JAINISM (Syllabus GS Paper 1 – History/Art & Culture)

News-CRUX-10     22nd April 2024        

Context: Recently, the Prime Minister of India inaugurated the 2550th Bhagwan Mahaveer Nirvan Mahotsav in New Delhi on the auspicious occasion of Mahaveer Jayanti.

Vardhamana Mahavira

  • About: The 24th Tirthankara, was born in 540 B.C. in Kundagrama near Vaishali.
  • Belonged to: Jnatrika clan and had connections to the royal family of Magadha.
  • Family: His father, Siddharta, led the Jnatrika Kshatriya clan, and his mother, Trishala, was the sister of Chetaka, the king of Vaishali.
  • Symbol: Lion.
  • Renunciation: At the age of 30, he renounced his home and became an ascetic.
  • Austerity and Enlightenment: He practiced austerity for 12 years and attained the highest spiritual knowledge called Kaivalya (i.e., conquered misery and happiness) at the age of 42.
  • First Sermon: He delivered his first sermon at Pava.
  • First Jain Council: Pataliputra (Sthulbhadra)
  • Second Council: Vallabhi (Gujarat) (Devardhigani Kshemasarmana).
  • Death: Mahavira passed away at the age of 72 in 468 B.C. at Pavapuri in Bihar.


  • About: It  is one of the world's oldest religions, originating in India at least 2,500 years ago. 

o The spiritual goal of Jainism is to become liberated from the endless cycle of rebirth and to achieve an all-knowing state called moksha.

  • Origin: Jainism became prevalent in the 6th century B.C. when Lord Mahavira propagated the religion. 

o There were 24 teachers, referred to as Jinas or the Tirthankaras, the last of whom was Lord Mahavira

  • First Tirthankara: Adinath/Rishabhdev
  • 23rd Tirthankara: Parsvanatha
  • Three jewels of Jainism:

o Samyagdarshana (“right faith”).

o Samyagjnana (“right knowledge”).

o Samyakcharitra (“right conduct”).

  • Doctrine of Jainism

o Ahiṃsā (non-violence).

o Satya (truth)

o Asteya (not stealing)

o Brahmacharya (chastity)

o Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)