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All About Jainism
Jainism, traditionally known as Jaina dharma, is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings and emphasizes spiritual independence and equality between all forms of life
Practitioners believe that non-violence and self-control are the means by which they can obtain liberation
Currently, Jainism is divided into two major sects - Digambara and Svetambara.
The word Jainism is derived from the Sanskrit verb root jin ("to conquer")
It refers to a battle with the passions and bodily pleasures that the Jain ascetics undertake
Those who win this battle are termed as Jina (conqueror)
The term Jaina is therefore used to refer to laymen and ascetics of this tradition alike.
Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world
Jains traditionally trace their history through a succession of twenty-four propagators of their faith known as tirthankaras with Rishabha as the first and Mahavira as the last of the current era.
For long periods of time, Jainism was the state religion of Indian kingdoms and widely adopted in the Indian subcontinent
The religion has been in decline since the 8th century CE due to the growth of, and oppression by the followers of Hinduism and Islam.
Jainism is a religious minority in India, with 4.2 million adherents, and there are small but notable immigrant communities in Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the United States
Jains have the highest degree of literacy of any religious community in India (94.1 percent), and their manuscript libraries are the oldest in the country.