Jainism and Buddishism

Date: December 10, 2014

Jainism and Buddhism

  • 62 Heterodoxes
  • Reaction against increasing rituals, rigid caste system and new agrarian economy were three important regions for the rise of Jainism and Buddhism.
  • The period is coterminous with Mahajanpadas in political field, Sutras in literature and second urbanisation in the field of material development.
  • First coins which were known as Punch marked coins were introduced in 5th century B.C. These coins were introduced by traders and not any ruler. These coins were normally of silver &copper and not of bronze or gold initially. These coins were inscribed with figures of elephant, tree, fish and crescent etc.
  • These religions were initially supported by traders (vaishyas) because both the religions did not recognised caste system, preached the philosophy of Ahimsa which was essential for the progress of trade and commerce and lastly these religions recognised the profession of giving money on interest which was not supported by Brahmanic scriptures.


ë First Theerthankar – Rishabhdev                                                         ë 23rd Theerthankar – Parshvanath (Varanasi)

ë 24th Theerthankar – Mahavir (Vaishali) (540 BC)

  • Mahavir (540 – 468 BC) – ë Mother – Trishala      ë Father – Siddhartha (Gyatrik clan)           ë Wife – Yasoda

ë Sister – Sudarshana      ë Brother – Nandivardhan     ë Daughter – Priyadarshana (Anojaya)       ë Son-in-law – Jamali

  • He was known as ‘Jina’ – Conqueror,               Nirgrantha -  free from all the bonds          
  • First theerthankara Rishabhadev is maintained in Rig veda. He left his house at the age of 30, wandered for his next 12 years. Finally on the river bank of Rijupalika under a Sala Tree he got salvation (Kaivalya) and afterwards he was known as Kevalin, Jina, Arhat (able) and Mahavir. Jamali his son-in-law was his first pupil.
  • Teachings – Ahinsa, Satya, Astaya, Aparigraha and Brahmacharya (first four were already existing and the last was add by the Mahavira) are called as ‘Five Mahavratas’.
  • Five Anuvratas
  • Kayaklesha – Giving ones life by fasting also known as ‘Sallekhana’. Chandragupta Maurya gave up his life at Shravanbelgola by this method only.
  • Syadvad or Saptabhangi Nyay was an important philosophy of Jainism which was also known as ‘Anekantvaad’.
  • Mahavira established a Sangha in his lifetime which had 11 of his pupils as members but only Sudharman survived Mahavira an ultimately became head of the ‘Sangha’.
  • First council at Patliputra during the period of Chandragupta Maurya under the Presidentship of Sthulabhadra and in this council Jainism got divided into Shwetambar under Sthulabhadra and Digambar headed by Bhadrabahu.
  • Second council in the 513 or 526 A.D. at Ballabhi under the Presidentship of Devadhirgana (Kshamashraman). In this council Jaina scriptures were finally compiled.
  • Oldest Jaina texts – Poorva      Jain Literature – Agam                     ·  Language – Ardh Maghdi, Magdhi or Prakrit
  • Important scriptures – Bhagwati sutra, Parishistha Parvana (Hemachandra), Acharang sutra, Uvasagadasao, Niryavali, Pushpachulika, Aavashyak sutra, Kalpsutra (Bhadrabahu), Nayadhamkaha etc.
  • Theerthankar and their symbols – ë Rishabhdev – Ox                                                         ë Ajitnath - Elephant      

                                                                      ë Parsvanath – hood of a Cobra                       ë Mahavir – Lion


  • Recognised god but placed below ‘Jina’.
  • Did not criticism Caste system as vehemently as by Buddha.
  • Believed in Rebirth and it was result of accumulated deeds.
  • Moksha (Salvation) could by attained by practicing triratnas – Sainyak Gyan, Samyak dhyan, Samyamk Acharana i.e. Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Action respectively (Also called as 3 Jewels).
  • Jainism forbids war and agriculture.
  • First archaeological evidence Hathigumpha inscription of Kharvela.
  • Basadi – Jain Matha
  • Vallabhi – an important education centre in Gujarat.
  • Saurseni and Marathi languages have evolved from Prakrit.
  • Jainism has also helped in the evolution of Kannada language.




