Antiquity Of Jainism

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Antiquity Of Jainism

The origin of Jainism is shrounded in considerable obscurity. The available evidence ot decide the questions is scanty, dubious and capable of different interpretations. Scholars have therefore come to widely divergent conclusions. Mrs. Stevenson is of opinion that Jainism originated as a protest against the sacrifice and casteism of the Brahmanism in the eighth* century B. C. According to Jacobi, there are even traces of Jainism even in the Vedic* period. Dr. Zimmer and Farlong observe that there was the existence of the Sramana culture before the Aryans in India. Dr. Zimmer calls it by the name of the Dravidan* religion while Farlong considers it to be different from the religion of the* Dravidans.

The divergence of views among the Scholars about the antiquity of Jainism is thus almost bewildering. The question has therefore to be examined and considered carefully, critically and exhaustively in order to arrive at some conclusion.

by Kailasha Chandra Jain, M. A. Jaipur