Posted by : Neha Jain on Sep 01,2015 01:49 AM

Jainism (/ˈnɪzəm/[1] or /ˈnɪzəm/[2]), traditionally known as the Jina sāsana or Jain dharma,[3]belongs to the śramaṇa traditions and is one of the oldest Indian religions.[4] It is transtheistic and prescribes a path of nonviolence (ahimsa) towards all living beings. Practitioners believe nonviolence and self-control are the means to liberation. The three main principles of Jainism are nonviolence, non-absolutism (anekantavada) and non-possessiveness (aparigraha). Followers of Jainism take 5 major vows: nonviolence, not lying, not stealing (asteya), chastity, and non-attachment. Asceticism is thus a major focus of Jainism.

The word "Jain" derives from the Sanskrit word jina "victor". A human being who has conquered all inner passions and achieved enlightenment is called a jina.[3][5][6]

Jains trace their history through a succession of twenty-four jinas who were also teachers and revivers of the Jain path known as tirthankaras starting with Rishabha and concluding with Mahavira, who was a contemporary of Gautama Buddha.