Differences between Jainism and Buddhism

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 16, 2022, 13:38

There are many similarities between Buddhism and Jainism. Not only did the forefathers of these two philosophies have very similar careers, but they were also contemporaneous and originated mostly around Northern India. There are some obvious similarities in their philosophical teachings. Both deny the Vedas' and Vedic priests' authority; both deny the effectiveness of rituals and ceremonies; both strongly criticize sacrifice, and both dismiss God. Man is his architect, according to Jainism, hence there is no Supreme deity or creator.

Even with so many similarities, many key differences between Buddhism and Jainism. Some of these differences are as follows:




Belief of God

Buddhists reject the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present creator. Theistic arguments that the universe came into existence by a God were denied by the Buddha himself.

Jainism rejects the belief in a Creator God too.

Life after death

One of Buddhism's major concepts is rebirth. It is believed that we are trapped in a never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that can only be ended by achieving nirvana. The only way to be free of agony for good is to reach nirvana.

Due to Karma, the loop of rebirths and deaths continues until emancipation is attained through reincarnation in any life form on Earth, as well as heavenly and infernal life forms.

Founded by

The Buddha

The Jains maintain that their religion is timeless, and believe Rishabhanatha to be the founder

Places of worship

Monasteries, temples, shrines.


Original Language(s)

Pali and Sanskrit

Ancient literature was written in a variety of languages, the most common of which was Magadhi, the language spoken at the time of Mahavir and Buddha.

View of other religions

Other Dharmas are rejected because the name Dharma denotes doctrine, law, path, instruction, or discipline.

Other Dharmic religions are seen as comrades.


This life is filled with pain, and the only way to find relief is to realize the Four Noble Truths and follow the Eightfold Path to dispel one's wants and ignorance.

All living creatures should be respected. Attain liberation through avoiding and eliminating negative karma, which is the source of all reincarnations and sorrows. Three jewels and five vows.

Concept of Deity

There are beings in the heavenly realms, according to certain views, but they are also bound by "samsara." They may suffer less, but they have not yet found salvation

Tirthankaras are a group of deities. However, Jains do not worship them in the traditional sense of idol worship to obtain benefits. These Tirthankars, on the other hand, are revered as ideal men and instructors whose teachings should be followed.


The equality principle states that all living things are equal.

Mahavira is the source of the Buddha's teachings. As a result, they're alike.

In many ways, Buddhism and Jainism are alike because they both emerged in the same part of India. They are both against the caste system and animal exploitation. The only thing they have in common is that they both deny the existence of God. Both of them are concerned with the concept of 'karma' and its consequences. Despite this, there are various Differences between Jainism and Buddhism.

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FAQs on Differences between Jainism and Buddhism

Q.1. Can atheists partake in this religion's practices?

Ans. Yes, atheists can take part in both Buddhism and Jainism

Q.2. What are Buddhism and Jainism's views on other religions?

Ans. Being a practical philosophy, Buddhism is neutral against other religions Meanwhile Jainism believes in pluralism and respect other religious viewpoints and try to accommodate them.

Q.3. How are animals treated in both religions?

Ans. Animals are given equal rights as humans in Buddhism but monks aren't restricted from eating meat when offered. Whereas eating meat was strictly forbidden in Jainism.