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Jainism vs. Sikhism Worksheet Essay

1. Ahimsa- nonviolence belief means extremely gentle or harmless. This is the core belief in Jainism. It includes avoiding occupations that may harm other living animals including insects, using items made from animals such as leather and feathers. 1. Have allowed for the religion to develop military defense. Because on the early Gurus was murdered as a martyr the military or body guard sect was formed. These soldiers are known as the Khalsa.

2. Non-Lying- Jains must practice telling truths. This means avoiding exaggeration and falsehoods. Nonstealing- It is practicing the basic concept of not taking any possession that is not one. Items must be giving freely. This is caused by desire and wanting to inflict pain on others. 2. Sikhs are allowed to eat meat and do not have a diet system as strict as other Hindu religions.

3. Rejects the belief in a creator, instead believe that the universe was created by natural forces in motion 3. Sikhs believe that the universe was created by one God. This one God is the divine entity in their monotheism religion.

4. Chastity- For monks and nuns it is complete celibacy. For Jains outside the order it means to perform monogamy with one’s spouse. Sex outside this can lead to blind passion and an attachment to the physical world. 4. Sikhism is the combination of two religions forming. The Islamic and Hindu religions molded together as many ideas were shared. For example the belief in one God.

5. Nonattachment- Believe that human form bonds with family, possessions such as homes and money, land etc. Jains believe that these attachments can control a person. Practice to limit these possession in not possible to eliminate them. 5. Sikhs believe in reincarnation and karma. This is one of the few fundamental areas that Sikhs adopted from Hinduism.

Part 2

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.

The most important difference is that of the creation of the universe. Jains regret the idea that the universe was created by one creator. Rather they believe that the universe was created out of natural forces in motion. And that they forces are constantly changing. Sikhs on the other hand believe that the universe was created by one God. This one God is the divine entity in their monotheism religion. This helps to formulate the understanding in each religions core beliefs.

“Regardless of their difference, both religions stress the importance of the individual’s struggle to purify the self, to act morally, and to do good to others,” Malloy (2013). The most important similarity is that of karma and reincarnation. These basic principals have been adopted from Hinduism. It represents the main mantra that life on this plane must be lived in the path of righteous. By doing onto others and acting selfless these two religions are formed under one basic principal: to achieve the ultimate goal of life on the highest existence level.

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?

Ahimsa is defined by “Merriam-Webster” (2015) as “the Hindu and Buddhist doctrine of refraining from harming any living being.” Ahimsa is actually much more than this, it entails a lifetime of practice and includes being as gentle and harmless as can be. It involves in restraining in any act of violence. The Jains uphold this belief with the highest regard and understand that it takes much more than harming other living being but also from harming oneself. The concept of Jains is to achieve freedom of spirit. “Jains do accept ending one’s own life, but we must understand the practice form the Jain point of view and within the context.

Jains see all life as a preparation for the liberation of the spirit(jiva) from the body, and when a person is sufficiently evolved spiritually, that person can make the e final choice to no longer create more karma” Malloy(2013). The Jains believe in nonattachment to earthly possessions, and therefore one can find honor is ending one’s life. Sallekhana or holy death is “the most highly esteemed method, however, is self-starvation,” Malloy (2012.) There by withholding from food the Jains are becoming more selfless and freeing his or her spirit from the earthly plane and achieving a high level of karma.


Merriam-Webster. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion

Molloy, M. (2012). Experiencing the World’s Religions. Tradition, Challenge, and Change (6th ed.)Chapter 5. Retrieved from https://newclassroom3.phoenix.edu/Classroom

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