Jain Religion Is Not A Branch Of Hindu Religion

Published: 14.12.2006
Updated: 02.07.2015

The contention that Jainism (i.e., Jain Religion) is a branch of Hinduism is far from truth. The belief that there is a religion called Hinduism (or Hindu Religion) is in itself baseless.

His Holiness Acharya Tulsi had many a times expressed is view on this issue - “My opinion is that the word ‘Hindu’ should not at all be clubbed with ‘dharma’ (religion). The use of the words - ‘Hindu Nation’, ‘Hindu Society’ and ‘Hindu Culture’ is alright, but the coinage of the word - Hinduism (i.e., Hindu dharma) is the source of many a problem.

There are two very ancient traditions in Bharat (India):

  1. Vaidika or Brahmana
  2. Shramana

The original founder of the Shramana tradition is Arhat Rishabha. In the age of Bhagawan Mahavira, there were three sects of Shramana tradition. At present, there are two sects - Jain and Buddhist. The social substratum of the followers of Jain Religion and those of Vaidika Religion is not different. Hence, there is matrimonial relations among them. Subsequently, even in the same family (or home), one person may be a follower of Vaishnava dharma; another may be that of Sanatana dharma, while the third may be that of Jain dharma. A follower of Jain dharma is free to accept Vaishnava dharma and vice-versa. This should be considered not as conversion, but only a change in conviction. Conversion is that in which the social substratum or social life-style is entirely changed.

The opinion of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in this regard is very useful: “The term ‘Hindu’ has not emerged from the name of a particular religious text, or in the name of an ambassador of God, incarnation or angel. The follower of Vedas is ‘Vaidika’, the follower of Christ is ‘Christian’, the follower of Jina (Muni) is ‘Jain’, the follower of Buddha is ‘Buddhist’, the worshipper of Shiva is ‘Shaiva’, the worshipper of Vishnu is ‘Vaishnava’, and so on, but unlike them the term ‘Hindu’ is not tied religously with a particular religious text or scripture, a path or sect or an individual person; just as the believers in the transcendental (or extra-mundane) message of Kuran of Muhammad Paigamber are Muslims (or Mohammedans), those in the Guru Granth Sahib of Guru Nanak Dev are Sikh, the term ‘Hindu’ is not used in that mode. It becomes clear from the etymological meaning and the one in vogue that this word is not connotative of the follower of any metaphysical reality, creed or path (sect).

“The etymological origin of the word Hindu is the word ‘Sindhu’. The Veda calls the nation of its own times as ‘Saptasindhu’; at that very ancient time, for centuries together, the contemporary Parsis, long before the advent of Mohammedans, also called our nation ‘Haptahindhu’ which is the linguistic transformation of ‘Saptasindhu’. The ancient Babylonians called our nation ‘Sindhu’. The evidence which is even extant today and which is a direct proof of the most ancient meaning of this word is that the oldest name of the province (or state) situated on the bank of river Sindhu has been the same throughout the history and even today it is called Sindhudesha, Sindhurashtra (Sindhu, Sindha).

On the basis of the law of Prakrit language, viz., ‘Sa’ is converted into ‘ha’, the Prakrit version of the word Sindhu is Hindu. Thus from the above brief historical account it becomes quite evident that the term ‘Hindu’, right from its very ancient original form ‘Serptasindhu’ in the Vedic period, has never denominated any metaphysical (theological) sect or religion, but has always denominated a country i.e., a particular nation. Hence, its meaning is wholly and basically connotative of a country or a nation.”
Share this page on:
Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Tulsi
  3. Arhat
  4. Buddha
  5. Dharma
  6. Guru
  7. Hinduism
  8. Jain Dharma
  9. Jainism
  10. Jina
  11. Muni
  12. Prakrit
  13. Rishabha
  14. Shramana
  15. Shwetambar
  16. Shwetambar Terapanth
  17. Terapanth
  18. Tulsi
  19. Veda
  20. Vedas
  21. Vedic
Page statistics
This page has been viewed 1889 times.
© 1997-2022 HereNow4U, Version 4.5
Contact us
Social Networking

HN4U Deutsche Version
Today's Counter: