Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Jainism

The Antiquity of Jainism
Jain Heroes
Jaina Order and Literature
Fundamental Beliefs
  The Human Predicament
  The Doctrine of Karma
  The Doctrine of Man
  The Denial of God
  Jaina Ethics and Morality
  Three Spiritual Paths
  Response to Contemporary Issue
  Social Issues
  The Economic Order
  The Idea of Ahimsa and Vegetarianism
  Conclusion

Jaina Order and Literature

 

 

The history of Jainism after Lord Mahavira is recorded in the Jaina literature preserved in various Indian languages.  The most momentous event, which occurred about 80 A.D.  was the division of the Jain community into two sects:  Svetambara (white-robed) and Digambara (sky robed).  The split did not incur doctrinal or moral differences but only dissent on the basis of religious practices.

In the year 453 A.D.  a major council was held at Vailabhi in order to establish Mahavira�s teaching which had been preserved through oral traditions.  The outcome of this council was the writing of the Jaina canon.  The Svetambara sect granted it fully validity but the Digambara questioned its authenticity.  Instead, the latter canonized the literature of Acarya Kundakunda and his followers, The modern scholar must draw on both traditions to glean the truth of the original teachings of Lord Mah@vira.

The Jaina literature is a rich compendium of diverse interests and is written in several Indian languages so as to reach all people.  The writings of these Acaryas as having �manifold attractions� not only for those in Jaina studies but for lovers of literature, history, culture, philosophy, and comparative religion.  It is to this vast source that we now turn for an understanding of Jaina beliefs of the universe, religion and morality.