Jainism [Hindi jina: conquerer] is an apparently non-violent Indian religion, founded by Vardhamana Mahavira (c. 540 BCE).
Jains believe in karma, reincarnation and asceticism. They practice a strict form of ahimsa. Some monks wear masks over their faces so as to not injure insects while breathing. And Jain priests delegate others to cook for them so as to avoid the sin of killing micro-organisms.
Critics see this practice as hypocritical. However, monks and Nuns also wear masks and sweep in front of themselves as they walk to avoid harming insects.
The goal of Jainism is to become a Jin, a perfectly liberated soul. And their extreme pacifism comes from the belief that every living creature possesses a soul.
Today’s estimated six million Jains reside mostly in India; they worship in temples, shrines and privately at home.
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