Jainism is one of the three Indian philosophies, the others being Charvaka and Buddhism, which do not accept the authority of Vedas. The most important Jain teacher Theerthankara was Mahaveera.
The Jains accept three sources of knowledge. Perception, Inference and Testimony. Jains believe that every judgement is true only from a particular standpoint. To claim that a judgement is unconditionally true leads to dogmatism and intolerance.
Jains believe that all physical things are made of atoms. All living things possess a soul like light, the soul pervades the entire body which it inhabits. Consciousness is the essence of the soul. In its perfect condition, a soul possesses perfect knowledge. The karmic matter causes souls to fail to exercise their natural function.
The three jewels of Jainism Jains believe that although a soul inherently perfect, usually it finds itself in bondage. A soul's past Karma determines the kind of body it receives and the consequent limitation. The way to deliverance according to Jainism is, through the Three Jewels, of Right Faith, of Right Knowledge and Right Conduct.
Right Conduct This involves the practice of five virtues Ahimsa or non-violence Truth speaking Non-stealing Chastity Non-attachments to worldly things
The Jains were the first to make non-violence a rule of life. Through the practice of the Three Jewels, a person can succeed in overcoming the forces of all passions, and karmas and attain liberation. Once free, the soul attains the four-fold perfection of infinite knowledge, infinite faith, infinite power and infinite bliss.
Jain Faith Jainism is a religion without a belief in God. The Jains defend their Atheism (non belief in God), by claiming, that neither perception, nor inference can proove the existence of God. The concept of Jainism is so extreme that they have a cotton muslin mask against their mouths to prevent any germs or insects (living beings) from entering the mouth. Generally they have their evening meal before sunset - again for the same reason.