of the Jainismus, also Jinismus (Sanskrit, जैन, M., Jaina, [ʤaːɪnʌ], trailers of the Jina) is a religion resident in India, for instance in the 6.Jh/5.Jh. v.Chr. developed. The founder is Mahavira (approx. 599 -527 v.Chr). Belong to the Jainismus today approx. 6 million Gläubige on, of it approx. 3,5 million in India.

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thosemental leader of the Jainismus Tirthankara (ford-ready) are called, in order to clarify their function as intermediaries between the material and the mirror-image-ritual world. After the likewise used honour title Jina (winner) received the religion to its names.

The Kalpa Sutra, a holy writingthe Jainas, registers 24 Tirthankara. The history of Rishabha, the first Thirthankara, as well as of Neminatha, Parshavanatha and Mahavira, the 22. - 24. Tirthankara, are described in this writing in more detail. Only last the two can be considered as historical personalities. Mahavira(skrt. “the large hero”) justified the Jainisimus in 6. Jh. v.Chr., during its predecessor Parshavanatha approx. 350 years to have before lived is.

To the binaryistic oriented conception of the Jainismus, in that the human change themselves one age (Kalpa)Virtues and mirror-image-ritual abilities grow, and the fall on eternally off. In each age 24 Thirthankaras appear. The present Äon is considered as one age of the purge.

After Parshavanatha the mountain Parasnath is designated, on which Parshavanatha of the legend afterits Nirvana reached. With its 24 temples, which symbolize the 24 Thirthankaras, the mountain is an important Pilgerort. Another well-known Heiligtum is Shravana Belgola.

religion history

of the Jainismus has its roots in the older Hinduismus, alsowhich it has some thing in common. Thus Jainas, like also Hindus and Buddhisten , believe teachings, Wiedergeburt (SAM era) and a mental release from this cycle in the Karma -. In the 6.Jh v.Chr there was a time of religious paging and thatSearch for new ways. In this time lie the common roots of Jainismus and Buddhismus, which want to point both out a practical way to the release. The element of the Askese is however very much more strongly pronounced in the Jainismus.


The Jainismus assumes in the world in relation to two principles are located themselves: Mental and Ungeistiges. The mental is based on an infinite number of individual souls (Jiva). The Ungeistige covers the 5 categories: Movement, peace, area, material andTime. All material one is inspired, not only humans and animal, but also plants or water.

The original purity and all knowledgeness of the soul (Jiva) are clouded however by fine-material substances, which penetrate as consequence of Karma. This forces toThe whereabouts in the cycle of the Wiedergeburten (SAM era), until all Karma is erased. Such a cleaning of the soul is reached in the Jainismus by moral way of life and strict Askese. If a soul is released from all impurities, then it rises into thathighest sky up, in order to remain there in calm blessedness. However not all souls reach this stage. The so-called. abhavya jivas (incapable souls) can be never released due to their natural assessment from SAM era.


the three ethicalBasic principles of the Jainismus are Ahimsa (non-violence opposite all organisms), Aparigraha (independence from unnecessary possession) and Satya (truthfulness). Because of the ideal of the Nichtverletzung of organisms Jainas nourish themselves exclusively vegetarian. Under these principles, trailers of the Jainismus practice not everyoneOccupation out, why they for example often work in the trade and in the bank trade. Because of the severity of the Lebensführung the municipality was never very large. The laymen could work because of the non-violence requirement neither in the agriculture (when plowing organisms could be hurt),still they could dedicate themselves to the war art. The Jainas often donates funds for magnificent buildings of temples or social purposes. They have more influence within the Indian society than it their number would correspond.


Jainas form after theirView of religion two groups, the Digambaras, which regard even clothes as unnecessary possession, and which Shvetambaras. These consist on the one hand of monk and nun medals, on the other hand from laymen.

In the telling literature this religion becomes, perhaps somethingcovered, represented in 1997 appeared novel American idyl (American Pastoral) American authors of the Philip Roth.

temporal classification

in the opinion of some trailers of the Jainismus the origins go on the not arische time, the so-called dravidische period in thirdpossibly. even fourth millenium v. Chr. back. Mahavira represents thus only to the last long rows of Jaina teachers. As also in the Hinduismus the trailers of the Jainismus estimate the own religion thus substantially older than religion scientists and Indologen.

Those heterodoxe religion (it the Veden does not recognize there) was always fought against the Brahmanen, however never exterminated. This opinion represents also Heinrich room in its book “philosophy and religion of India”.


  • Paul Dundas: The Jains, Routledge,Oxford, 2002
  • Helmuth of Glasenapp: Jainismus. Olms, Hildesheim 1984, ISBN 3-487-00628-6
  • Erich Frauwallner: History of Indian philosophy, Otto Mueller publishing house, Salzburg, 1953

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