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(Jain Religion History)

  • By this time, the old ritualistic Vedic tradition had gradually ceased to be a strong force.
  • The freedom of thought allows fermentation of the new ideas and philosophic principles, leading to the establishment of numerous religious sects, which had never happened in India before.
  • The important landmark in the history of Indian culture was the evolution of Jainism and Buddhism during the 600 B.C.
  • Jainism and Buddhism have greatly influenced the society and culture of India. They stand against certain aspects of the pre-existing system of old ritualistic Vedic tradition.
  • Ascetic orders and brotherhoods were the basis of both Jainism and Buddhism explained in their own way.
  • The asceticism has its origin in the Vedic thought and Upanishads has been directly encouraging this by the recommending retirement to forests as essential to those who seek the highest knowledge.
  • The Aranyakas are the products of hermitages of the forests.


  • Rishabhanath and Aristhanemia are the two Tirthankaras of Jainism mentioned in Rig Veda that proves the antiquity of Jainism.
  • Rishabhanath had been mentioned an incarnation of Narayana in Vayu Purana and Bhagwat Purana.
  • The nude sculpture of some Tirthanakara was also found at Harappa.
  • The antiquity of Jainism is represented by a succession of twenty-four Tirthankaras.
  • Rishabhnath was the first Tirthankara of Jainism.
  • The traditions of Jainism say that he was a king and renounced the kingdom in favor of his son, Bharata, and became an ascetic.
  • The name Bharatavarsha is after Bharata, the son of Rishabhanath as per the Puranic traditions.
  • Parsvanath was the twenty-third Tirthankara, he renounced the world at the age of thirty and attained the enlightenment (perfect knowledge) after nearly three months of intense meditation and spent the remaining life as a religious teacher.
  • He had lived 250 years before Mahavira.


Jain’s Mythology

  • Vardhamana Mahavira was the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara of Jainism.
  • Mahavira was born about 540 B.C. in the village of Kunda-grama near Vaisali.
  • He was the only son of Siddhartha and Trisala.
  • Siddhartha was the head of famous kshatriya Jnatrika clan and Trisala was the sister of Chetaka, an eminent Lichchhavi noble of Vaisali.
  • Chetaka’s daughter was married to the king of Magadha, Bimbisara.
  • Mahavira was married to Yasoda and lived a life of a householder.
  • After the death of his parents, Mahavira left his home at the age of thirty and became an ascetic.
  • Mahavira had practiced the most rigorous asceticism for the next twelve years and attained kaivalya at the age of 42 years.
  • As per the Jainism, Kaivalya is the supreme knowledge and final liberation from the bonds of pleasure and pain.
  • After attaining Kaivalya, Mahavira came to be known as Mahavira and Jina or the conqueror and spent his remaining life in preaching.
  • His followers came to be known as Jainas. Initially, they were designated as Nirgranthas, which means free from fetters.
  • In 468 B.C., Mahavira passed away at Pawapuri at the age of 72 years. He spent 30 years of his life in preaching his teachings.
  • Four doctrines of Parsvanath are:
    • Non-injury to living beings,
    • Speaking the truth,
    • Non-possession of property, and
    • Not stealing.
  • Vardhaman Mahavira accepted four doctrines of Parsvanath and added Celibacy as a fifth one to them.
  • Celibacy is the complete renunciation and free from any possessions.
  • Mahavira asked his followers to discard even their clothes.
  • The universe is eternal.
  • The world is not created, maintained, or destroyed by a God, but it functions through a universal or eternal law.
  • Jains did not deny the existence of God, but they simply ignored.
  • The existence of the universe is divided into cycles of progress (Utsarpini) and declines (Avasarpim).
  • It functions through the interaction of living souls (Jiva) and everything in the universe has a soul.
  • The souls are found not only in living beings like animals and plants but also in stones, rocks, water, etc.
  • The purification of the soul is the purpose of living.
  • Only the pure soul after being released from the body resides in heaven.
  • The soul, which has finally set itself free, rises at once to the top of the universe, above the highest heaven where it remains in an inactive omniscient bliss through eternity.
  • It is known as ‘Nirvana’ in the Jainism.
  • According to Jainism, salvation is possible only by:
    • Deserting all belongings,
    • A long course of fasting,
    • Self-mortification,
    • Study
  • Jainism, therefore, says that the monastic life is essential for salvation.
  • According to the Jaina tradition, the king Chandragupta Maurya has supported Jainism. He had accepted Jaina religion and abdicated the throne and died as a Jaina Bhikshu in the southern part of India.
  • Two hundred years after the death of Mahavira (during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya), a terrible famine broke out in Magadha.
  • Bhadrabahu was the chief of the Jaina community at that time.
  • Bhadrabahu went to Karnataka with his followers and Sthulabhadra remained in Magadha as the in-charge of Jainism.
  • Bhadrabahu convoked a council at Patliputra, in which the Jaina canon was arranged.
  • Later in the 5th century A.D., the Jaina canon was further rearranged when the Jainas returned from south India. From where Jainism divided into two sects.
  • Those who returned from southern India held that complete nudity is an essential part of the teachings of Mahavira while the monks in Magadha began to put on white clothes.
  • Those who put on white robes known as ‘Svetambaras’ and those who were stark naked were called as ‘Digambaras.’

