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Cults and World Religions


Any religion will develop off-shots and “cults.” Hinduism is no exception. The first of these to consider is Janism, a group almost unknown outside of India. This group is formed about 30 years prior to Buddhism. Mahavira (great hero), who is also known as Jina (conqueror), is credited with the founding of Jainism in the sixth century B.C. Like many in the Eastern faiths, Mahavira was born into the ruling class and, becoming dissatisfied, went wondering in search of fulfillment. Through self-mortification and meditation Mahavira is said to have reached Nirvana within his own lifetime.

Jainism has surged and died over its life time, in cycles much life the general Hindu beliefs. It is the humanistic religion of Hinduism, believing in a salvation by works. It is also gnostic in its outlook, believing everything in the universe to be eternal and composed of either living or non-living matter. Everything living possess a soul. Karma ties the living portion to the non-living portion. Salvation is the release of the soul from its non-living parasite. This also releases the soul from its existing karma.

The three crowns of Jainism are:

The concept of noninjury has become the best known mark of this religion. Jain monks will go out of their way so as not to injure the smallest insect.

Jainism is egocentric and there is no concept of grace or mercy. It is a religion of ritual rather than relationships.




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June 4, 2023

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