Gautam Buddha (563 – 483 B.C.)


  • Birth Place – Lumbini (Near Kapilvastu in Nepal)
  • Father – Suddodhana (head of Shakya clan)
  • Childhood name – Siddhartha
  • Mother – Maya Devi (Mhamaya, from Koliya republic)


  • Looked after Prajapati Gautmi
  • Wife – Yasodhara                Son – Rahul                     · Death – 483 B.C. at Kushinagar

® First Teacher – Alar Kalam at Uruvela

® Sujata offered ‘Kheer’ to him

® On river Niranjana, under a Peepal tree, he got enlightenment (35 yrs.)

® While his leaving of home is known as ‘Mhabhinishkramana’ and death as ‘Mahaparinirvana’.

® First sermon – Sarnath (Rishipattan) to 5 Brahmanas (incident is known as Dharmachakra Pravartan)

® Did not recognise Atma and Parmatma (soul and god) but faith in rebirth.

® Buddha’s birth, enlightenment & death all happened on the same day (Baisakh Purnima)

® 4 Arya Satya (eternal truth)

  1. suffering  2. suffering has a reason    3. reason is attachment     4. suffering can be removed by removing attachment (Trishna)

® Eightfold path is a way to Salvation

  1. Right vision                                            2. Right aim                                       3. Right speech                                 4. Right action
  2. Right livlihood                        6. Right effort                                   7. Right awareness                           8. Right meditation

® Condemned caste system.                                       ® Language – Pali

® 2 types of followers -  1. Upasak                            2. Bhikshu

                   Vihara (place of residence)                                           Place

                              Venuvana                                                         Rajgriha (Bimbsara)

                              Jetavana                                                                           Shravasti (Anath Pindak)

                              Pushparam                                                        Shravasti (Visakha)

                              Kootagrashala                                                  Vaishali (Public)

                              Ghositaram                                                       Kaushambi (Sreshtighosit)

® Entry of women to Sangha on Anand’s advice. Prajapati Gautmi (step mother) was the first lady.

® Angulimaal (the robber) joined at Shravasti                                      ®  Most number of disciple (Koshala)

® Died after eating park at Chunda’s house at Kushinagar.


  • Sariputra, Anand (most beloved)   Prasenjit, Ajatsatru, Mahakashyap (head of the first council)
  • Devdutta (cousin) – fierce opponent

® Organisation on Republican system -

     ë Proposal – Natti         ë Reading – Anusavan          ë Passed with majority – Bhumaskim                         ëDifference – Adhikaran

  • Ballot secret and open both, with the help of a stick (shlaka). The officer incharge – Shlakagrahak
  • Officer incharge of seating arrangement – Asan Pragyapak
  • Upasampada – Joining of Sangha ® Discarding household – Pravajya           ® Final aim – Nirvana

Buddhist Councils

First (483 B.C.)

At Rajgriha (Saptparni cave)                         President – Mahakashyap                                             Ruler – Ajatsatru

Imp. – Sutta (Dhamma – Anand) & Vinaya (Conduct – Upali) pitakas cure compiled

Second (383 B.C.)

Place – Vaishali                                               President – Sabakmeer                                   Ruler – Kalashok

Imp. – First schism – Mahasanghik & Sthirvadi

Third ( 247 B.C.)

Place – Patliputra                                                           President – Mogalipunta Tishya                   Ruler – Ashoka

Imp. – 3rd Pitaka was included (Abhidhamma Pitaka)


Place – Kashmir (Kundalvana)                     President – Vasumil          Vice President – Ashwaghosh               Ruler – Kanishka

  • – II schism – Heenyana & Mahayana
  • Deepvansha, Mahavansha – Sinhaleye Chronides

ë Buddhacharita – Ashwaghosha (first biography of Buddha in Sanskrit)      ë Saundaranand – Ashwaghosh (Sanskrit)

ë Sariputra Prakaran – Ashwaghosh (Sanskrit)

  • Visuddhamagga – Buddhaghosa (Heenayana)
  • Abhidhamma Ghosh – Vasubhandhu
  • Madhyamik Karika – Nagarjuna (propounder of Sunyaveda)