Jainism in India

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Indian Jains
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Total population
Regions with significant populations
Marathi, Indian English

Jainism is India's sixth-largest religion and is practiced throughout India.[2][3]

As per 2001 census there are about 4,200,000 Jains in the 1.22 billion population of India, but actually there may be around 80 lakh, majorly living in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, however, the influence of Jainism is far greater on Indian population that these numbers suggests. Jains are to be found in 34 out of 35 states and union territories with Lakshdweep being the only union territory without Jains. The state of Jharkhand, with a population of 16,301 Jains also contains the holy pilgrimage centre of Shikharji.


Main article: History of Jainism

Jain doctrine teaches that Jainism has always existed and will always exist,[4][5][6][7][8] Like most ancient Indian religions, Jainism has its roots from the Indus Valley Civilization, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India.[9][10][11] Other scholars suggested the Shramana traditions were separate and contemporaneous with Indo-Aryan religious practices of the historical Vedic religion.[12]

Accorded National minority status for Jain[edit]

On January 20, 2014, the Government of India awarded the minority status to the Jain community in India, as per Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act (NCM), 1992. This made the Jain community which makes for 7 million or 0.4 percent of the population as per 2001 census, the sixth community to be designated this status as a "national minority", after Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis.[13] Though Jains already had minority status in 11 states of India including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, in 2005 a petition was filed with Supreme Court of India, by community representatives, which was also backed by the National Minorities Commission. In its judgement the court left the decision to the Central government.[14][15]

Jainism By State[edit]

Jainism as a religion exists throughout India. Jainism also varies from state to state, but the core values are the same.

Census of India, 2001[edit]

States having more than 100,000 Jains in 2001 India Census[16]
State Jain Population (approximate) Jain Population (%)
Maharashtra 1,301,900 1.32%
Rajasthan 650,493 1.15%
Madhya Pradesh 545,448 0.91%
Gujarat 525,306 1.03%
Karnataka 412,654 0.74%
Uttar Pradesh 207,111 0.12%
Delhi 155,122 1.12%
Work participation by religion & gender in 2001 India Census[17]
Religion Males Females
Jain 55.2 39.2
Sikh 53.3 20.2
Hindu 52.4 27.4
Christian 50.7 28.7
Buddhist 49.2 31.7
Muslim 47.5 14.1
Literacy by religion in 2001 India Census[18]
Religion Literacy Rate
Jain 94.1
Christian 80.3
Buddhist 72.7
Sikh 69.4
Hindu 65.1
Muslim 59.1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census of India". Census of India. 
  2. ^ National minority status for Jains
  3. ^ Jains become sixth minority community
  4. ^ Helmuth von Glasenapp,Shridhar B. Shrotri. 1999. Jainism: an Indian religion of salvation. P.15 "Jainas consider that religion is eternal and imperishable. It is without beginning and it will never cease to exist. The darkness of error enveloping the truth in certain, periodically occurring aeons clears up again and again so that the brightness of the Jaina-faith can sparkle again anew."
  5. ^ Dundas, Paul. 2002. The Jains. P.12 "Jainism is believed by its followers to be everlasting, without beginning or end..."
  6. ^ Varni, Jinendra; Ed. Prof. Sagarmal Jain, Translated Justice T.K. Tukol and Dr. Narendra Bhandari. Samaṇ Suttaṁ. New Delhi: Bhagwan Mahavir memorial Samiti. “The Historians have so far fully recognized the truth that Tirthankara Mahavira was not the founder of the religion. He was preceded by many tirthankaras. He merely reiterated and rejuvenated that religion. It is correct that history has not been able to trace the origin of the Jaina religion; but historical evidence now available and the result of dispassionate researches in literature have established that Jainism is undoubtedly an ancient religion.” Pp. xii – xiii of introduction by Justice T.K.Tutkol and Dr. K.K. Dixit.
  7. ^ Helmuth von Glasenapp,Shridhar B. Shrotri. 1999. Jainism: an Indian religion of salvation. P.24. "Thus not only nothing, from the philosophical and the historical point of view, comes in the way of the supposition that Jainism was established by Parsva around 800 BC, but it is rather confirmed in everything that we know of the spiritual life of that period."
  8. ^ Dundas, Paul. 2002. The Jains. P.17. "Jainism, then, was in origin merely one component of a north Indian ascetic culture that flourished in the Ganges basin from around the eighth or seventh centuries BC."
  9. ^ Larson, Gerald James (1995) India’s Agony over religion SUNY Press ISBN 0-7914-2412-X. “There is some evidence that Jain traditions may be even older than the Buddhist traditions, possibly going back to the time of the Indus valley civilization, and that Vardhamana rather than being a “founder” per se was, rather, simply a primary spokesman for much older tradition. Page 27”
  10. ^ Joel Diederik Beversluis (2000) In: Sourcebook of the World's Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality, New World Library : Novato, CA ISBN 1-57731-121-3 Originating on the Indian sub-continent, Jainism is one of the oldest religion of its homeland and indeed the world, having pre-historic origins before 3000 BC and the propagation of Indo-Aryan culture.... p. 81
  11. ^ Jainism by Mrs. N.R. Guseva p.44
  12. ^ Long, Jeffrey D. (2009). Jainism: An Introduction. New York: I.B. Tauris. pp. 45–56. ISBN 978-1-84511-626-2. 
  13. ^ Govt grants minority status to Jain community
  14. ^ "Jains granted minority status". The Hindu. January 21, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  15. ^ "Eye on votes, UPA gives Jain community minority status". Hindustan Times. January 20, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  16. ^ http://www.censusindia.gov.in/
  17. ^ http://www.censusindia.gov.in/
  18. ^ http://www.censusindia.gov.in/