Moreover, they preach equal and careful treatment of all living beings by minimizing or eliminating harmful thoughts (Antiquity of Jainism, n.d).
Hinduism and Jainism are the two of the most important ancient religions of India; Jainism being much older than the Vedic religions of Hindus. Since Jainas and Hindus have been living side by side for the past many centuries, it is obvious that they have influenced each other in many respects but still there exists many differences between them with respect to their concepts and religious beliefs.
The most important difference being that Hindus believe in the existence of god but Jainas don’t believe in god instead worships those great ones who have realized their high ideal and attained salvation. Jainism follows three basic principles – non-violence, non-absolutism and non-possession. Jaina’s believe that man should treat all living beings of the world as his own. Hinduism stresses the importance of serenity of living beings. According to Hindu’s, only god can attain salvation; Jaina’s believe that salvation is the right of human beings only. There are different ways to attain salvation in Hinduism, for example the four Yogas – Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga. However, the path of salvation prescribed by Jainism is only one – Ratnatraya Marga, that is, three fold path of Right Belief, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct which is to be simultaneously pursued by all men. Hinduism is a sacrificial religion where Hindu’s consider performance of several sacrifices for different reasons and different durations as very important, including animal sacrifices. Although, Jaina’s don’t believe in sacrifices they promote careful living where no form of life should be harmed. Though the ultimate goal of both Hindus and Jainas is to achieve Nirvana or supreme liberation, the path and the number of stages involved in reaching it is absolutely contrasting from one