JAHN, yan, JOHANN: Roman Catholic Biblical scholar; b. at Tasswitz, near Znaim (47 m. n.n.w. of Vienna), Moravia, June 18, 1750; d. at Vienna Aug. 16, 1816. He attended the gymnasium at Znaim, studied philosophy at Olmütz, and in 1772 began the study of theology at the Premonstratensian convent of Bruck, near Znaim. After he had taken the vow in 1774 he was employed for a time in pastoral work at Mislitz, but was soon recalled to Bruck as teacher of Oriental languages and Biblical hermeneutics. On the suppression of the


convent in 1784, he was given a similar chair in the lyceum at Olmütz, and in 1789 he was transferred to the University of Vienna as professor of Oriental languages, Old-Testament introduction, and Biblical archeology. To this professorship dogmatics was added in 1803. On account of his advanced views concerning the Bible he was honorably removed from his chair in 1805 and promoted to a canonry in St. Stephen's, Vienna. Henceforth he lived in retirement, devoting himself to Biblical and linguistic studies. His most important works are Einleittung in die göttlichen Schriften des Alten Bundes (2 parts, Vienna, 1792; 2d ed., 4 vols., 1802-03); Biblische Archäologie (5 vols., 1797-1805); Introductio in libros sacros Veteris Fæderis in compendium redacta (1804; 2d ed., 1814; Eng. transl., Introduction to the 0. T., New York, 1827); Archæologia Biblica in compendium redacta (1804; 2d ed., 1814; Eng. transl., Biblical Archæology, Andover, 1823); Enchiridion hermeneuticæ (1812); Appendix hermeneutica (2 fasc., 1813-15); and the posthumous Nachträige (Tübingen, 1821). Jahn also published a number of grammars, lexicons, and text-books of Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic, and an edition of the Hebrew Bible (4 vols., Vienna, 1806). His Introductio, Archæologia, Enchiridion, and Appendix hermeneutica were placed upon the Index in 1822.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Vindiciae Joannis Jahn, Leipsic, 1822; F. H. Reusch, Index verbotenen Bücher, ii. 1083-84, Bonn, 1885; KL, vi. 1208-10.


    The Founder (§ 1).
    Relation to Buddhism (§ 2).
    The Jain Philosophy (§ 3).
    Basis in Brahmanism (§ 4).
    The System and its History (§ 5).
    The Literature (§ 6).

1. The Founder.

The remote origin of Jainism is traced to a teacher named Parsva who lived in north central India in the eighth century before Christ and left a school of thought which did not become active till two centuries later. The immediate founder was a certain Vardhamana, a younger son of Siddartha, and a contemporary of Buddha. The Jain literature, following the usual tendency of religious books to exalt and glorify the founder, represents the father of Vardhamana as king of a large town named Kundagrama or Kundapura, identified as the modern Basukund. Investigation has shown that this place was a mere suburb of the town Vaisali, the modern Besarh. Siddartha could therefore have been at best only headman of a village, though he was connected with the king of Vaisali and with the dynasty then ruling Magadha. Vardhamana consequently belonged to the Kshatriya or warrior class, as did Buddha, therefore to the aristocracy. The traditions represent him as living with his parents till they died, when his elder brother, Nandivardhana, succeeded as head of the household. Vardhamana was then twenty-eight years of age, and he sought and gained permission to enter the spiritual career. For twelve years he followed the life of the meditative ascetic, after which he was recognized as a prophet, having claimed "perfect knowledge and faith," and was hailed Mahavira, "great hero," Jina, "victor," and greeted with other titles indicative of his success. He lived thirty years after this, following the career of a teacher and ascetic, preaching his doctrine and organizing his Church. He died at Papa or Pava, the modern Padraona. His contemporaneity with Buddha is established by the fact that the traditions of Jains and Buddhists alike refer to the same contemporaries, which brings out the farther coincidence that the two religions arose in approximately the same region, north of the center of India, and that Jainism became active and made its early conquests in a region comprising the modern Oudh and the districts of Tirhut and Bihar in western Bengal, where its progress can be traced by inscriptions from the time of Asoka in the third century B.C.

