[an error occurred while processing this directive] Jainism
Tang Chinese Steppe Falconer at Court

A Twilight of Empires

Lords of the Earth, Campaign 13


A minor yet very influential and ancient religion from India. The founder, Vardhamana Mahavira (599 BCE - 527 BCE), was a contemporary of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha in the same region, and followed an analogous life path.

Within a few centuries, a schism split the Jain community into the Svetambras (White-robed) and Digambaras (Sky-clad, i.e. naked) sects. This split was to some extent over ritual raiment and the possibility of female salvation, as well as geographical separation. This is the period of the finalization of the canon of the faith, with the written texts taking their final form.

Generally, Jainism is cosmic, ascetic, and vegetarian. Opposition to life-taking in ritual put them at odds with the early Hindus. Today it is the only religion from the 6th century BCE to share South Asia with the Hindus.

Jains see a line of Tirthankaras extending back in time, humans who are in concept akin to prophets. The 24th would then be Vardhamana, the last.

For more information see (also Jinas, Jaina):

Chris Cornuelle / lote13gm at xmission dot com / last modified Sunday, 08-Jan-2006 14:06:11 MST
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