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Objective Questions MCQ on Jainism

  1. Who is the first Tirthankar?
    (A) Rishabhnath
    (B) Neminath
    (C) Parsvanath
    (D) Vardhaman
    Correct Answer: (A) Rishabhnath
  2. Who is the Tirthankar whose historicity is beyond doubt?
    (A) Rishabhnath
    (B) Ajitnath
    (C) Sumati
    (D) Parsvanath
    Correct Answer: (D) Parsvanath
  3. Who is the Tirthankar mentioned in Rigveda?
    (A) Rishabhnath
    (B) Abhinandan
    (C) Sambhav
    (D) Padam Prabh
    Correct Answer: (A) Rishabhnath
  4. Who are the Tirthankars mentioned in Vedic literature?
    (A) Rishabhdev and Neminath
    (B) Neminath and Aristanemi
    (C) Aristanemi and Rishabhdev
    (D) Rishabhdev and Parsva
    Correct Answer: (C) Aristanemi and Rishabhdev
  5. Parsvanath belonged to which state?
    (A) Magadh
    (B) Lichchhavi
    (C) Varanasi
    (D) Kosala
    Correct Answer: (C) Varanasi
  6. What is not correct about Parsvanath?
    (A) His father was king Asvasen.
    (B) He was against the caste system
    (C) He advocated Brahmacharya
    (D) He admitted women in his faith
    Correct Answer: (C) He advocated Brahmacharya
  7. Which is the birthplace of Mahavir?
    (A) Kushinagar
    (B) Pava
    (C) Kundagram
    (D) Jambhikgram
    Correct Answer: (C) Kundagram
  8. Mahavir received ‘Kevalya’ at the bank of which river?
    (A) Sharda
    (B) Saryu
    (C) Riju Palika
    (D) Son
    Correct Answer: (C) Riju Palika
  9. Mahavir’s father was
    (A) Suddodhana
    (B) Parsva
    (C) Siddhartha
    (D) Rahul
    Correct Answer: (C) Siddhartha
  10. Mahavir became ascetic with whose permission?
    (A) Father
    (B) Wife
    (C) Mother
    (D) Elder Brother
    Correct Answer: (D) Elder Brother
  11. Which Vrat was added by Mahavir to Vrats advocated by Parsva?
    (A) Ahimsa
    (B) Asteya
    (C) Aparigraha
    (D) Brahmacharya
    Correct Answer: (D) Brahmacharya
  12. Which is not included in Shiksha Vrat?
    (A) Entertain guests
    (B) Not traveling beyond a prescribed limit
    (C) Taking food in fixed quantity
    (D) Weekly fast
    Correct Answer: (B) Not traveling beyond a prescribed limit
  13. Which of the following are included in Guna Vrat?
    (A) Dig Vrat
    (B) Desh Vrat
    (C) Anartha Dand Vrat
    (D) All of these
    Correct Answer: (D) All of these
  14. Which is not a source of knowledge according to Jainism?
    (A) Pratyaksha
    (B) Anuman
    (C) Sayings of Tirthankar
    (D) Vedas
    Correct Answer: (D) Vedas
  15. Which is not a category of knowledge according to Jainism?
    (A) Shruti
    (B) Mati
    (C) Avadhi
    (D) Tantra
    Correct Answer: (D) Tantra
  16. Sins mentioned in Jainism do not
    (A) Anger
    (B) Violence
    (C) Dravya Morcha
    (D) Contact with woman
    Correct Answer: (D) Contact with woman
  17. Mahavir advocated as a path of salvation
    (A) Gyan
    (B) Bhakti
    (C) Tap
    (D) All the three
    Correct Answer: (C) Tap
  18. Which is not part of Jaina’s Tri Ratna?
    (A) Darshan
    (B) Gyan
    (C) Samadhi
    (D) Acharan
    Correct Answer: (C) Samadhi
  19. Six elements which create the world are-
    (A) Jeev, PudpalDharma, Kal. Vayu, Agni
    (B) Jeev, Pudgal, Dharma, Kal.
    (C) Jeev. Pudgal. Dharma, Adharma, Kal, Akash
    (D) Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Sky, Dharma
    Correct Answer: (C) Jeev. Pudgal. Dharma, Adharma, Kal, Akash
  20. In Jain philosophy, Pudgal refers to
    (A) Divine clement
    (B) Physical element
