Jainism and Hinduism (actually Vaishnavism)

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 12 21:41:00 CDT 1999

On Mon, 12 Jul 1999 18:24:55 -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:

 thanks for an informative post.

>Jains intermarry with Vaishnavas--providing
>they are of the same caste.
>Given, the impossibility of knowing truth fully, sentient beings should
>minimize the impact they have on the world lest they commit some sin.
>This is why for Jains, ahimsa is of the highest importance.  On my last
>trip to India I noticed a big building near our house which never had any
>lights on at night.  I asked my uncle why and he said it was an upashraya
>or meditation hall for Jain laymen and they never  kept lights on at night
>because they were concerned mosquitos and other small insects which are
>attracted to lights might fly into the bulbs and burn themselves up!
> ...

>The end goal is liberation from the bonds of karma but the atma retains
>its individuality so it not like the Advaita concept of moksha at all.
>The Tirthankars are those perfect souls who had the power to fully explain
>the path to liberation.  There are 24 in each yugachakra and Mahavira was
>the last in this present one.

  Given the "tight-coupling" between Jains and certain sects of Vaishnavas,
  it is not surprising if there is Jaina influence on some school(s) of
  Vaishnavism. A book that I am reading, titled "advaitatattvaprakAshikA"
  by Shri Ramachandra Shastri (in Kannada), continues along these lines.

   For instance, Dr. B.N.K. Sharma, a Dvaita scholar of repute is, in his
   book "Philosophy of Shri Madhvacharya", said to have stated that
   "Jaina philosophy and moral code have some affinity to Madhva's thought."

   He notes that a prominent community of Jains lived in the South Kanara
   district even in Madhva's time and Jains also ruled the region during
   the 12th and 13th centuries. Dr. Sharma states that Madhva's theories
   of logic, epistemology, and ontology show "striking parallels" to
   Jaina theories such as the concept of the Universal (jAti), and the
   notion that the self is an object of perception. And he says that the
   Jaina distinction between jIva and ajIva is turned into Svatantra and
   Paratantra realities by Madhva, albeit with a high degree of
   sophistication. As you have already mentioned, the concept that the
   self maintains its individuality even in moksha is accepted by the
   Jains, and so is it by the MAdhvas.

   Finally, Madhva's opposition to Vedic sacrifices using actual animals
   is consistent with the Jaina principle of ahiMsa. Instead of actual
   animals, Madhva argues for what is called piShTa-pashu-Yajna's or
   sacrifices using animals made of grains rather than real animals.


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