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The Views of Six Samana in the Pali Canon
(based on the Sāmaññaphala Sutta1)
Question: "Is it possible to point out the fruit of the
contemplative life, visible in the here and now?"1
samaṇa view (diṭṭhi)
Amoralism: denies any reward or
punishment for either good or bad deeds.
Fatalism: we are powerless;
suffering is pre-destined.
with death, all is annihilated.
Eternalism: Matter, pleasure, pain and
the soul are eternal and do not interact.
Restraint: be endowed with, cleansed by
and suffused with the avoidance of all evil.2
Agnosticism: "I don't think so. I don't think in
that way or otherwise. I don't think not or not not."

Suspension of judgement.

Notes: 1. DN 2 (Thanissaro, 1997; Walshe, 1995, pp. 91-109).
2. DN-a (Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi, 1995, pp. 1258-59, n. 585).

Śramaṇa (Sanskrit; Pali samaṇa) means "seeker." It was an Indian religious movement parallel to but separate from the historical Vedic religion. The śramaṇa traditions such as Jainism, Buddhism,[1] and Ājīvika arose in the same circles that led to the development of Yogic practices,[2] as well as the popular concepts in all major Indian religions such as saṃsāra (the cycle of birth and death) and moksha (liberation from that cycle).[3]

Etymology and origin[edit]

The śramaṇa refers to renunciate ascetic traditions from the middle of the 1st millennium BCE.[4] They were individual, experiential and free-form traditions, independent of society; and in religious competition with Brahmin priests, who as opposed to Śramaṇas, stressed mastery of texts and performing rituals.[4]

The word śramaṇa is postulated to be derived from the verbal root śram, meaning "to exert effort, labor or to perform austerity". "Śramaṇa" thus means "one who strives" or "laborer" in Sanskrit and Pali.[5] The term was applied to those who wholeheartedly practiced toward enlightenment, and was used for monks.[5] The śramaṇa traditions are best captured in the term parivrajaka, meaning a homeless wanderer.[6] The history of wandering monks in ancient India is partly untraceable. The term 'parivrajaka' was perhaps applicable to all the peripatetic monks of India.[7]

Indian grammarians use the terms "śramaṇa" and "Brahmin" to illustrate opponents whose differences came from varying religious models.[4] Part of the śramaṇa tradition remained outside the Hindu fold by rejecting the authority of the Vedas, with Jains, Buddhists, Ajivikas, and other religious groups developing as a result of this rejection.[4] Part of the śramaṇa tradition was absorbed into Hindu dharma literature with a place for a renunciate sannyasins in it, in the four stages (ashramas) of life.[4]

One of the earliest uses of the word is in the Taittiriya Aranyaka (2-7-1) with the meaning of "performer of austerities".[citation needed] Buddhist commentaries associate the word's etymology with the quieting (samita) of evil (pāpa) as in the following phrase from the Dhammapada, verse 265: samitattā pāpānaŋ ʻsamaṇoʼ ti pavuccati ("someone who has pacified evil is called samaṇa").[note 1]


Several śramaṇa movements are known to have existed in India, even before the 6th century BCE, and these influenced both the āstika and nāstika traditions of Indian philosophy.

The śramaṇa movement grew into prominence during the times of Mahāvīra, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, and Gautama Buddha, when Vedic ritualism had become the dominant tradition in certain parts of India. Śramaṇas adopted a path alternate to the Vedic rituals to achieve liberation, while renouncing household life. They typically engage in three types of activities: austerities, meditation, and associated theories (or views). As spiritual authorities, śramaṇa were at variance with traditional Brahmin authority. Some scholars opine the term "śramaṇa" appears in texts of the Brahmanas as a religious order other than the Vedic (i.e., Āstika) traditions.[8]

Mahavira and the Buddha were leaders of their śramaṇa orders. According to the Jain Agamas and the Buddhist Pāli Canon, there were other śramaṇa leaders at that time.[9][note 2] Thus, in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (DN 16), a śramaṇa named Subhadda mentions:

...those ascetics, samaṇa and Brahmins who have orders and followings, who are teachers, well-known and famous as founders of schools, and popularly regarded as saints, like Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta and the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta...[10]

Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta refers to Mahāvīra].[note 3] In regard to the above other teachers identified in the Pali Canon, Jain literature mentions Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla and Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta.[11][note 4]

Some Brahmins joined the śramaṇa movement such as Cānakya and Sāriputta.[12] Similarly, a group of eleven Brahmins accepted Jainism and become his chief disciples or ganadharas.[13][note 5]

The śramaṇa idea of wandering began to change early in Buddhism. The renunciates started living in vihāras, at first during vassa, the rainy season, but eventually permanently. In medieval Jainism the tradition of wandering also waned, but it was revived in the 19th century. Similar changes have regularly occurred in Buddhism.


