Jainism and Buddhism – Difference Between Jainism and Buddhism

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Jainism and Buddhism: The difference between Jainism and Buddhism is that while the founder of Jainism is believed to be Rishabhanatha, Buddhism was founded by Gautam Buddha. In Jainism, there are 24 Tirthankaras. The Jains follow the five principles of Ahimsa, Satya, Asetya, Aparigraha, and Bhattacharya. Chandragupta Maurya is accredited for the spread of Jainism. The teachings of Buddhism were enshrined and conserved by establishing numerous Buddhist councils. The major points highlighting the difference between Jainism and Buddhism have been highlighted here to ascertain the candidates with complete knowledge of the topic.

Difference Between Jainism and Buddhism PDF

Jainism and Buddhism both vehemently opposed the caste system. The major teachings of Buddhism include the three universal truths, four noble truths, and eightfold paths. Apart from the major difference between Jainism and Buddhism, they also share a high degree of similarity. Along with the differences, the similarities between both religions have also been shared here.

Difference Between Jainism and Buddhism

Buddhism and Jainism possess strong feelings about Karma and forces. Even with innumerable similarities, varied significant points highlight the differences between them. Walk through the table that has been illustrated below to know the difference between Jainism and Buddhism in detail.

Jainism vs Buddhism

Jainism and Buddhism
Origin Buddhism Jainism
Belief of God Buddhists deny the fundamental beliefs of a Supreme, all-knowing creator of all.

The arguments pertaining to the creator of the Universe or the presence of God were rejected by Buddha.

Jainism denies 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.

Reaching nirvana is the only way to be free of agony for good.

Karma’s loop of rebirths and deaths continues until emancipation is attained through reincarnation in any life form on Earth and 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. Temple
Original Language(s) Pali and Sanskrit Ancient literature was written in various 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.
Principle 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 by avoiding and eliminating negative karma, which is the source of all reincarnations and sorrows.

Three jewels and five vows.

Concept of Deity According to certain views, there are beings in the heavenly realms, 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.

Beliefs The concept of sin is not elaborated in Buddhism. The concept of sin is illustrated in Jainism and is defined as hurting other living beings.
Scriptures Tripitaka [three sections are the Disciple, the Discourse and the Commentaries] Agamas
Sects Mahayana and Theravada Svetambara and Digambara

Jainism and Buddhism

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.
  • They deny the effectiveness of rituals and ceremonies
  • They strongly criticize sacrifice, and both dismiss God. Man is his architect; according to Jainism, there is no Supreme deity or creator.
  • Both are concerned with the concept of ‘karma’ and its consequences.

What is Jainism?

Jainism emerged in the post-Vedic era; it opposes the caste system. Mostly two Jain councils are held to date. In total, there are two major Jainism sects: Digambara and Svetambara.

  • The literature pertaining to Jainism has been segregated into two types: Agam literature and Non-Agam literature.
  • The people who follow Jainism incorporate these principles in their lives: Ahimsa, Satya, Asetya, Aparigraha, and Bhattacharya.
  • The preaching of Jainism has been spread in Pali and Prakriti languages.

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is based on the beliefs, teachings and preaching of Gautam Buddha. The Buddhist councils spread, preserved, and instituted the preaching of Buddhism. The followers of Buddhism believe in Panchsheel, which reiterates not committing adultery and not lying.

  • The teachings of Buddha lead to the three universal truths of life and four noble truths.
  • The integral part of the preaching of Buddha is following the eightfold path.


Key Difference Between Jainism and Buddhism

The key difference between Jainism and Buddhism is that while Jainism views other dharmas as companions, Buddhism disapproves of other dharmas. Jainism and Buddhism are both against the caste system and animal exploitation.

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