Why Buddhism and Not Jainism?

Mahavira, the founder of the religion that came to be known as Jainism was an older contemporary of the Buddha and is mentioned frequently in the Tipitaka where is called Nataputta. By the time the Buddha started teaching Jainism was already popular. Vappa the Buddha’s cousin became a Jain. Of the various religious movements that emerged in the 5th century BCE Buddhism and Jainism were the only ones that survived for more than a few hundred years. Upanisadic spirituality which began a little before this time was not a distinct religious movement but one within Brahmanism. By the 2nd century BCE Jainism had lost the edge to Buddhism and forever after remained a minor although vibrant religion. Chandragupta, the first Mauryan emperor, converted to Jainism but this did not have the effect on the religion that the conversion of his grandson Asoka had on Buddhism.



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