Difference between jainism and buddhism.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one significant difference between both religions is the outreach in each. Buddhism has become a true world religion.  Buddhists can be found everywhere and there is a large contingency of Buddhists that can be found in any potential area where human beings live.  Jainism sees most of its followers located on the subcontinent.  Part of this might be due to another difference between both modes of thought.  There is a strict code of asceticism that is a part of the Jain religion that is not necessarily part of Buddhism.  The asceticism that defined the life and practice of Jain founder Vardhamāna is not something that the Buddhists neccessarily see as part of their own religion.  For example, the strict adherence to starvation and the shedding of the material world is not as ingrained in Buddhist thought.  The "middle way" is not embraced in Jainism.  Rather, there is a strict code of conduct in which one must follow to not bring harm to another.  Buddhism believes this, yet not in its practiced extent of harm to self that is such a part of the Jainism founding and development of its religion.

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