The śramaṇa philosophy of Jainism is considered to pre-date the Vedic tradition. Jainism is conjectured to be the oldest of the indigenous, non-Aryan dharmic traditions of India, with an independent pre-Buddhist prevalence (Bhaskar, 1972). Thus, it is suggested to have existed before the advent and evolution of latter Brahmin traditions.[14]

Some scholars opine the śramaṇas of Jain tradition were widespread in the Indus Valley, with the relics of Indus Valley Civilization representing Jain culture, like the standing nude male figures in Kayotsarga, idols in lotus position, images with serpent-heads, and the bull symbol of Rishabha.[8][15][16][17] However, other scholars opine the śramaṇa cultures arose and flourished in the Gangetic areas, rather than the Indus Valley.[18]

In later periods, the Jains migrated towards the West and South of India and established themselves as prosperous communities in the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta courts. The Digambaras in South India could not preach against social ranks at the cost of their survival. It was suicidal for them to follow the brahmanical law-books. Therefore in the 8th century CE, Jinasena produced Jain law books in the guise of Puranas glorifying the Tirthankaras and declaring Varnas were not of Brahmanical origin but was promulgated by the first of the twenty-four Tirthankaras, Vrsabha, at the beginning of the present kalpa. Rishabha prescribed Jain rites for birth, marriage, death and instituted a class of Jain brahmins.[19][20]


It was as a śramaṇa that the Buddha left his father's palace and practised austerities.[21] Gautama Buddha, after fasting nearly to death by starvation, regarded extreme austerities and self-mortification as useless or unnecessary in attaining enlightenment, recommending instead a "middle way" between the extremes of hedonism and self-mortification. Devadatta, a cousin of Gautama, caused a split in the Buddhist saṅgha by demanding more rigorous practices. Followers of Mahāvīra continued to practice fasting and other austerities.

The Brahmajāla Sutta mentions many śramaṇas with whom Buddha disagreed.[22]

Randall Collins opined that Buddhism was more a reform movement within the educated religious classes, composed mostly of Brahmins, than a rival movement from outside these classes, with the largest number of monks in the early movement derived from Brahmin origin, and virtually all the monks were recruited from the two upper classes of society[23][note 6]

From rock edicts, it is found that both Brahmans as well as śramaṇas enjoyed equal sanctity.[24]


Ājīvika was a system of ancient Indian philosophy and an ascetic movement of the mahajanapada period in the Indian subcontinent. Ājīvika was a nāstika (heterodox) system. The Ājīvikas may simply have been a more loosely-organized group of wandering ascetics. One of their prominent leaders was Makkhali Gosala.

Ājīvika is thought to be contemporaneous to other early Indian nāstika philosophical schools of thought, such as Cārvāka, Jainism and Buddhism. While the early nāstika systems such as Cārvāka and Ājīvika gradually became extinct or evolved into others, the Jain and Buddhist traditions spun off into what may be described today as separate religions, distinct from Hinduism, which is now restrictively meant to encompass only the six orthodox Āstika philosophical systems.

Ājīvika reached the height of its popularity during the rule of the Mauryan emperor Bindusara around the 4th century BC. Several rock-cut caves belonging to this sect, built during the times of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (r. 273 BC to 232 BC) have been found at Barabar Caves, Jehanabad district, Bihar.[25]


Though Śramaṇa traditions are associated with asceticism, some Śramaṇa traditions were, in fact, peculiar as materialists, in the sense they preached a worldly existence and carried denunciation of brahmanical orthodoxy to the extreme.[21][26] The Shramana traditions included a range of beliefs, such as the Cārvākas, who on one end of the spectrum lived a luxurious life, to the Jainas, who on the other hand, developed a theory of extreme self-mortification. Some Śramaṇas were openly critical of the sacrificial traditions of the Brahmins and the concepts of Karma, claiming them to be simply a swindle --[27]

'Don't believe in them - when you're dead, you're dead. All their talk of Karman is nonsense. One of the materialists said, 'If a man went north of the Ganges and murdered, and tortured, and stole, and plundered and set buildings on fire, he would make no bad Karman. If another man went south of the Ganges and gave in charity, and helped the weak and healed the sick, he would make no good Karman. You live as a combination of the four elements, but when you die, everything is finished. So borrow money and live as happily as you can, for when you're dead, they can't pursue you.'

