Jainism:- Jainism is the oldest living religion. It was originally founded by Bhagwan Rishaba in the pre-historical era. Rishabha was the first Jina hence he is often called Adi-natha, the first lord.He is mentioned in most of the Hindu Puranas, Markandeya, Kurma, Vayu, Garuda, Brahmanda, Varaha, Linga, Vishnu, Skandha etc, He was the first Tirthankara (i.e. an omniscient founder), and was followed by 23 others. Bhagwan Mahavera who was the 24th and the last in the line gave shape to the present religion 2546 years ago. The birth of Lord Mahavera was in 599 B.C.in a royal family of Vaishali. Mahavera renounced the worldly life and became an austere ascetic, practicing the five great vows of Non-Violence, truth, non-stealing,continence, and non-acquisitiveness.
Philosophy of soul and Karma: Every living being is a soul , existing in the world from infinite time, passing through the cycles of birth and death. It is bound by Karma (a fine form of matter) through its own action of passion - attachment and aversion. Soul itself is the master of its own fate, responsible for all its action - good or otherwise . Jainism does not accept creationism.
Freedom from passion leading to Emancipation: Soul in the worldly existence undergoes suffering caused by Karma. It also possesses the potentiality of attaining Emancipation. First by getting rid of passions (such as anger, pride, deceit, and greed ) and attaining omniscience through right knowledge, right faith, right conduct and right penance one can finally get emancipated.
Non-Violence and Non-possessiveness: The practice of religion consist in the renunciation of two deadly sins of humanity - the aggressive urge and the possessive urge - through Non- violence and Non- possessiveness respectively. The basic principles leading to this two are -(1) all souls are equal to one’s own soul ; (2) limitless desires and possessions vitiate one’s attitude and behavior.
Non-absolutism (Anekantvada): It asserts that infinite twin qualities of opposite nature such as , permanence and change , identity and difference exist in each and every substance. Therefore Truth is multifaceted . All statements contain relative truth. To comprehend the complete truth , one has to take into consideration the different aspects of a thing /even from different points of view.