Essay Jainism and Sikhism: A Comparison

663 WordsNov 19, 20133 Pages
Both Jainism and Sikhism have arisen as alternatives to Hinduism within India. As Molloy highlights, they both share a belief in karma with Hinduism, but both reject the polytheistic and ritualistic elements of Hinduism. Despite these similarities, Jainism and Sikhism are different in their emphasis. The founder of Jainism was named Mahavira. He was the twenty fourth, in a succession of saints, called tirthankaras. Mahavira was born into an aristocratic family, and much of his life is shrouded in legend, but all version of his life story agree, that at the age of 30 he embraced the wandering life of an aesthetic holy man. His is said to have endured much pain, and sacrifice at his own hands, and at the hands of others. During this…show more content…
A third teaching of Jainism is that lying and exaggeration are damaging practices that are to be avoided. On another hand Jainism also teaches that “absolute truth” is impossible to express because everyone experiencing any given situation from a unique perspective. Other teachings condemn stealing, and confine acceptable sexual practices to those between a married couple, both of which try to curb improper desire, and stop the perpetuation of pain inflicted on others. These teachings, which emphasized acceptable societal practices are similar to the Dharma of Hinduism, which emphasized social obligations (Molloy, p196, 2010). Gura Nanak born in the mid 15th century unlike Mahavira came to a belief in a single God. In addition, he developed the idea that the separation of Muslim and Hinduism into two religions was wrong. As a result of this experience, Nanak like Mahavira sought to spread his teachings by becoming homeless and wandering from place to place. Nanak’s creation was Sikhism, which is a melding of both Hindu and Muslim practices. One practice adopted from Islam, which is in opposition to Jainism is the practice of eating meat. According to Molloy, Nanak believed animals were created for the use of humans. Another emphasis particular to Sikhism is attention toward helping the poor. Nanak

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