The Cārvāka Lokayatas asserted a purely naturalist position, claiming the world consists of merely working out the elements.[26]

Yet another conflict can be found in the works of Dharmakirti, the eminent 7th-century CE Buddhist logician from Nalanda:[19]

vedapramanyam kasyacit kartrvadah/ snane dharmeccha jativadavalepah// santaparambhah papahanaya ceti/ dhvastaprajnanam pancalirigani jadye

The unquestioned authority of the vedas; the belief in a world-creator; the quest for purification through ritual bathings; the arrogant division into castes; the practice of mortification to atone for sin; - these five are the marks of the crass stupidity of witless men.

While authority of vedas, belief in a creator, path of ritualism and social system of heredity ranks, made up the cornerstones of brahminal schools, the path of asceticism was the main characteristic of all the heterodox schools collectively called the Shramanas.[19]

It was in Śramaṇa traditions that concepts of Karma and Samsara became central themes of debate.,[26] and it has been suggested that this may have been introduced into the mainstream by Kshatriyas.[28] In Jainism, Karma is based on materialist element philosophy, where Karma is the fruit of one's action conceived as material particles which stick to a soul and keep it away from natural omniscience.[26] The Buddha conceived Karma as a chain of causality leading to attachment of the material world and hence to rebirth.[26] The Ajivikas of Makkhali Ghosa were a third successful movement during this time. They were fatalists and elevated Karma as inescapable fate, where a person's life goes through a chain of consequences and rebirths until it reaches its end.[26] Some famous philosophers of that time, such as Pakkudha Kaccayana and Purana Kashyapa, denied the existence of Karma. It was indeed the creative śramaṇa generations of the 500 to 400 BCE, in whom Karma doctrine became the centre of attention, who set far-reaching consequences for lifestyle and thought among Indians.[26]

Śramaṇas held a view of samsara as full of suffering (or dukkha). They practiced Ahimsa and rigorous ascetism. They believed in Karma and Moksa and viewed rebirth as undesirable.[29]

The Sramanas rejected the Vedas, the Vedics labelled their philosophy as "nastika darsana" (heterodox philosophy).

Beliefs and concepts of Śramaṇa philosophies:[citation needed]-

  • Denial of creator and omnipotent Gods
  • Rejection of the Vedas as revealed texts
  • Affirmation of Karma and rebirth, Samsara and transmigration of Soul.
  • Affirmation of the attainment of moksa through Ahimsa, renunciation and austerities
  • Denial of the efficacy of sacrifices and rituals for purification.
  • Rejection of the caste system

Ultimately, the śramaṇa philosophical concepts like ahimsa, karma, reincarnation, renunciation, samsara and moksa were accepted and incorporated by the Brahmins in their beliefs and practices, e.g. by abandoning the sacrifice of animals.[30][note 7] According to Gavin Flood, concepts like karmas and reincarnation entered mainstream brahaminical thought from the sramana or the renounciant traditions.[31] According to D. R. Bhandarkar, the Ahimsa dharma of the sramanas made an impression on the followers of Brahamanism and their law books and practices.[32]

Jain philosophy[edit]

Main article: Jain philosophy

Jainism derives its philosophy from the teachings and lives of the twenty-four Tirthankaras, of whom Mahavira was the last. Acharyas Umasvati (Umasvami), Kundakunda, Haribhadra, Yaśovijaya Gaṇi and others further developed and reorganized Jain philosophy in its present form. The distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are its belief in the independent existence of soul and matter, predominance of karma, the denial of a creative and omnipotent God, belief in an eternal and uncreated universe, a strong emphasis on nonviolence, an accent on anekantavada and morality and ethics based on liberation of the soul. The Jain philosophy of Anekantavada and Syādvāda, which posits that the truth or reality is perceived differently from different points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth, have made very important contributions to ancient Indian philosophy, especially in the areas of skepticism and relativity.[33]

Usage in Jain texts[edit]

Jain monastics are known as śramaṇas while lay practitioners are called śrāvakas. The religion or code of conduct of the monks is known as the śramaṇa dharma. Jain canons like Ācāranga Sūtra[34] and other later texts contain many references to Sramanas.