2. Relation to Buddhism.

The rise of two religious leaders of the same caste in the same region and period, bearing the same titles, which were gained in practically the same manner, using a common stock of ideas expressed in a common technic of names and epithets, and founding churches with similar forms of organization, and having each a Nirvana as the goal of human striving, is a phenomenon which might well cause not only dispute between the later adherents of the religions, but also confusion and perplexity among scientific students. For long the resemblances between Buddhism and Jainism were explained by the supposition that one was a schism or an offshoot of the other, and the question of priority was hotly debated. Recent study has cleared the atmosphere not only in the matter of origins, but in exact knowledge of the details of the lives of the founders and of the religious and philosophical conceptions and modifications of such ideas as were inherited from the society and religion existent prior to the rise of these two sects. Thus of the founders it is now known that the birthplaces were different, that Buddha's mother died while he was an infant, while Vardhamana's lived to see him reach maturity; that Buddha entered the ascetic life against the will of his father, Vardhamana after his parent's death and with the consent of his family; and that Buddha lived this life for six years and contemned its results, while Vardhamana pursued it for twelve years and regarded the exercise as salutary, continuing the vocation after reaching sainthood. Among the common titles of the founders are Jina, Arhat, Mahavira, Tathagatha, Buddha, and Paranivrita, every one of which is in the sacred writings of the sects given to the founders. But each sect has a marked and unmistakable preference for a certain set of these different from that preferred by the other. Common to both sects as developed is the worship of the founders; but in Jainism this is consistent with the fundamental ideas of the system, while in Buddhism the primitive ideal rigidly excludes it--the practise there has been fostered by the people's inability to live up to the abstract ideal the Buddhist faith presents. A fundamental doctrine in both sects is that of Ahimsa or the sacredness of all life. In this the principal difference between the two religions is the irrational extreme to which the Jains have carried the practise. The Jain may eat even of vegetables and fruit only such as have no trace of


life left--may not pluck the vegetable or fruit from its source--and must strain through a cloth the water he drinks. Further regulations prescribe the covering of the ascetic's mouth and nose with a cloth that no insects may be drawn in with the breath to their death, and the pushing of a broom before him as he walks that no living thing may be crushed by his feet. The systems have developed along similar lines, with orders of monks upon whom severe duties press, and lay communicants from whom a lesser degree of abstinence is demanded. Both have had temples of ambitious structure, in which were placed statues of the founders and their disciples, though those of the Jains are the more monumental. These resemblances and differences are now quite fully accounted for.

3. The Jain Philosophy.

The fundamental assumption of the Jains is the eternity of matter, which is regarded as atomic in structure. Time proceeds in pairs of cycles each of enormous length, in the first of which goodness constantly increases, and in the second diminishes. Since matter is eternal, no necessity arises for creative agency, and Jains have consequently been called atheists. But worship is paid to the Jina, and indeed to Hindu deities, since the native predilection to polytheism has in Jainism, as in Buddhism, been too strong for the philosophy to overcome. Over against the eternity of matter the Jain puts the eternity of individual spirits. The Jain philosophy is therefore dualistic as against the spiritualistic monism of Buddhism. These spirits are bound by the action of Karma (the accumulated effects of all deeds in former existences), but owing to the differences in the manner of conceiving individual existence, that action is regarded differently from the Buddhistic method. To the Buddhist the soul is not a permanent individual entity passing as a unit from one state of existence or incarnation to another, but a dissoluble aggregate of qualities in which not individuality but the effect of Karma is the integrating factor. To the Jain the human spirit is an eternal entity which in its various incarnated lives Karma affects as a permanent individuality. Consequently Nirvana takes a different form in the two religions. Logically in Buddhism it is the annihilation of Karma as an integrating principle, in consequence of which the individual as such ceases to exist. In Jainism Nirvana is release of the soul from union with the body and from connection with matter, but the soul continues consciously to exist. Salvation is wrought through ascetic practises, guided by the three jewels of right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct. For the layman eight reincarnations are necessary to secure release, while the ascetic secures the same result by twelve years of strenuous self-denial, after which he may if he will at once enter Nirvana by felo de se. The monks are compelled to take the five major vows, practically identical with those of Buddhism.

4. Basis in Brahmanism.

The great similarity of the two systems and also their mutual dislike led to patient search for the reasons of the resemblances and the differences. Especially have the religious life and obligations of the pre-Jain Brahman ascetic been under review. The result is, the discovery that of the Brahman ascetic of early times were demanded four of the five major vows, viz., Ahimsa, truthfulness, honesty, and continence. But besides these points, common to the three systems, there are others which are established as clearly pre-Jainistic. Thus it was required of the Brahman recluse not to change his residence during the rainy season, at other times the period of his stay in a place was limited, though in the later systems the bounds of his stay varied; the rules for dress in all three systems reduce to practically the same basis, and Brahman and Jain ritual provide for the elimination of hair and beard. Even the straining of drinking water is Brahmanic, and the equipment of cloth and begging-bowl is common to Brahman and Jain. Jainism stands revealed, therefore, as one of the two revolts against Brahmanic teaching, ritual, and doctrine which took form in the sixth century B.C., and for ten centuries threatened the extinction of the parent faith. Yet, like Buddhism, it borrowed thought and even much of its religious terminology and practise from Brahmanism. Its monks are called Yatis, a Brahmanic name for eremite, and the titles given the Jina are common-places in pre-Jain Brahmanism.