    (C) Spiritual element
    (D) None of these
    Correct Answer: (B) Physical element
  21. In which Jain work, 18 sins are described
    (A) Bhagwati Satra
    (B) Kalpa Sutra
    (C) Acharanga Sutra
    (D) Avashyak Sutra
    Correct Answer: (D) Avashyak Sutra
  22. In which ‘Angas’ are described the rules to be followed by the Jain monks?
    (A) Sutra Kridanga
    (B) Samavayanga
    (C) Sthananga
    (D) Ayarang
    Correct Answer: (D) Ayarang
  23. Jain literature has how many Angas?
    (A) Seven
    (B) Twelve
    (C) Five
    (D) Fourteen
    Correct Answer: (B) Twelve
  24. Who presided over first Jain Sangeeti?
    (A) Hem Chandra
    (B) Haribhadra
    (C) Sthoolbhadra
    (D) Jamali
    Correct Answer: (C) Sthoolbhadra
  25. The second Jain Sangeeti was-
    (A) Rajgriha
    (B) Vallabhi
    (C) Pataliputra
    (D) Kannauj
    Correct Answer: (B) Vallabhi
  26. The first conference of Jains was held at-
    (A) Raigriha
    (B) Vallabhi
    (C) Pataliputra
    (D) Mithila
    Correct Answer: (C) Pataliputra
  27. ‘Abhyanter Tap’ in Jainism means
    (A) Giving up juice
    (B) Meditation
    (C) A routine of a monkfurt
    (D) Fast
    Correct Answer: (B) Meditation
  28. Bahya (External) ‘Tap’ did not include-
    (A) Gradually giving up meals
    (B) Torture body through difficult Aunas
    (C) Control of sense organs
    (D) Self-study
    Correct Answer: (D) Self-study
  29. Who presided over second Jain Sangeeti?
    (A) Sthalbhadra
    (B) Haribhadra
    (C) Jamali
    (D) Devaridhikshama saman
    Correct Answer: (C) Jamali
  30. What does term Panchayam stand for
    (A) Five elements
    (B) Five rules
    (C) Five books
    (D) Five jewels
    Correct Answer: (B) Five rules
  31. Which of the following is incorrect?
    (A) Buddhism and Jainism crew in sixth century B.C.
    (B) Buddhism and Jainism were against Brahmanism
    (C) Buddhism and Jainism followed the same concept of Ahimsa
    (D) Buddha and Mahavir both were Kshatriyas by birth
    Correct Answer: (C) Buddhism and Jainism followed the same concept of Ahimsa
  32. Which school of painting is famous for Jain paintings?
    (A) Pahari
    (B) Apbhramsh
    (C) Rajput
    (D) None of these
    Correct Answer: (A) Pahari
  33. The leader of a Jain Gana was known as
    (A) Ganapati
    (B) Ganadhar
    (C) Ganaraj
    (D) Ganak
    Correct Answer: (B) Ganadhar
  34. How many Ganadhars were appointed by Mahavir?
    (A) 9
    (B) 10
    (C) 11
    (D) 12
    Correct Answer: (C) 11
  35. Which term does not apply to Jain literature?
    (A) Agam
    (B) Pitak
    (C) Anga
    (D) Churika
    Correct Answer: (B) Pitak
  36. In Jainism, the two sects are-
    (A) Digambar and Neelamber
    (B) Digambar and Peetambar
    (C) Digambar and Svetambar
    (D) None of the three groups
    Correct Answer: (C) Digambar and Svetambar
  37. The Jains migrated to Mysore in fourth century B.C. Who led them?
    (A) Sthoolbhadra
    (B) Harisena
    (C) Bhadrabahu
    (D) Sumati
    Correct Answer: (C) Bhadrabahu
  38. Mahavir’s Tapascharya is described in-
    (A) Kalpsutra
    (B) Acharang Sutra
    (C) Kalpsutra-Acharang Sutra
    (D) None of the two
    Correct Answer: (C) Kalpsutra-Acharang Sutra
  39. Which literature refers to Mahavir as “Nigantha Nath putt”?
    (A) Vedic
    (B) Bauddh
    (C) Jain
    (D) Bhagvat
    Correct Answer: (B) Bauddh
  40. With reference to ancient Jainism which one of the following statement is correct?
    (A) Jainism was spread in South India under the leadership of Sthalabahu