Ācāranga Sūtra[edit]

One verse of the Ācāranga sūtra defines a good śramaṇa:

Disregarding (all calamities) he lives together with clever monks, insensitive to pain and pleasure, not hurting the movable and immovable (beings), not killing, bearing all: so is described the great sage, a good Sramana.[35]

The chapter on renunciation contains a śramaṇa vow of non-possession:

I shall become a Śramaṇa who owns no house, no property, no sons, no cattle, who eats what others give him; I shall commit no sinful action; Master, I renounce to accept anything that has not been given.' Having taken such vows, (a mendicant) should not, on entering a village or free town, take himself, or induce others to take, or allow others to take, what has not been given.[36]

Ācāranga Sūtra gives three names of Mahavira, the twenty fourth Tirthankara, one of which was Śramaṇa:

The Venerable ascetic Mahavira belonged to the Kasyapa gotra. His three names have thus been recorded by tradition: by his parents he was called Vardhamana, because he is devoid of love and hate; (he is called) Sramana (i.e. ascetic), because he sustains dreadful dangers and fears, the noble nakedness, and the miseries of the world; the name Venerable Ascetic Mahavira has been given to him by the gods.[37]


Another Jain canon, Sūtrakrtanga[38] describes the śramaṇa as an ascetic who has taken Mahavrata, the five great vows:

He is a Śramaṇa for this reason that he is not hampered by any obstacles, that he is free from desires, (abstaining from) property, killing, telling lies, and sexual intercourse; (and from) wrath, pride, deceit, greed, love, and hate: thus giving up every passion that involves him in sin, (such as) killing of beings. (Such a man) deserves the name of a Śramaṇa, who subdues (moreover) his senses, is well qualified (for his task), and abandons his body.[39]

The Sūtrakrtanga records that a prince Ardraka (who became disciple to Mahavira), arguing with other heretical teachers, told Makkhali Gosala the qualities of śramaṇas:

He who (teaches) the great vows (of monks) and the five small vows (of the laity 3), the five Âsravas and the stoppage of the Âsravas, and control, who avoids Karman in this blessed life of Śramaṇas, him I call a Śramaṇa.[40]

Buddhist philosophy[edit]

The Views of Six Samana in the Pali Canon
(based on the Sāmaññaphala Sutta1)
Question: "Is it possible to point out the fruit of the
contemplative life, visible in the here and now?"1
samaṇa view (diṭṭhi)
Amoralism: denies any reward or
punishment for either good or bad deeds.
Fatalism: we are powerless;
suffering is pre-destined.
with death, all is annihilated.
Eternalism: Matter, pleasure, pain and
the soul are eternal and do not interact.
Restraint: be endowed with, cleansed by
and suffused with the avoidance of all evil.2
Agnosticism: "I don't think so. I don't think in
that way or otherwise. I don't think not or not not."

Suspension of judgement.

Notes: 1. DN 2 (Thanissaro, 1997; Walshe, 1995, pp. 91-109).
2. DN-a (Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi, 1995, pp. 1258-59, n. 585).
Main article: Buddhist philosophy

Buddhist philosophy is a system of doctrines based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, (480-400 BCE), the son of a chieftain of the Sakya tribe, later known as the Buddha. The Buddha found a Middle Way that ameliorated the extreme asceticism found in the śramaṇa religions.[41] Buddhism is a non-theistic philosophy, which is especially concerned with dependent origination and sunyata.

