name, you cannot realize the Highest. Therefore, they have renounced all material possessions. They keep only a single peacock feather to sweep the ground clear in front of them so that they do not tread on any living being and a gourd of boiled water.

  3. What features distinguish the Shvetambara branch?

    1. The Svetambara branch is more moderate. It means “clad in white.” Both men and women belong to the branch. They often wear white clothes and sometimes masks across their nose and mouth so that by breathing in they do not kill any little organisms in the air. They lead a very simple life and also follow the teachings of Mahavira.

  4. Describe the beliefs of the Sthanakavasi branch.

    1. Reject the use of statues and temples.

  5. What features characterize the reformist Terapanthis branch?

    1. They are non-idolatrous and are very finely organized under the complete direction of one Acharya,that is a religious head. Its history is a little more than 200 yrs of and they have had a succession of 9 Archarya. Their penance is considered very severe. The dress of their monks and nuns is akin to that of Sthanakwasi monks and non, the only difference was the white cloth always kept on the mouth.

Jain Practices

  1. How do Jains understand the role of devotional practices?
    1. Their temple rituals are devotional, colorful, and musical in nature; the rituals may be individual or collective. They worship a Jina as an example, not for asking any favors. A ritual of equanimity for 48 minutes that includes meditation, veneration to tithankara, veneration to the spiritual teachers and ascetics, repentance for the things one has done wrong, control of body by holding fixed position during meditation.

  2. Describe the basic features of a Jain puja.

    1. They are regarded to be super mundane in the sense that the worship offered in the sacred places of jains. They say that you must “worship God and become God. Perfect cleanliness is maintained and the atmosphere is lam holey because of eating, sleeping and sitting idly are prohibited there. Cleanliness of body, clothes vessels and possible purity of mind are insisted on.

  3. Name some key Jain pilgrim sites.

    1. Jesalmir, Ranakpur, Taranga, Delwara, Mountabu., etc.

Jain Scriptures
Describe some of the general contents of Jain canonical and noncanonical scriptures.

Jain Art and Architecture

How are the features of Jain statues interpreted?


  1. What are some of the chief differences between Hinduism and Islam?

    1. IN Hinduism there is a belief that God is the supreme self and that he entire creation in His body. Islam believes that he believers of God are like a body who share the same experiences in their love, mercy and kindness toward one another. Hinduism believes in the law of Karma. Islam believes in God’s reward for good deeds punishment for bad deed. Thus declares the Qu’ran.

  2. What are the few things Hinduism and Islam share?

    1. Both Hinduism and Islam accept God as the Supreme being and Absolute Lord of the Universe. He is the creator and the sustainer of all creatures and the entire creation. He is the source and the cause of the divine law.
    2. Both religions acknowledge that while the God has the knowledge and the power to execute and enforce His will, by which everything in the universe moves or moves not, God is generous enough to endow human beings with free will, so that they become responsible for their actions and the choices they make.

Nanak and the Origins of Sikhism

  1. What was Nanak's revelation and how did it occur?

    1. He was taken to the presence of God nd then a cup filled with Liquid of Immortality was given to him,. That was the cup of holy adoration of the name of god. After that he was known as the Guru and ws given a mission to preach God’s word.

  2. How did Nanak convey his teachings?

    1. He conveyed his teaching in Punjabi. He visited numerous places of Hindu and Muslim worship. He explained and exposed through his preaching the incongruities and fruitlessness of ritualistic and ascetic practice. He spread his knowledge from place to place.

The Worldview and Teachings of Nanak

  1. Describe features of Hinduism that Nanak accepted.

    1. He accents the Hindu aspects of Karma and reincarnation.

  2. Which characteristics of Hinduism did he reject?

    1. He rejected the caste system.

  3. What was Nanak's teaching about God?

    1. The teachings are that there is only one God, and that all human beings can have direct access to God with no need of ritual or priests.

  1. The "Five K's" of the Sikh Khalsa
    Briefly describe the five practices originally adopted by members of the Khalsa.

    1. Kes or Unshorn hair, - regarded as a symbol of sainltliness

    2. Kangha or the comb – is necessary to keep the hair clean and tidy.

    3. Kara or the steel bracelent symbolized restrain from evil deeds.
    4. Kachh or the soldiers shorts must be work at all times. – reminders of the need for self restrain over passions and desires.

    5. Kirpan or the sword: - emblem of courage and self defense.


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