Jainism : Impact Of Jainism On Punjab


Mahavira is considered to be the founder of Jainism, was known as Vardhamana. He played a very important role in the development of Jainism. Jainism was known as Nirgranth earlier. 'Tirthankara' is the name given to Acharya in Jainism. Rishabh(bull) is referred to as the first Tirthankara in Jainism as mentioned in Rig Veda. Mahavira is considered as the last Tirthankara and founder of Jainsim.


  • BLOW TO CASTEISM : Jainism was against the caste stand revolt against the prevalence of caste system which created social inequality. Jainsim promoted Equality due to which the caste system remained no longer rigid.
  • REFORM IN HINDUISM : Jainism pointed deficiency in Hinduism and encouraged social reformers to purge Hinduism and remove evils , as a result many useless customs were abolished.
  • SPIRIT OF ETHICS : Jainism promoted a high moral life for which they condemned the false and useless practices and deeds which developed ethics in the life of people and provided a sort of moral code to people.
  • PUBLIC WELFARE : Jainsim contributed in public welfare and comfort of man for which they made several inns for travellers , orphanages for orphans and poor, while more education institutions were also opened for spreading Education especially for women . Many hospitals were built for both men and animals.
  • END OF BRAHMINS SUPREMACY : Jainism made religion quite simple and removed the complex and expensive rituals which made the common man free from greedy Brahmins.
  • COMPASSION FOR MEN AND BEASTS : biggest contribution of Jainism to society was Ahimsa and believed that both living and non living things had souls and promoted spirit of love and compassion in the people.
  • EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN : Jainism provided a respectable position for womens and were in favour of providing equal status and education to women. Many women joined Sangha and delivered sermons. Thus Jainism helped in raising the status of women in the society.
  • SPIRIT OF PEACE : Jainism promoted the ahimsa and inspired people for peaceful living as a result of which many kings condemned the wars which created the peaceful environment.
  • GROWTH OF REGIONAL LANGUAGE : for preaching of Jainism Mahavira choose Prakrit and local languages which developed the local languages. Many scriptures of Jainism are compiled in regional languages like Sanskrit, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, etc. Thus Gabe new incentives to Indian languages.
  • CONTRIBUTION TO LITERATURE : Worn of jainism is finest literature as they enriched the Prakrit literature by writing Angas, Upangas, in that language. It also promoted the growth of Kannada literature. Jain literature provides information about social, political, and economic conditions of the society.
  • ENRICHMENT OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE : Jainism built several stupas , idols and monasteries and temples which were decorated with beautiful gateways, railings , carved pillars and stone umbrellas . Examples are., the Dilwara, Gurnar, Juagarh, Bundelkhand etc. Apart from this the 70 ft. , high statues of Gomteshvara at Shravanabelagola are living examples of Jain art. Elephanta caves, Ellora caves are another finest art of Jainsim.
  • DEMORALIZING INFLUENCE ON FIGHTING SPIRIT OF ARMY : Jainism focused on Ahimsa because of which rulers opposed the wars and created peaceful way of living which further demoralised the spirit of fighting among army, dye to which the defence spirit of our countrymen got weakened and our lands become prey to foreign invaders.


Jainism is one of the greatest religion which left a great impact not only on Punjab but on the whole India. It increased the feeling if brotherhood and promoted Ahimsa among people. Although it could not leave deep imprints on Punjab but was good and soothing for mankind.


A History of India, Vol. I, Penguin Books, 1966 - Thapar, Romila

The Wonder That Was India - Basham, A.L

History and Culture of the Punjab, Vol. I, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1977 - Joshi, L.M and Fauja Singh