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Dharmic Religions   >   Jainism   >   Schools

   
 

Jainism Schools



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Here is some information about the different schools of Jainism:
  • There are two main schools or sects, of Jainism: Digambara and Svetambara. Each of these schools or sects can be further subdivided into differ sub-sects and traditions.

  • The original split between the sects dates back approximately 2,400 years. The split arose because the original doctrine of Jainism was contained in scriptures called Purva (of which there were 14), but these were being lost - 11 scriptures called Angas were compiled, and the remnants of the 14 Purva were put into the 12th Anga - however there was a dispute about the authenticity of the Anga.

  • Although there are some differences between the sects, the underlying core philosophy and main principles are the same in both sects.

  • Some of the differences between the sects are shown in this table:

    Digambara Svetambara
     
    Reject the Jain Agama compiled by Sthulabhadra
     
     
    Accept the Jain Agama
     
     
    Believe Mahavira remained unmarried
     
     
    Believe Mahavira married and had a daughter
     
     
     
     
    Believe that the 19th Tirthankara, Mallinath, was a woman
     
     
    Full monastic life restricted to males

    Male monks do not wear clothes

    Female renunciates (Aryikas) wear white
     
     
    Women given full status

    Monastics wear white seamless clothes

    Monastics include males (munis) and females (sadhvi)
     
     
     
     
    Some monastics cover their mouth with a white cloth (muhapatti) even when they talk (to minimize possibility of inhaling small organisms)
     

Here is a chart which shows the historical development of the main Jain sects and sub-sects:

Jain Sects



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