Influences on Indian culture[edit]

The śramaṇa tradition influenced several Indian religions.[3] According to some scholars,[3][42] the concept of the cycle of birth and death, the concept of samsara and the concept of liberation may quite possibly be from śramaṇa or other ascetic traditions. Obeyesekere[43] suggests that tribal sages in the Ganges valley may instead have inspired the ideas of samsara and liberation, just like re-birth ideas that emerged in Africa and Greece. O'Flaherty states[44] that there isn't enough objective evidence to support any of these theories. Indian philosophy is a confluence of Śramaṇic (self-reliant) traditions, Bhakti traditions with worship of deities and Vedic ritualistic nature worship. These co-existed and influenced each other.[45]


There are only two references to the word śramaṇa in vedic literature.[19] One is in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, where it is placed next to the term tapasa, indicating that the śramaṇa — like the tapasa — was a class of mendicants.[19] It has been argued that renunciation was not uncommon to the Vedic society, with yatis, rishis, and śramaṇas mentioned as being among the earliest renouncers.[46] In the pastoral cultures of Vedic people, the renouncer Rishis and Yatis were looked down upon.[47] The renouncers meditated upon death, with the link between birth and death conditioned by attachment to desire. These themes surface in vedic literature for the first time in the Upanishads. After passing through henotheism and pantheism, the anthropomorphism of Vedas entered the period of monism in the Upanishadic period.[19]

It is in the Upanishadic period that theories identifiable with śramaṇas come in direct contact with brahmanical ideals.[19] According to Ananda Guruge, a renowned Buddhist leader, the śramaṇa movement impacted Vedic education through the Upanishads, with debate and discussion replacing parrot-like repetition of the Vedas.[18] Many Upanishads compile contradictory positions where the favorite style of debate is to pose questions until the other cannot answer.[26] The infinite regress notwithstanding, upanishadic arguments do not involve finding logical contradictions in opposing doctrines.[26] The heterogeneous nature of the Upanishads shows infusions of both social and philosophical elements, pointing to evolution of new doctrines from non-brahmanical sources.[19] While the Upanishadic doctrines of Brahman and Atman can be traced back to the Vedas and Brahmanas, the doctrines of punarjanma (reincarnation), karma (action), and moksha (emancipation) do not follow with consistency from vedic traditions, and are fundamental to the śramaṇa movement.[19]


Modern Hinduism can be regarded as a combination of Vedic and śramaṇa traditions as it is substantially influenced by both traditions. Among the Astika schools of Hinduism, Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga are early and very important philosophies that have influenced and been influenced by the śramaṇa philosophy, with their origins imputed by some to be in the Indus Valley period of about 3000-2000 BCE. As Geoffrey Samuel notes,

Our best evidence to date suggests that [yogic practice] developed in the same ascetic circles as the early śramaṇa movements (Buddhists, Jainas and Ajivikas), probably in around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE.[48]

Yoga follows the Samkhya philosophy of liberating oneself from the grip of Prakriti (nature) through individual effort. Elaborate processes are outlined in Yoga to achieve individual liberation through breathing techniques (Pranayama), physical postures (Asanas) and meditations (Dhyana). Patanjali's Yoga sutra is one product (school) of this philosophy. Other Yogic schools and the Tantra traditions are also important derivatives and branches of the śramaṇa practices.

The Hindu ashrama system of life was an attempt to institutionalize śramaṇa ideals within the Brahmanical social structure.[49]

In Western literature[edit]

Various references to "śramaṇas", with the name more or less distorted, have been handed down in Western literature about India.

Nicolaus of Damascus (c. 10 CE)[edit]

Nicolaus of Damascus wrote an account of an embassy sent by an Indian king "named Pandion (Pandyan kingdom?) or, according to others, Porus" to Caesar Augustus around 13 CE. He met with the embassy at Antioch. The embassy was bearing a diplomatic letter in Greek, and one of its members was a "Sarmano" (Σαρμανο) who burnt himself alive in Athens to demonstrate his faith. The event made a sensation and was quoted by Strabo[note 8] and Dio Cassius.[51] A tomb was made to the "Sarmano", still visible in the time of Plutarch, which bore the mention "ΖΑΡΜΑΝΟΧΗΓΑΣ ΙΝΔΟΣ ΑΠΟ ΒΑΡΓΟΣΗΣ" (Zarmanochēgas indos apo Bargosēs – Zarmanochegas, Indian from Bargosa).

