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Differences and Similarities Between Buddhism and Jainism

Social Studies is an important section for CTET, MPTET, State TET, and other teaching exams as well. Social studies is the main subject in the CTET exam Paper II. In CTET Exam, the Social Studies section comprises a total 60 questions of 60 marks, in which 40 questions come from the content section i.e. History, Geography and Political Science and the rest 20 questions from Social Studies Pedagogy section.

At least 12-15 questions are asked from the History section in the CTET Social studies section. Here we are providing important facts related to the Buddhism and Jainism.

Differences and Similarities Between Buddhism and Jainism


Buddha’s Life

  • Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, was born in 563 BC, at Lumbini in the Sakya Kshatriya clan.
  • His father Suddhodhana was the king of Kapilvastu and mother Mahamaya was a princess of Kollia republic.
  • His father married him at an early age to Yasodhara from whom he had a son Rahul.
  • Four sights – an old man, a diseased person, a dead body and an ascetic-proved to be a turning point in his carrier.
  • At the age of 29, he renounced home, this was his Mahabhinishkramana and became a wandering ascetic.
  • His first teacher was Alara Kalama from whom he learnt the technique of meditation.
  • At the age of 35, under a pipal tree at Bodh Gaya on the bank of river Niranjana (modern name Falgu) he attained Nirvana (enlightenment) after 49 days of continuous meditation.
  • Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath to his five disciples, this is known as Dharmachakra Pravartana.
  • He died at the age of 80 in 483 BC at Kushinagar. This is known as Mahaparinirvana.
  • Kanthaka-Budhha’s horse, Channa-Buddha’s charioteer, Devadatta-Buddha’s cousin, Sujata-the farmer’s daughter who gave him rice milk at Bodh Gaya and Other names of Buddha – Gautama (Clan name) Siddharta (Childhood name), Shakya Muni.

Doctrine of Buddhism

Four Noble Truths

It is the essence of Buddhism.

  1. Life is full of sorrow (Dukha)
  2. There are causes of sorrow (Dukha Samudaya)
  3. This sorrow can be stopped (Dukha Nirodha): Nirvana.
  4. There is a path leading to the cessation of sorrow: Ashtansika Marga.

Triratna: Three Jewels of Buddhism

  1. Buddha (the enlightened)
  2. Dharma (doctrine)
  3. Sangha (Commune)
  • Buddha did not believe in God and Soul.
  • He stress on Karma and Ahimsa.


  • According to Jain tradition there were 24 Tirthankaras, the first being Rishabhadev / Adinatha and last being Mahavira.
  • The name of two Jain Tirthankaras – Rishabha and Arishtanemi – are found in the Rig Veda.
  • All the Tirthankaras are Kshatriyas by birth.
  • We have historical proof of only the last two Parshwanath (23rd) and Mahavira (24th).

Mahavira’s Life

  • Mahavira was born in 540 BC in a village Kundgrama rear Vaishali in Bihar.
  • His father Siddhartha was the head of the Jnathrika Kshtriya clan under Vajji of Vaishali and his mother Trishala was the sister of Chetaka, the king of Vaishali. Mahavira was also related to Bimbisara, the ruler of Magadha, who had married Chellana, the daughter of Chetaka.
  • Mahavira was married to Yashoda and produced a daughter Anojja or Priyadarshini whose husband Jamali, became the first disciple of Mahavira.
  • At the age of 42, under a Sal tree at Jimbhikagrama on the bank of river Rijupalika, Mahavira attained Kaivalya (supreme knowledge).
  • From now onwards he was called Kevalin (perfect learned). Jina or Jitendriya (one who conquered his senses), Nrigrantha (free from all bonds), Arhant(blessed one) and Mahavira (the brave) and his followers were named jain.
  • He delivered his first sermon at Pava to his 11 disciples (known as 11 Gandharas /Gandharvas). Later, he founded a Jain Sangha (Jain commune) at Pava.
  • At the Age of 72 in 468 BC, he passed away at Pavapuri near Biharsharif in Bihar. Sudharma only one of 11 Ganadharas who survived after the death of Mahavira.

Doctrines of Jainism

Triratna of Jainism

The aim of existence is to attain through the triratna of

  1. Right faith: It is the belief in Tirathankaras.
  2. Right knowledge: It is the knowledge of the Jain creed.
  3. Right action/conduct: It is the practice of the 5 vows of Jainism.

Five Vows of Jainism

  1. Ahimsa (non-injury)
  2. Satya(non-lying)
  3. Asteya(non-stealing)
  4. Parigraha (non-possession)
  5. Brahmacharya (chastity). The first four vows were laid down by Parshwanath. The fifth one was added by Mahavira.
  • Mahavira rejected Vedic principles.
  • He believed in Karma and transmigration of the soul.
  • He advocated a life of austerity and non-violence.
  • Two elements of the world: Jiva and Atma.
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