Jainism, is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul toward divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina ("conqueror" or "victor"). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha. Ancient texts also refer to Jainism as shramana dharma (self-reliant) or the "path of the nirganthas" (those without attachments or aversions).
Jain doctrine teaches that Jainism has always existed and will always exist, although historians date the foundation of the organized or present form of Jainism to sometime between the 9th and the 6th century BCE. Like most ancient Indian religions, Jainism may have its roots in the Indus Valley Civilization, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India. Other scholars suggested the shramana traditions were separate and contemporaneous with Indo-Aryan religious practices of the historical Vedic religion.
Jainism has between four and five million followers, with most Jains residing in India. Outside India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Europe, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Suriname, Fiji, and the United States. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Jayanti, and Diwali.
According to the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-4) conducted in 2015-16, Jains form the wealthiest community in India. Jains have the highest literacy rate (87%) in India, in the 7-years to oldest age group, according to its 2011 census. The Jaina community also has the highest number of college graduates. Excluding the retired senior citizens, Jain literacy rate in India exceeded 97%. The female to male child sex ratio in the 0-6 year age was second lowest for Jains (870 girls per 1,000 boys), higher than Sikhs in India. Further, Jain males have the highest work participation rates, while Jain females have the lowest work participation rates in India.
Estimated Followers: 4.5 million
Of Global Population: 0.06%