5. The System and its his History.

On such a basis, in the sixth century B.C., in the north central part of India, Vardhamana, after twelve years of asceticism, launched system. His social status as a Kshatriya opened to him the ears of the wealthy, while his performance of the ascetic vows and the sanctity thus gained won him the reverence of the lower orders of the population. He laid the usual emphasis of the Brahman upon the evil in matter and on the value of the ascetic life as the means to evade it. The older vows were made more stringent; a theology with its heaven and hell and Nirvana was formulated. The system broke with Brahmanism in making its benefits extend to all castes and even to the outcasts, though it was affirmed that all preceding Jinas (twenty-three in number) were of the warrior caste. Its ascetics were called Nirgrantha, "freed from bonds," Yatis, "ascetics," or Sadhus, "holy ones." And since not all could follow the ascetic pattern, provision was made for the lay community. The members vowed obedience to the Jina, the law and the teacher; in the early morning they worshiped at home, and in the temple the image of the Jina, read and recited from the scriptures, sang hymns, and then at different times of the day practised their devotions. Meanwhile they had the privilege of contributing to the support of the monastics, and received the name of upasakas or "worshipers" and sravakas or "hearers." After eight reincarnations they were promised Nirvana. For the monk a more rigorous routine is prescribed, and a speedier release foretold. During the rainy season he seeks shelter in a monastery of the order, for then life is more abundant and movement pregnant with danger to it. For the remaining eight months he takes the road and wanders barefoot and bareheaded; he may not sleep in a bed nor take any conveyance,


and may have as his only possessions his cloth, bowl, broom, and sacred books--indeed, these are not reckoned his own. He may not touch metal, may eat no fruit and drink no wine, light no fire, and take no bath except in water which has been previously used by another and has so been rendered void of life. He may not disturb the insects or vermin which torment his flesh, nor do anything that may harm even potential life. After twelve years thus spent he gains his goal and may seize the possession, or may continue in this life as a teacher. Moreover, his discipline covers the inner life as he gains mastery over his own mind, conscience, and heart. Thus the system was laid. In the fourth century B.C. differences of opinion respecting the stringency of the Jina's commands regarding clothing split the religion into two parts, the Svetambaras or "white-clothed" and the Digambaras or "air-clothed." The latter wore a minimum of clothing, sometimes none, and are possibly, even probably, the Gymnosophoi of Greek literature. The Svetambaras have both monks and nuns, the Digambaras do not admit women to the ascetic life. The former have divided into seven minor sects, differing only on lesser points of faith or practise. The religion spread to the west and south, the Svetambaras remaining in the northern portion, the Digambaras developing to the south. Its course can be trackd by inscriptions dated from the third pre-Christian century until, in the fifth Christian century, it is found far south of Central India. There it met the opposition of the Brahman sages Manikka Vasagar and Tiru Nana Sambandha, who were effective in staying its progress in the tenth century. It has never been a missionary religion in the sense that Buddhism has been, consequently its adherents have been confined to the peninsula. Its numbers, according to the census of 1901, are 1,334,148, though the authorities declare that more exact details would make the total greater, since many known Jains returned themselves simply as "Hindus." The institutions are the temples, the monasteries where the monks spend the rainy season, and the hospitals for animals, where the maimed and even the healthy are supported. A great deal of wealth is in the possession of adherents of the religion, and this is held at the service of the order.

