Jain Philosophy

Jainism is essentially a transtheistic religion of ancient India. It is a continuation of the ancient Śramaṇa tradition which co-existed with the Vedic tradition since ancient times. The distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are its belief in independent existence of soul and matter, neither denial nor acceptance of a creative and omnipotent God, an eternal (and hence uncreated) universe, a strong emphasis on non-violence, on relativity and multiple facets of truth, and morality and ethics based on liberation of souls. Jain philosophy explains the rationale of being and existence, the nature of the Universe and its constituents, the nature of bondage and the means to achieve liberation. It is described as ascetic because of its strong emphasis on self-control, austerities and renunciation and called a model of philosophical liberalism for its insistence that truth is relative and multifaceted and for its willingness to accommodate all possible view-points of rival philosophies. Jainism strongly upholds the individual nature of soul and personal responsibility for one's decisions; and that self-reliance and individual efforts alone are responsible for one's liberation.

In Jainism, truth or reality is perceived differently depending on different points of view. Jain doctrine states that an object has infinite modes of existence and qualities and, as such, cannot be completely perceived in all its aspects and manifestations, due to inherent human limitations.