Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Antiquity of Jainism
Meaning of Jainism
Tradition of Tirthankara
Historicity of the Jaina tradition
Jaina tradition and Buddhism
  Jaina tradition and Hinduism
  Jaina tradition & archaeological evidence
   FUNDAMENTALS OF JAINISM
  Fundamental principles of Jainism
  Philosophy of Jainism
  Tattvas of Jainism
  Doctrines of Jainism
  Three-fold path of Salvation
   ETHICS OF JAINISM
  Prescription of Ethical Code
   {PRIVATE} DISTINCTIVENESS OF JAINA ETHICS
  Private distinctiveness of Jaina Ethics
  Importance assigned to five vratas
  Prominence given to Ahimsa
  Easy practicability of ethical code
  Commoness of ethical code
   DIVISIONS IN JAINISM
  Rise of sections in Jainism
  The Great Schism of Jainism
  The Digambara and Svetambara sects
  The Digambara sub-sects
  The Svetambara Sub-sects
   STATUS OF JAINISM IN INDIA
  Jainism in East India
  Jainism in Northern India
  Jainism in Western India
  Jainism In South India
  Contribution of Jainism to Indian Culture
  Jainism and other religions
  Significance of Jainism
  Glossary of Jaina terms
  Bibliography

4. JAINA TRADITION AND BUDDHISM



As Mahavira was the senior contemporary of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, it is natural that in the Buddhist literature there should be several references of a personal nature to Mahavira. It is, however, very significant to note that in Buddhist books Mahavira is always described as nigantha Nataputta (Nirgrantha Jnatrputra), i.e., the naked ascetic of the Jnatr clan and never as the founder of Jainism. Further, in the Buddhist literature Jainism is not shown as a new religion but is referred to as an ancient religion. There are ample references in Buddhist books to the Jaina naked ascetics to the worship of Arhats in Jaina chaityas or temples and to the chaturyama-dharma (i.e. fourfold religion) of 23rd Tirthankara Parsvanatha.

Moreover, it is very pertinent to find that the Buddhist literature refers to the Jaina tradition of Tirthankaras and specifically mentions the names of Jaina Tirthankaras like Rsabhadeva, Padmaprabha, Chandraprabha, Puspadanta, Vimalnath, Dharmanath and Neminatha. The Dharmottara- pradipa, the well known Buddhist book, Mentions Rsabhadeva along with the name of Mahavira or Vardhamana as an Apta or Tirthankara. The Dhammikasutta of the Amgutara-nikaya speaks of Aristanemi or Nemi-natha as one of the six Tirthankaras mentioned there. The Buddhist book Manorathapurani, mentions the names of many lay men and women as followers of the Parsvanatha tradition and among them is the name of Vappa, the uncle of Gautama Buddha. In fact it is mentioned in the Buddhist literature that Gautama Buddha himself practiced penance according to the Jaina way before he propounded his new religion.