    (B) Jains who remained under the leadership of Bhadrabahu were called Shwetambaras after the council held at Pataliputra
    (C) Jainism enjoyed the Patronage of the Kalinga King Kharvela in the 1st Century B.C.
    (D) In the initial stage of Jainism, the Jinas worshipped images, unlike Buddhists.
    Correct Answer: (C) Jainism enjoyed the Patronage of the Kalinga King Kharvela in the 1st Century B.C.

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One- Liner Questions from Jainism

1.      What was the name of Mahavir’s father?
Ans. Siddhartha, who was the head of a Kshatriya clan.
2.      What was the name of Mahavir’s mother?
Ans. Trishla, who was a Lichhavi princess.
3.      To whom Mahavir was married?
Ans. Yashoda.
4.      What was the name of the daughter of Mahavir?
Ans. Priyadarshani.
5.      At what age Mahavir attained Kaivalya?
Ans. At the age of forty-two, he finally attained perfect knowledge Kaivalya) and became Mahavir or Jina (the conqueror).
6.      Why his followers are to be known as Jains?
Ans. After attaining Kaivalya he was known a Jina, so his followers are known as Jains.
7.      What does the term Tirthankara’ mean in Jainism?
Ans. The founders and preachers of Jain religion are known as Tirthankaras.
8.      How many Tirthankaras are known in Jainism?
Ans. 24 Tirthankaras.
9.      Who was was the first Tirthankara in Jainism?
Ans. Rishabhdeva
10.  Who was the second Tirthankara in Jainism?
11.  Priyadarshini, the daughter of Mahavir was married to whom?
Ans. Jamali, his most favorite disciple.
12.  Who was the twenty-third Tirthankara?
Ans. Parshavanath.
13.  Who was the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara?
Ans. Vardhaman Mahavir.
14.  What does the term ‘Nirgranthas’ mean?
Ans. At first, Mahavir followed the practices of an ascetic group called the Nirgranthas (free from wants).
15.  Who founded the Nirgranthas?
Ans. Parshavanath.
16.  What is Ajivakas?
Ans. A sect of Jainism founded by Gosalamaskriputra.
17.  Who laid the important principles of Jainism?
Ans. Parshavanath.
18.  What are the Triratna (Three Jewels) in Jainism?
Ans. Right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct.
19.  What are the five Mahavarta (important principles) of Jainism?
Ans. Ahimsa, Satya (truth), Asteya (not to steal), Aparigraha (of disowning property) and Brahmacharya.
20.  In how many sects the Jainism are divided?
Ans. ‘In two sects-Swetamber and Digamber.
21.  What is the difference between Swetamber anil Digamber?
