Jainism at a glance


Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live lives of harmlessness and renunciation.

The essence of Jainism is concern for the welfare of every being in the universe and for the health of the universe itself.

  • Jains believe that animals and plants, as well as human beings, contain living souls. Each of these souls is considered of equal value and should be treated with respect and compassion.
  • Jains are strict vegetarians and live in a way that minimises their use of the world's resources.
  • Jains believe in reincarnation and seek to attain ultimate liberation - which means escaping the continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth so that the immortal soul lives for ever in a state of bliss.
  • Liberation is achieved by eliminating all karma from the soul.
  • Jainism is a religion of self-help.
  • There are no gods or spiritual beings that will help human beings.
  • The three guiding principles of Jainism, the 'three jewels', are right belief, right knowledge and right conduct.
  • The supreme principle of Jain living is non violence (ahimsa).
  • This is one of the 5 mahavratas (the 5 great vows). The other mahavratas are non-attachment to possessions, not lying, not stealing, and sexual restraint (with celibacy as the ideal).
  • Mahavira is regarded as the man who gave Jainism its present-day form.
  • The texts containing the teachings of Mahavira are called the Agamas.
  • Jains are divided into two major sects; the Digambara (meaning "sky clad") sect and the Svetambara (meaning "white clad") sect.
  • Jainism has no priests. Its professional religious people are monks and nuns, who lead strict and ascetic lives.

Most Jains live in India, and according to the 2001 Census of India there are around 4.2 million living there. However, the Oxford Handbook of Global Religions, published in 2006, suggests that census figures may provide lower than the true number of followers as many Jains identify themselves as Hindu. The Handbook also states that there are around 25,000 Jains in Britain.

Faith at a Glance - Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism at a glance   Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest monotheistic religio...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Unitarianism

Unitarianism at a glance   There are about 7,000 Unitarians in Great Britain and Ireland, and...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Spiritualism

Spiritualism at a glance Modern Spiritualism can include a very wide range of beliefs and w...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Sikhism

Sikhism at a glance There are 20 million Sikhs in the world, most of whom live in the Punjab provin...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Rastafari

Rastafari at a glance   Rastafari is a young, Africa-centred religion which developed in Jama...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Paganism

Paganism at a glance   Paganism describes a group of contemporary religions based on a revere...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Judaism

Judaism at a glance   Judaism is the original of the three Abrahamic faiths, which also inclu...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Mormons

Mormons at a glance   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in 19th cen...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Jehovah's Witness

Jehovah's Witness at a glance Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious moveme...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Jainism

Jainism at a glance   Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches that the way to ...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Islam

Islam at a glance   The word Islam means 'submission to the will of God'. Islam is the secon...

Read more

Faith at a Glance - Christianity

Christianity at a glance   Christianity is one of the largest religions in the world with ove...

Read more

Faith at a Glance: Buddhism

.   Buddhism at a glance Buddhism is a spiritual tradition that focuses on personal spiri...

Read more

Faith at a Glance: Baha'i

  Bahá'í at a glance The Bahá'í faith is one of the youngest of the world's major religions...

Read more

Faith at a Glance: Atheism

  Atheism at a glance Atheism is the absence of belief in any gods or spiritual beings. The...

Read more

Latest News from The Chaplaincy

Follow Us On Twitter

About Us

Police Chaplaincy UK is a registered Charity, number 1190186.

We have no full-time staff or office, but you may get in touch with us through any of the individuals named in "Contact Us".


pcuk logo

Cookies are used to manage analytics & registrations, click OK to agree to this usage.