Clement of Alexandria (150-211)[edit]

Clement of Alexandria makes several mentions of the śramaṇas, both in the context of the Bactrians and the Indians:

Thus philosophy, a thing of the highest utility, flourished in antiquity among the barbarians, shedding its light over the nations. And afterwards it came to Greece. First in its ranks were the prophets of the Egyptians; and the Chaldeans among the Assyrians; and the Druids among the Gauls; and the Samanaeans among the Bactrians ("Σαμαναίοι Βάκτρων"); and the philosophers of the Celts; and the Magi of the Persians, who foretold the Saviour's birth, and came into the land of Judaea guided by a star. The Indian gymnosophists are also in the number, and the other barbarian philosophers. And of these there are two classes, some of them called Sarmanae ("Σαρμάναι"), and Brahmanae ("Βραχμαναι").[52]

To Clement of Alexandria, "Bactrians" apparently means "Oriental Greek", as in a passage of the Stromata:

It was after many successive periods of years that men worshipped images of human shape, this practice being introduced by Artaxerxes, the son of Darius, and father of Ochus, who first set up the image of Aphrodité Anaitis at Babylon and Susa; and Ecbatana set the example of worshipping it to the Persians; the Bactrians, to Damascus and Sardis.[53]

Porphyry (233-305)[edit]

Porphyry extensively describes the habits of the śramaṇas, whom he calls "Samanaeans", in his "On Abstinence from Animal Food" Book IV [1]. He says his information was obtained from "the Babylonian Bardesanes, who lived in the times of our fathers, and was familiar with those Indians who, together with Damadamis, were sent to Caesar"

For the polity of the Indians being distributed into many parts, there is one tribe among them of men divinely wise, whom the Greeks are accustomed to call Gymnosophists. But of these there are two sects, over one of which the Brahmins preside, but over the other the Samanaeans. The race of the Brahmins, however, receive divine wisdom of this kind by succession, in the same manner as the priesthood. But the Samanaeans are elected, and consist of those who wish to possess divine knowledge.[54]

All the Brahmins originate from one stock; for all of them are derived from one father and one mother. But the Samanaeans are not the offspring of one family, being, as we have said, collected from every nation of Indians...[54]

On entering the order:

The Samanaeans are, as we have said, elected. When, however, any one is desirous of being enrolled in their order, he proceeds to the rulers of the city; but abandons the city or village that he inhabited, and the wealth and all the other property that he possessed. Having likewise the superfluities of his body cut off, he receives a garment, and departs to the Samanaeans, but does not return either to his wife or children, if he happens to have any, nor does he pay any attention to them, or think that they at all pertain to him. And, with respect to his children indeed, the king provides what is necessary for them, and the relatives provide for the wife. And such is the life of the Samanaeans. But they live out of the city, and spend the whole day in conversation pertaining to divinity. They have also houses and temples, built by the king".[54]

On life and death:

They are so disposed with respect to death, that they unwillingly endure the whole time of the present life, as a certain servitude to nature, and therefore they hasten to liberate their souls from the bodies [with which they are connected]. Hence, frequently, when they are seen to be well, and are neither oppressed, nor driven to desperation by any evil, they depart from life.[54]

In contemporary Western culture[edit]

