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The evidence about the gymnosophists is thin and it is not possible to define Kalanos or his teachers as Jains, particularly for the reasons already laid out in the article which come from reliable, scholarly sources. In fact, the evidence actually points to Kalanos likely being a Buddhist, as the region was notable for its Buddhism and for its complete lack of a Jain presence as well as the extremely un-Jain actions of Kalanos, who engaged in a number of severe sins according to Jain belief. Additionally, the Jain Samaj website is not a RS for historical analysis of religious figures. Ogress smash! 06:25, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Reply (Pankaj) - Kalyan Muni was a Jain Saint as per Jain Texts. His actual name in no way was Kalanos. This was a name given to him by Greeks. You can refer even Buddhist sources for the same. Further, at the time Alexander invaded India, the region was in strong influence of Jainism and he met a Digambar Saint (naked). Buddhist don't practice such thing.Chandragupta Maurya also took Jain Diksha in his later years. The references I gave proves the fact.

  • 1 Article by Ph. D.[1]
  • 2 Article[2]
  • 3 Article[3]
  • 4 Article by Ph. D.[4]
  • 5 Article[5]
  • 6 Book[6]

If you wish, I can quote whole lot more of other references. An in-depth version of Alexander's encounter with Jain Saints is described by Acharya Shri 108 Guptinandi Ji Maharaj in one of his Pravachans.[7]

You are citing blogspot, Jain Samaj and a wishy-washy passing reference from an article on HuffPo by a PhD of literature about ecology. These are not reliable sources for this topic. Acharya Shri 108 Guptinandi Ji Maharaj is a monk living today and his comments are not relevant. The hermitary blog doesn't even claim Kalanos was a Jain.
Kalanos is the only name we know him by; we aren't allowed to announce his name is "Kalyan Muni, Jain monk" on these bases. There are six cites regarding the potential underlying form for Kalanos, but it is only scholarly speculation. Unless we have a time machine, that's all we get.
And did you not notice the reliable sources on the main page that discuss the very serious issues regarding Kalanos' alleged Jainism? He committed suicide by self-immolation. He wielded fire. Are you claiming these are the actions of a Jain monk?! Those are sins - the suicide the very worst of them, absolutely horrendous. You have access to Jain websites and I think maybe you are even a Jain and yet you'd claim he was a monk?
There is zero record of Jain presence in the areas Alexander went to. In contrast, at the time it was a tremendous stronghold for Buddhism - the very centre of the Buddhist world, in fact. All of this is scrupulously cited as well.
Conclusion from scholars: early orientalists gave various religious interpretations for Kalanos, including that he was a Jain. Recent (reliable) scholarship rules out Jains and says it's possible he was a Buddhist based on the evidence. All of this is in the article already. We don't get to skew the evidence just because we really want him to be Jain. Ogress smash! 06:51, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Reply by Pankaj - He took Sallekhana which is a Jain Practice and never committed suicide. Also, he was a Digambar Muni and Buddhist wear clothes. Also Buddhism spread at that location much later in the Reign of Ashoka. You are talking about the time of Ashoka's Grandfather (Chadragupta Maurya). Chandragupta Maurya and his predecessor Dhanananda were both Jain Rulers. In fact Bindusara (Chandragupta's Son) and Ashoka (in his early days) were Jains. It was much later after multiple conquests of Ashoka did he got converted into a Buddhist and started Buddhist Constructions and preaching.

He did not die by sallekhana, he burned himself to death. He also DID wear clothing. He also made fire and used it. Didn't you read the sources? They are extremely clear on the subject. And all three of these are serious sins in Jainism. Death by immolation, however, is not uncommon among Buddhists of the era and even now happens with some regularity. And Kalanos was from Taxila, a specifically Buddhist city at the time of Alexander.

There is no reason to entertain the hypothesis that the gymnosophists were Jains (Craven, 1976:33). Their presence in Gandhāra and surrounding areas is not corroborated by any archaeological evidence (Dani, 1986:93).10 The Jain tradition holds non-violence as its highest precept and forbids ascetics to handle fire so that they may not cause harm to flying insects (Dundas, 1992:50). It follows that at least the gymnosophist Kalanos, who chose to immolate himself because of his illness, could not have been a Jain. Jains may under strict rules perform a slow non-violent “suicide by fasting” (sallekhanā), should they be struck by an incurable illness or infirmity that prevents them performing the “obligatory actions” or āvaśyakas (Dundas, 1992:180).11 However, such cases of samādhi-death are attested as late as the 7th century CE, and in any case they do not involve self-immolation (Settar, 1989:133-134), which is condemned by Jains as an impure form of self-killing (Laidlaw, 2005:190). - Halkias, as cited in the article

The author also specifically discusses how self-immolation is attached to early Buddhism in the region.
AND YET: because we cannot time-travel, there is only a sentence in the article stating that it is more likely he was a Buddhist. So stop trying to paint the article, it's not fair to the historical figures for us to make them into dancing puppets for our own biases.
Please *sign* your comments. Ogress smash! 07:16, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Do not attach a religion without source[edit]

The sources for Kalanos never mention either he is a Jain or Hindu etc. So, as the sources are not clear for this person, who died BCE, we just should not attach ay religion to him. And with this neutrality, the article is just fine.  :) - Rayabhari (talk) 16:13, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Again, the art work suggests that he was a brahman, so we will keep away all religion/caste tag for this person.!! - Rayabhari (talk) 16:21, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
That is a reliable, scholarly source. Removing it is inexplicable. Also, what artwork? Ogress smash! 16:57, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
The picture (art) depicted in the article page. - Rayabhari (talk) 17:05, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Are you serious? That's a 1672 painting by Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne, what on earth does that have to do with anything? First, the artwork does not depict or mention him aside from his name. And like a 17th-century Vlaamsman would have the slightest idea? There is literally nothing historically accurate about that painting whatsoever - nor was it even intended to be historically accurate. Ogress smash! 17:17, 13 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Dr. Natubhai Shah. "Jainism in the International Perspective Today". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Mr. Satish Kumar Jain. "Globalisation of Jainism". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Ms. Isha Gamlath. "Skepticism in Post Aristotelians & Jains". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Michael Tobias, Ph.D (19 June 2013). "The Life Force of Jainism: When Kindness Takes on Revolutionary Dimensions". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Solitary Path of the Jain Digambara". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Arun Kumar Jain. Faith and Philosophy of Jainism. p. 28 and 199. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "धन ‘धरा’ का इस ‘धरा’ पर सब धरा रह जाएगा !". 7 February 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2015.