Buddhist-Jain similarities

the way of ahimsa; Digambara and Svetambara
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Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:11 pm

Many books make note of the similarities between religions, religious founders. In a book I wrote I also mentioned about the similarities between Jesus and Buddha. But upon further reflection, this is common because religious leaders all teach some form of universal love and then there is the common tendency of hagiography of the founders' biographies. So you find similar stories (legends) of miracles, walking on water, etc.

However, among Jainism and Buddhism, the similarities are truly incredible. Perhaps it is due to both paths coming out of the Shramana root branch from a very long time ago (see the World Religions Tree graphic). In spite of this, Jainism never really took off in expansion and popularity the way Buddhism did. I heard that the monks in Jainism cannot leave their communities? Or something like that which prevented its spread. And then perhaps it was that they were "too extreme" compared to Buddhism, perhaps too difficult?

Here is an article I wrote a few years back detailing the similarities:
Buddhism and Jainism

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Re: Buddhist-Jain identity

Post by Nicholas » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:29 pm

David's article says:
24 prior teachers
According to Jainism there are 24 known tirthankaras who discovered the truth after a time when the teachings were lost.
According to Buddhism (Buddhavamsa) there were 24 previous Buddhas who discovered the truth (plus 3 in prehistoric times and Gotama-Buddha for a total of 28.
Did not read all of it, but these similarities say the ancient shramana path was one, not two. So whether it was called Jina-ism or Buddha-ism (both are titles of buddhas) is not so important. At some point though, there was a 'protestant' movement leading to a schism.

Impossible for me to believe there were two parallel, yet distinct streams of fully enlightened ones going back kalpas in the past.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of selflessness.

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Re: Buddhist-Jain identity

Post by DNS » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:48 pm

Nicholas wrote: these similarities say the ancient shramana path was one, not two. So whether it was called Jina-ism or Buddha-ism (both are titles of buddhas) is not so important. At some point though, there was a 'protestant' movement leading to a schism.

Impossible for me to believe there were two parallel, yet distinct streams of fully enlightened ones going back kalpas in the past.
Good point, which could be true. Often, fundamentalists (of any religion) dislike members of their own religion and display more tolerance to members of other religions than those of their own religion. If it was just one shramana path and this appears likely, the two split and were competing with each other for monastics and followers. The Buddha practiced ascetic austerities, just like the Jains, prior to his enlightenment and praised asceticism even after enlightenment. If you look at the references to the Jains in the Pali Canon, they are portrayed in a bad light, losing debates to Buddhists and converting once a sermon or debate was completed. Considering the similarities are much greater than the differences, it could be anti-Jain propaganda.

Both could have been the same shramana path as you say and the Buddha split as a reformer, perhaps to present the teachings to a wider audience. Jainism is a good and peaceful religion, but it is difficult, if not impossible to complete as a lay person to full enlightenment. The Buddhist path, especially the Bodhisattva path is open to all and reaches a much bigger audience. If that was Buddha's intent, it worked. Jainism numbers some 4 or 5 million in the world today. Buddhism is about 400 million up to almost one billion, if one includes nominal followers and those that mix it with other Asian religions.

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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:33 pm

I added this section to my ever growing article on Buddhist-Jain similarities:

Alara Kalama and Udakka Ramaputta

Prior to the Buddha's enlightenment he studied under some other teachers and was an ascetic. Under Alara Kalama he reached the sphere of nothingness, commonly known today as 7th jhana. And then under Udakka Ramaputta he attained the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, known today as 8th jhana. The formula presentation of the jhanas in the Suttas is that one must go through all the jhanas in stages, which means that Alara Kalama and Udakka Ramaputa and other ascetics were able to get to all of the rupa (form) jhanas and most of the highest arupa (formless) jhana meditative states. Since they were shramanas and ascetics, it is very possible Alara Kalama and Udakka Ramaputa were Jains.

