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Jainism vs. Sikhism Essay

Read the assigned chapters for the week and complete the following table. Be as specific as possible when identifying practices, beliefs, rituals, and historical elements. Cite sources in APA formatting.

Sikhism as a religion believes in the followings:
Core Beliefs
Jainism
Sikhism

1. Every living being has a soul

2. Sikhism believes in One GOD.

3. Every soul is potentially divine, with innate qualities of infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss (masked by its karmas).

4. Sikhism believes Guru Granth Sahib as the last and eternal Gurus of Sikhs.

5. Regard every living being as you do yourself, harming no one and being kind to all living beings. Sikhism believes in Karma- the law of cause and effect.

6. Every soul is born as a heavenly being, human, sub-human or hellish being according to its own karmas.

7. Sikhism believes in Reincarnation.

8. Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter 6. When a soul is freed from karmas, it becomes free and attains divine consciousness, experiencing infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss

9. Sikhism believes in Multiple paths to salvation.

10. Sikhism opposes Pilgrimage,rituals practices

11. Sikhism believes in Karma- the law of cause and effect.

Respond to the following questions in 150 to 200 words:

1. What do you think is the most important similarity and which is the most important difference? Use specifics to support your answer.

Although Sikhism and Jainism are both South Asian religions with high philosophical values, they differ significantly in their age, diet, ways of salvation, and most importantly, their concept of God. Jainism is the oldest known religion in India being most recently traced back to its latest tirthankara or prophet, Mahavira (599 – 527 BCE), whereas Sikhism is the youngest tradition and began in the 15th century in the state, Punjab. Eventhough both religions believe in karma and reincarnation of the soul, Sikhs are not required to be strict vegetarians, highly contrasting to the vegan diet ofthe Janis.

A significant difference between these two eastern religions is their belief in how to attain salvation in their lives. Since Janis do not believe in a single God or multiples gods for that matter, they believe their salvation is gained solely through their own personal struggle and victory. Jains do not believe there is heavenly figure guiding them through life, but rather that the universe is a never-ending cycle. This drastically differs fromthe monotheistic beliefs of Sikhism of how there is only one creator and God,mostly referred to as Allah in the Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhs believe they may gain salvation through serving Allah, and eventually becomes one with God.Both religions practice and revere Ahisma (non-violence), however Jains heavily emphasize this lifestyle more than Sikhs do. This can be seen historically when the Sikhs wanted to rise politically, formed a military and beared arms.

2. Consider the following statement: Sallekhana (“holy death”) violates the Jain principle of ahimsa because it is an act of violence against oneself. Using examples from Ch. 5 of your text, what points might a follower of Jainism make to argue against this statement?

non injury extends to thought, word and action. Mahavira taught that all beings desire life. Therefore no one has the right to take away the life of another being. According to Jainism, the killing of animals is a great sin. Jainism goes further and says that there is life in trees, and plants and there is life in air, water, mud, etc., and that all things have the right to exist.(live)

References:

http://www.sikhismguide.org/
http://www.religioustolerance.org/sikhism2.htm
http://sohum-jainism.blogspot.com/2010/10/jainism-core-beliefs.html http://religion.answers.wikia.com/wiki/What_are_the_5_main_beliefs_of_Jainism http://toseventhheaven.blogspot.com/2010/04/17-significant-differences-between.html http://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_core_belief_for_Sikhism


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