German novelist Hermann Hesse, long interested in Eastern, especially Indian, spirituality, wrote Siddhartha, in which the main character becomes a Samana upon leaving his home (where he was a Brahmin).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ According to Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), "Samaṇa," p. 682: 'an edifying etymology of the word [is at] DhA iii.84: "samita-pāpattā [samaṇa]," cp. Dh 265 "samitattā pāpānaŋ ʻsamaṇoʼ ti pavuccati"....' The English translation of Dh 265 is based on Fronsdal (2005), p. 69.
  2. ^ Some of terms are common between Jainism and Buddhism, including:
       • Symbols: caitya, stūpa, dharmacakra
       • Terms: arihant (Jainism)/arhat (Buddhism), nirvāṇa, saṅgha, ācārya, Jina etc.
    The term pudgala is used by both but with completely different meanings.
  3. ^ In the Buddhist Pāli literature, these non-Buddhist ascetic leaders – including Mahavira – are also referred to as Titthiyas of Tīrthakas.
  4. ^ The Pali Canon is the only source for Ajita Kesakambalī and Pakudha Kaccāyana.
  5. ^ "Mahavira, it is said, proceeded to a place in the neighbourhood where a big yagna was being organized by a brahman, Somilacharya, and preached his first sermon denouncing the sacrifice and converting eleven learned Brahmins assembled there who became his chief disciples called ganadharas."[13]
  6. ^ Randall Collins: "It is apparent from the Upanishads that the prestige of the Brahmans was breaking down and their distinctness from the political-military kshatriya caste was crumbling....Certainly, Buddhism was a challenge to the traditional brahmin practices, attacking its rituals and especially its sacrifices by the doctrine of ahimsa, non-harming. But Buddhism should be seen as more of a reform movement within the milieu of the educated religious people - who were mostly Brahmans - rather than a rival movement from outside. Thus, although the Buddha himself was a kshatriya the largest number of monks in the early movement were of Brahman origin. In principle, the Sangha was open to any caste; and since it was outside the ordinary world, caste had no place in it. Nevertheless, virtually all monks were recruited from the upper two classes. The biggest source of lay support, however, the ordinary donor of alms, were the landowning farmers."[23]
  7. ^ Masih 2000[30] p149: "We know only this much that the doctrine of karma-samsara-jnana-mukti is first seen in the clearest form in the shramanic tradition. It is now even accepted by orthodox brahmans. This doctrine is not clearly spelled out in the Rgvedas and not even in the oldest parts of the Upanishads called chandogya and Brhadaranyaka." Masih 2000[30] p237-238: "The four pillars of Jainism karma-samsara-jnana-mukti have been assimilated into Hinduism. The Pancamahavrata of Jainism (Satya, Ahimsa…) have been fully adopted by Hinduism though not with the same rigour."
  8. ^ Strabo, xv, 1,[50]


  1. ^ Svarghese, Alexander P. 2008. India : History, Religion, Vision And Contribution To The World. p. 259-60.
  2. ^ Samuel 2008, p. 8; Quote: such (yogic) practices developed in the same ascetic circles as the early Sramana movements (Buddhists, Jainas and Ajivikas), probably in around the sixth or fifth BCE.
  3. ^ a b c Flood, Gavin. Olivelle, Patrick. 2003. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Malden: Blackwell. pg. 273-4.
  4. ^ a b c d e James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: N-Z, Volume 2 of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 639. ISBN 9780823922871. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/sramana/index.html
  6. ^ Mu Soeng (2000). Diamond Sutra: transforming the way we perceive the world. Wisdom Publications. p. 8. ISBN 9780861711604. 
  7. ^ Pranabananda Jash (1991). History of the Parivrājaka, Issue 24 of Heritage of ancient India. Ramanand Vidya Bhawan. p. 1. 
  8. ^ a b Puruṣottama Bilimoria; Joseph Prabhu; Renuka M. Sharma (2007). Indian Ethics: Classical traditions and contemporary challenges, Volume 1 of Indian Ethics. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. p. 315. ISBN 9780754633013. 
  9. ^ Gethin (1998), p. 11
  10. ^ Walshe (1995), p. 268
  11. ^ Bhaskar (1972), n. 49
  12. ^ Gethin (1998), pp. 10–11, 13
  13. ^ a b Padmanabh S Jaini, Collected papers on Buddhist studies. Motilal Banarsidass 2001, P.64
  14. ^ Sonali Bhatt Marwaha (2006). Colors Of Truth: Religion, Self And Emotions: Perspectives Of Hinduism, Buddhism. Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Sikhism, And Contemporary Psychology. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 97–99. ISBN 9788180692680. 
  15. ^ Institute of Indic Studies, Kurukshetra University (1982). Prāci-jyotī: digest of Indological studies, Volumes 14-15. Kurukshetra University. pp. 247–249. 
  16. ^ Robert P. Scharlemann (1985). Naming God God, the contemporary discussion series. Paragon House. pp. 106–109. ISBN 9780913757222. 
  17. ^ Vishwanath Pandey (1976). The Orient: the world of Jainism : Jaina history, art, literature, philosophy and religion. Pandey. pp. 46–60. ISBN 9780913757222. 
  18. ^ a b Ananda W.P.Guruge (2005). Buddhist Answers to Current Issues. AuthorHouse. p. 119. ISBN 9781420816426. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i Padmanabh S. Jaini (2001). Collected papers on Buddhist studies. Motilal Banarsidass Publications. pp. 47–. ISBN 9788120817760. 
  20. ^ See page 92 of
  21. ^ a b Buddhist Society (London, England) (2000). The Middle way, Volumes 75-76. The Society. p. 205. 
  22. ^ N. Venkata Ramanayya (1930). An essay on the origin of the South Indian temple. Methodist Publishing House. p. 47. 
  23. ^ a b Randall Collins. The sociology of philosophies: a global theory of intellectual change. Harvard University Press, 2000
  24. ^ Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (1850). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Lyon Public Library. p. 241. 
  25. ^ Entrance to one of the Barabar Hill caves British Library.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i Randall Collins (2000). The sociology of philosophies: a global theory of intellectual change. Harvard University Press. p. 199. ISBN 9780674001879. 
  27. ^ Buddhist Society (London, England) (2000). The Middle way, Volumes 75-76. The Society. p. 205: "..some of them said quite openly the sacrificial tradition of which the Brahmins had a monopoly was simply a swindle.". 
  28. ^ Padmanabh S Jaini, Collected papers on Buddhist studies, p50. "These were probably introduced into the main tradition by the Ksatriyas"
  29. ^ Flood, Gavin D. (1996) p. 86-90
  30. ^ a b c Y. Masih (2000) In : A Comparative Study of Religions, Motilal Banarsidass Publ : Delhi, ISBN 81-208-0815-0
  31. ^ Gavin D. Flood (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press : UK ISBN 0-521-43878-0 P. 86
  32. ^ By D. R. Bhandarkar, 1989 "Some Aspects of Ancient Indian Culture" Asian Educational Services 118 pages ISBN 81-206-0457-1 p. 80-81
  33. ^ McEvilley, Thomas (2002). The Shape of Ancient Thought. Allworth Communications. p. 335. ISBN 1-58115-203-5. 
  34. ^ Jacobi, Hermann (1884). Ācāranga Sūtra, Jain Sutras Part I, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 22. 
  35. ^ Ācāranga Sūtra. 1097
  36. ^ Ācāranga Sūtra, 799
  37. ^ Ācāranga Sūtra 954
  38. ^ Jacobi, Hermann (1895). (ed.) Max Müller, ed. Jaina Sutras, Part II : Sūtrakrtanga. Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 45. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. 
  39. ^ Sūtrakrtanga, Book 1: 16.3
  40. ^ Sūtrakrtanga, Book 2: 6.6
  41. ^ Laumakis, Stephen. An Introduction to Buddhist philosophy. 2008. p. 4
  42. ^ Gavin D. Flood (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-43878-0, page 86, Quote: "It is very possible that the karmas and reincarnation entered the mainstream brahaminical thought from the śramaṇa or the renouncer traditions."
  43. ^ G Obeyesekere (2002), Imagining Karma - Ethical Transformation in Amerindian, Buddhist, and Greek Rebirth, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520232433
  44. ^ Wendy D. O'Flaherty (1980), Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520039230, pp xi-xxvi
  45. ^ Dr. Kalghatgi, T. G. 1988 In: Study of Jainism, Prakrit Bharti Academy, Jaipur
  46. ^ École pratique des hautes études (France); Section des sciences économiques et sociales, University of Oxford; Institute of Social Anthropology; Institute of Economic Growth (India); Research Centre on Social and Economic Development in Asia (1981). Contributions to Indian sociology, Volume 15. Mouton. p. 276. 
  47. ^ Śrīrāma Goyala (2003). Indian Buddhism after the Buddha. Kusumanjali Book World. p. 34. 
  48. ^ Samuel 2008, p. 8.
  49. ^ Flood, Gavin. Olivelle, Patrick. 2003. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Malden: Blackwell. pg. 277.
  50. ^ on the immolation of the śramaṇa in Athens (Paragraph 73)
  51. ^ Dio Cassius, liv, 9
  52. ^ Clement of Alexandria, "Exhortation to the Heathen" Clement of Alexandria "Exhortation to the Heathen"
  53. ^ The Stromata, or Miscellanies, Book I, Clement of Alexandria. Clement, Stromatae I, 71,4,Clement of Alexandria "The Stromata, or Miscellanies" Book I
  54. ^ a b c d Porphyry, On abstinence from animal food, Book IV.