6. The Literature.

The literature of Jainism is as yet comparatively unknown, and until 1870 almost none of it beyond the Kalpa Sutra was in the possession of Occidentals. The general name corresponding to the word Scripture is Siddantha, under which term are included six classes of writings, viz.: twelve Angas, twelve Upangas, ten Painnas, six Ghedasutras, two sutras without special names, and four Mulasutras. There is constant reference in this literature to a class of writings called Purvas, or primitive scriptures, which took form perhaps as early as the fourth century B.C., but are either lost or embodied in the Angas. There are references also to the loss and recovery of these primitive scriptures such as lead to the suspicion that the sacred books of the Jains have passed through experiences like those of the Hebrews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Confucians. At any rate, so far as known, the present literature does not contain anything recognized as Purva. The Angas are the authoritative scriptures of the Svetambaras, and the authoritative recension took place in the fourth century of our era. The language is the Prakrit, as is that of most of the other literature so far as it is known; some of it is in Gujarati. To each of the Angas there are subsidiary parts, just as there are Brahmanas to the Vedas. The Kalpa Sutra may be called the manual of the Svetambaras. The Jains who went southward developed a later literature different from the Angas, and indeed did much in the way of founding the literature of the Kanarese, Tamil and Telugu; consequently the Digambaras have their own sacred books apart from that of the rival sect. The whole of the Angas reproduce in their literary features the traits of other sacred books, the parts being of unequal merit, often evidently fragmentary, and covering a long period in their dates of origin. They have been subject to recension, in which harmonistic effort is clearly traceable. This often includes slokas or sections of much earlier literature, much as the Pentateuch contains bits of early folk-song like the song of Lamech or of the well. Moreover, commentaries exist which contain alleged quotations which are not in the extant texts, showing that parts have been lost. The codification took place, as is noted above, some 800 years after the origin of the religion. Two series of publications embodying the texts are in course of issue, one begun under the auspices of a wealthy Jain, the late Rao Bahadur Dhanapatisinha, in which some thirty treatises have been produced, with comment and explanation, at Calcutta and Bombay. The Jain Religious Book Society of Murshidabad is publishing the other, which has already duplicated the first series and has added a number not otherwise printed.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: On the literature the most exhaustive study is by A. Weber, in Indische Studien, xvi.-xvii., Leipsic, 1883-84, reproduced in English in the Indian Antiquary, xvii.-xxi., 1888-92, and in his Sacred Literature of the Jains, Bombay, 1893. Consult also A. Guerinot, Essai de bibliographie Jaina, Paris, 1906. A very defective translation of the Kalpa Sutra appeared in London, 1848. H. Jacobi has made several of the Sutras available in English in SBE, xxi., xlv., with valuable introduction concerning the religion, and has edited the Kalpa Sutra, with introduction and notes, Leipsic, 1879, and the Tattvarthadhigama Sutra, ib. 1906. Other sutras have been edited by Leumann in Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, vol. viii., and in ZDMG, vol. xlvi.; also by Hoernle, in Bibliotheca Indica, 2 vols., text, commentary and transl., Calcutta, 1888-90.

On the religion the best single discussion is by J. G. Bühler, Ueber die indische Sects der Jaina, Vienna, 1887, Eng. transl., On the Indian Sect of the Jainaa, London, 1903. Consult: H. T. Coleridge, Essays, late ed., London, 1879 (good for description, not for explanation of origins); J. Bird, Historical Researches on the Origin and Principles of the . . . Jaina Religion, Bombay, 1847; E. Thomas, Jainism, London, 1877; J. Burgess, Jain Cave Temples, in Fergusson's Cave Temples, ib. 1880; idem, Temples and Jaina Caves in Western India, 2 vols., 55 plates, ib. 1881-1883; J. S. Warren, Les Idées philosophiques et religieuses des Jainas, in Annales de Musée Guimet, x. 321-411, Paris, 1887: E. W. Hopkins, Religions of India, pp. 280-297, Boston 1895 (not up to the standard of the rest of his book, his verdict is disparaging and condemnatory); Jogendra Nath Bhattacharjee, Hindu Castes and Sects, Calcutta, 1896; V. A Smith, The Jain Stupa and Other Antiquities of Mathura, India Archæological Survey, Reports,


vol. xx., 1901; A. Barth, Bulletin des religions de l'Inde, iv., Paris, 1902; RHR, xlv. 171-185 (by Barth), xlvii. 34-50 (by A. Guerenot). The files of the ZDMG contain much important matter by the few students of the subject, e.g., vol. i (by A. Weber), xxxii. 509 sqq., xxxiv. 247 sqq., xxxv. 667 sqq., xxxviii. 1 sqq., xl. 92 sqq. (all by Jacobi), xxxiv. 445 sqq. (by Klatt), xxxiv. 748 sqq. (by Oldenberg), xlviii (by Leumann, on the Jain legends). Similarly contributions have been made to the Indian Antiquary by various observers, including Hoernle and Bühler. The files of the JRAS contain occasional articles of value.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely