11 June 2015


Jainism is independent of Buddhism yet it resembles it in several aspects, such as in its repudiation of the authority of the Vedas, its pessimistic outlook on life, and its refusal to believe in supreme God. But the differences it exhibits are equally noticeable, such as its recognition of permanent entities like the self (jiva) and matter. Derived from the word ‘jina‘ with root in ‘ji‘ it means ‘victor‘ i.e, the one who has successfully subdued his passions and obtained mastery over himself.

The origin of Jain philosophy traces back to the pre-historic time. It is said 24 tirthankars or liberated persons preached this truth which was handed over one by one in course of time. The last of them was Vardhamana also called Mahavira, a contemporary of Gautam Buddha. 

PHILOSOPHY OF JAINISM , EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF JAINISM PHILOSOPHY, Philosophy of Education, B.ED, M.ED, NET Notes ( Study Material), PDF Notes Free Download.

Jainism is the smallest of the major world religion, but in India its influence is much more. Jain philosophy and culture have been a major cultural and philosophical, social and political force since dawn of civilisation in Asia. Metaphysically, Jainism believes in plurality of souls and not in the existence of God. It holds that there are as many souls as there are living beings. They also accept the existence of souls even in animals and plants, with degrees of difference in the level of consciousness. They believe that every soul is capable of attaining infinite conciousness, power and happiness by removing all ‘Karmas‘ or bondages. 

Infinite faith, infinite knowledge, infinite power and infinite bliss is the state of liberation. According to Jainism Nirvana or liberation is obtained through three jewels : Right Philosophy, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. ( Tri-ratna) Right conduct implies 5 absinences : not to lie, not to steal, not to strive for luxury and not to strive for possessions, not to be unchaste and not to injure (Ahimsa). Ahimsa is vital principle of Jainism. Jainism rejects the idea of creator of the world. It believes reality to be many sided. Jainism emphasises ‘Syat-vada‘ or ‘ane-kant-vada‘ which lays the mind open to truth coming from any quarter. No preposition about the truths ca be a absolute. This generates tolerance and regard for all. In the theory of knowledge Jainism accepted three sources of getting real knowledge, namely perception, inference and testimony. 

Practical teachings of Jainism 

1.Triratna or three gems of its teaching were considered three precious principles of life. 

2.Five vows (vrata) or absciences to indicate general character. 

3.Ahimsa (Non-violence) is the foremost virtue in Indian thought but in Jainism it requires distinct meaning and depth; it is non- violence in word, thought and deed. 

4.Emphasizing the individualistic aspect, Jainism emphasizes on the development of personality as the final aim. Jaina teachings are social and tolerant and believes in happiness of all. 

5.There are two levels of discipline depending on the severity of the vows which are different for the monks and of lay life. 

6.The aim of life is to get oneself disentangled from karma. Jainism believes in transmigration of soul. Soul united with karma is called a soul in bondage, and is to be redeemed and liberated. 

7.Moksha means dissolution of partnership between soul and matter, restoring the ideal character of the jiva. 

8.Jainism rejects God as the creator of this world, as a need to create the world would be inconsistent with his necessary perfection, Jainism looks upon man himself as God when his inherent powers are fully in bloom. 

9.Jaina views are both realativistic and pluralistic as it recognizes jivas and the material objects. 

10. The primary aim of Jainism is the perfection of the soul, rather than the interpretation of the universe, hence it fails to find ultimate solutions of the metaphysical problem. 

Jaina Education : 

Aims of Education 

  • Truth is relativistic and pluralist, in a state of ‘may be‘. Knowledge , therefore may be viewed differently. Nothing fixed. 
  • Self-realisation as jiva is divine. Education must focus on his divinity and remove the material bond of soul. 
  • Education should lead to self-enlightenment and restore the full powers of jiva. 
  • Development of personality as an individual. Hence , more stress on individual aims. 
  • Teaching should give necessary jnana and penance to help jiva 
  • Cessation of Karma would disassociate jiva from it and regain its power and glory. Teaching must help train one for it. 
  • Believes in transmigration of soul , hence education may partly be the preparation for the next world. 


  • ‘punya‘ and ‘paap‘ are the two principles of the Nine categories. Hence , education should develop sense of discrimination . 
  • Education should include provision for attainment of Tri- ratnas, the precious principles of life, that bring happiness, success and love here and now. 
  • Education should inculcate non-violence as a virtue, practiced and not only aspired for, that would be socially desirable. 
  • Teaching of nine principles called as nine categories of Jainism to dissolve the partnership between soul and matter. 

Methods of Teaching 

  • Knowledge is through senses and meditation. Teaching must develop these faculties. 
  • Teaching should be social and tolerant, and should bring happiness to all. 
  • Jiva is essentially karmic, therefore education must be action based and ideally oriented. 


  • Emphasis on self discipline and hard work 
  • Practical discipline (of a lower order meant for ordinary house-holders) is essential for release from the bondage. 
  • Happiness and bliss through action. Man is a free moral agent, responsible for all his deliberate action.


• Major Contributions : Jainism has made important contribution to art, architecture and literature. Jain philosophy and culture have been a major cultural and philosophical, social and political force since dawn of civilisation in Asia.

• Strong emphasis on Non-Violence: The distinguishing feature of jain philosophy is its strong emphasis on non-violence, accent on multiple facets of truth, morality and ethics.

• Integrated : he contribution of jain philosophy in the development of Indian philosophy has been significant. Jain philosophy concepts like Ahimsa, Karma, Moksha, Sansara and like has been assimilated into philosophies of other Indian religions like Hinduism and Buddhism.It is impossible to separate Indian religion , philosophy and education.

• Concept of Compassion : Sense of sympathy extends to all living beings even to animals as stated in in both jainism & buddhism.

• Contribution to a strain of Pacifism : Absolute respect for living beings is stressed, best way to resist evil is through non- violence, it is successfully used in jainism & buddhism.

• Law of Karma (cause and effect) : universe is ruled by moral law which punishes all sins and rewards good deeds, belief that our character creates its own heaven and hell is significant in nearly all schools of philosophy.

• Aims of education : The education has always aimed at some of the philosophical and religious objectives enlisted in indian philosophy of education. It is clear that main objectives of education in India since earliest days of civilization had been Man- making who is capable of self-realization.

• Highest state of knowledge : The highest state of knowledge is intuition through which man achieves a realization of oneness of the universe. Most of the Indian philosophies essence lies in this aspect.