"Thus Āḷāra Kālāma, my teacher, placed me, his pupil, on an equal footing with himself and awarded me the highest honour. But it occurred to me: ‘This Dhamma does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna, but only to reappearance in the base of nothingness. Not being satisfied with that Dhamma, disappointed with it, I left.’ https://suttacentral.net/en/mn26/23-

The Buddha's first experience of jhanas came when he was a child:

"I considered: ‘I recall that when my father the Sakyan was occupied, while I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I entered upon and abided in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion. Could that be the path to enlightenment?’ Then, following on that memory, came the realization: ‘That is indeed the path to enlightenment.’ ... https://suttacentral.net/en/mn36/39

Note that he attained first jhana and the higher ones later in succession. And also note, the Buddha states that it is the "path to enlightenment" which would mean that Jains practicing this type of meditation are also on the path to enlightenment.

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... nd_Jainism

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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by thepea » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:45 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Note that he attained first jhana and the higher ones later in succession. And also note, the Buddha states that it is the "path to enlightenment" which would mean that Jains practicing this type of meditation are also on the path to enlightenment.
Jhanic states are definitely passed through before Nirvana, but not all who experience jhanas experience nirvana.
I am taught that the chain of becoming can only be severed where sensation(vedana) and reaction(sankhara) occurs. That this is what the enlightened taught. When one stops creating new sankharas and exhausts their past stock of sankharas this is the path to enlightenment.

It seems there are many ways to reach Jhanic states but one may not necessarily be on the path to enlightenment, simply circulating samsara to no end.

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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:51 am

Found this thread over at Sutta Central:
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/so ... nism/14193

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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:52 am


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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:52 am

Session 1

Charles DiSimone (Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität München) Mūlasarvāstivāda Dīrghāgama Manuscript Found at Gilgit that Deals with Jainism in the Eyes of Buddhists

Christopher Key Chapple (Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles) The Conversion of Jaina Women to the Buddhist Path According to the Pali Canon

Juan Wu (University of Leiden) Stories of King King Pradyota and His Family in Buddhist and Jaina Traditions: Some Comparative Notes

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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:52 am

Sessions 2-3

Haiyan Hu-von Hinüber (University of Freiburg) Ekapoṣadha and ekamaṇḍalī: Some Comparative Notes of Jaina and Buddhist Monastic Rules

Kazuyoshi Hotta (Otani University, Kyoto) On Corresponding Sanskrit Words of Prakrit Posaha: With Special Reference to Śrāvakācāra Texts and Buddhist Texts

Yumi Fujimoto (Sendai, Japan) About Vasati in Vyavahārabhāṣya I-II in Comparison to Buddhist Texts

Yutaka Kawasaki (University of Tokyo) Haribhadra’s Criticism of Buddhism on the Concept of Possession (parigraha)

Samaṇī Kusuma Prajñā (Jaina Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun) Why the Buddha is Missing in the Isibhāsiyāim

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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:53 am

Session 4

Lucas Den Boer (University of Leiden) Jaina and Buddhist Epistemology in Umāsvāti’s Time

Jayandra Soni (University of Innsbruck) The Digambara Vidyānandin’s Discussion with the Buddhist on svasaṃvedana, pratyakṣa and pramāṇa

Heleen De Jonckheere (Ghent University) Examination of the Buddhists in Amitagati’s Dharmaparīkṣā: A Reflective Look on Jaina Criticism

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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:53 am


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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:53 am


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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:54 am


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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by Nicholas » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:52 pm

DNS wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:51 am
Found this thread over at Sutta Central:
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/so ... nism/14193
This is a valuable topic and I hope you will not leave it buried in this moribund site. Make use of the "Connections to Other Paths" within Dhamma Wheel for example, and put some or all of this thread there.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of selflessness.

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Re: Buddhist-Jain similarities

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:57 pm

Nicholas wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:52 pm
This is a valuable topic and I hope you will not leave it buried in this moribund site. Make use of the "Connections to Other Paths" within Dhamma Wheel for example, and put some or all of this thread there.
:lol:

Yeah, it's unfortunate this site never really took off. It came close a few times.

And then I see people posting about Advaita, Jainism, etc on DWT, DWM, Sutta Central and here is this site devoted specifically to comparative Dharma Paths and no one comes here.

I'll take a look at the videos soon, haven't done it yet and then post something there when I have some opinion to add.

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