Who Are Some Historical Figures Who Followed Jainism?

Like any religion, Jainism has had its fair share of believers — both in and out of the public eye. This community of pacifist believers has thrived since its conception in the sixth century BC by Jina Vardhamana Mahavira. Most of the people on this list follow the core tenets of Jain faith, which includes a cycle of reincarnation in an effort to achieve ultimate salvation by living as ethically as possible. Here are a few historical figures who were Jain believers.


  • Rishab Kumar Jain. This young man has received many awards for his extraordinary work in science and research, including “America’s Top Young Scientist” and “Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens.” Those who know him describe his personality as curious, which should come as no surprise for a teen who managed to use artificial intelligence to help find better treatment for patients suffering from pancreatic cancer.
  • Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai. This Indian scientist is known for his massive contributions to India’s space program. He was a member of the Indian Science Congress, the President of the General Conference of the I.A.E.A. in Vienna, founder and chairman of the Space Applications Centre in India, and Vice President of the Fourth United Nations Conference on “Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy.” A lunar crater was named in his honor in 1973, only two years after his death.
  • Vandana Jain. The New Delhi native is known for her achievements in the field of medicine. She works as the founding Director of the Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute, which is no surprise to those who understand her level of education and the many subsequent qualifications she earned. She has been published in at least 30 national and international journals, all of which were peer-reviewed. She writes for the Deccan Herald.
  • Rakesh K. Jain. Another famous student of medicine, his work in over 600 publications has been cited tens of thousands of times. He advises all tiers of Indian society, including government, academia and the medical industry. His work focuses mainly on tumor biology and drug delivery, and he strives to find new methods to fight disease using nanotechnology. His work has led to many new discoveries in the field of medicine, and revolutionized the way many other researchers approach the subject.

  • Piyare Jain. He discovered the subatomic particle called the axion, and currently works as a particle physicist at the University of Buffalo. He made the exciting discovery using 3-D photographic medium targets from heavy-ion particle accelerators at a time when most other physicists doing similar research had moved onto new technologies. Sometimes the old way is the best way.