Jainism is a religion whose origins are unknown. Scholars believe that originated in Ancient India around the same time as Buddhism. Currently, there are approximately 5 million “Jains” or followers of Jainism. This religion does not believe in creators but rather believes in the Universe and Scientific Laws. The first person who practiced Jainism was Mahavira, a prince who gave up everything to find spiritual understanding.
The main goal of Jainism is to reach what is called Moksha – the end of the birth – death – rebirth cycle – by achieving enlightenment. Ones who have achieved Moksha is called Tirthankaras. Jains believe that ALL souls including plants and animals can achieve Moksha. They believe in non-violence, conquering all temptations such as anger, greed pride and believe in non-attachment to the material world.
It is one of the only religions that vegetarianism is required. It also excludes root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and garlic because eating these foods kill the plant.