Ans. The Swetamber wore white clothes and began to be known as the Swetamber while Digamber remained naked without any clothes on their body.
22.  In which language Mahavir gave his first sermon?
Ans. Pali.
23.  To whom does the credit go for preaching Jainism to Karnataka?
Ans. Chandragupta Maurya.
24.  To whom does the credit go for preaching Jainism Kalinga?
Ans. The king of Kalinga. Kharvel.
25.  Where was the first Jainism council held?
Ans. Patliputra.
26.  Where was the second Jainism council held?
Ans. Vallabhi in Gujarat.
27.  What are the religious texts of Jainism?
Ans. Their chief religious texts are called Angas which are written in Prakrit language. Other Jainism religious literature was also written in Ardhmagahi language.
28.  Why war and agriculture both are prohibited in ‘Jainism?
Ans. Because in both cases there are killings of living beings.
29.  Why farmers and soldiers couldn’t be attracted towards Jainism?
Ans. Because Jainism laid great emphasis on Ahimsa.
30.  Why Jainism is not very popular in general masses?
Ans. Because Jainism laid great emphasis on the code of conduct so they are very tough for general masses to follow.
31.  What idea the Jainism has about the existence of God?
Ans. Mahavir defied the existence of God. (RRB ’93)
32.  Which doctrine did Mahavir introduce?
Ans. Brahmacharya.
33.  Which language was patronized by the Jainas to preach their doctrines?
Ans. Prakrit
34.  What is the birth year of Mahavira?
Ans. 540 B.C
35.  Biographies of the Jain Tirthankaras called
Ans. Kalpa Sutra
36.  Who is the author of Kalpa Sutra?
Ans: Bhadrabahu
37.  Birthplace of Mahavira?
Ans: Vaishali district, Bihar
38.  Who is the first follower of Mahavira?
Ans: Jamali
39.  At the time of Mahavira who was the king of Magadha?  
Ans: Bimbisar
40.  Scriptures of Jainism are known as-
Ans: Agamas
41.  The first conference of Jainism starts at 322 B.C., But how much time it takes to end?  
Ans: 24 years
42.  2nd conference of Jainism held in-
Ans: Ballavi, Gujrat
43.  Mahavira was the ___________ of Jainism.
Ans: 24th and Last Tirthankara
44.  Mahavira became a monk at the age of-
Ans: 30 years
45.  Mahavira attained Nirvana at the age of-
Ans: 43 years
46.  The naked Jain monks are known as-
Ans: Digambar
47.  The Jain monks who wore white cloths are known as-
Ans: Swethambars
48.  The first Jain Council was held at-
Ans: Pataliputra
49.  The second Jain council was held at-
Ans: Vallabhi
50.  The Jain leader who migrated to South India was-
Ans: Badhrabahu

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