01 May Jainism
Jainism or Jinism is one of the oldest religions in India, along with Hinduism and Buddhism, sharing with the latter the absence of the need for God as creator or central figure. Its origin is considered to predate Brahmanism, although it is more likely to have arisen in its present form around the XNUMXth century BC, as a result of the religious action of the Mahavira.
Viewed for a time by Western researchers as a sect of Hinduism or a heresy of Buddhism, due to sharing common elements with these religions, Jainism is nevertheless an original phenomenon. Unlike Buddhism, Jainism never had a missionary spirit, having remained in India, where the Jains now make up about four million believers. Small Jaina communities also exist in North America and Europe as a result of migratory movements. The word Jainism has its origins in the Sanskrit verb jin which means “conqueror”. Its adherents must fight, through a series of stages, the passions in order to achieve liberation from the world.
Your basic view is dualistic. Matter and the vital monad or jiva are of different natures, and during their lifetime the living being (whether human or animal) dyes his monad as a result of his actions. To purify itself, this religion proposes extreme asceticism and putting into practice the doctrine of non-violence or ahimsa.
The Jains recognize that people, animals, plants, rock formations, streams and waterfalls have jiva, meaning soul or vital principle. All these beings are of equal value and are interconnected in the web of existence by karmic links.