Though the controversial Freedom of Religion (amendment) Bill recently passed by Gujarat Assembly the government has clubbed Jains as a denomination of Hinduism, several ancient manuscripts and texts present at the Indology institute here describe the two as different religious entities.
"There is absolutely no doubt that both Hinduism and Jainism are different religions and at our institute we have several ancient manuscripts and scriptures,about 1,000-year-old, and can easily prove this," said Jitendra Shah,the director of the city-based L D Institute of Indology.
An ancient text, `sad-darshana-samucchaya' written about 1,200 years ago on Indian philosophies by a renowned scholar Hari Bhadra Suri clearly states this difference, Shah said.
Similarly, another text `syad-vada-manjari' written by Malli Sen Suri about 800 years ago, is a religious commentary and dwells in detail on these two religions, he said.
While explaining the difference between the two religions as mentioned in these ancient texts, Shah, a Jain scholar himself said "Hinduism and Jainism are poles apart when it comes to individual Gods, rituals, religious practices and the way of living practised by followers of these religions."
Talking about the differences in Gods, Shah said,"Three main Gods -- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh -- form the base of Hinduism while among Jains there are 24 Trithankaras."
"In Jainism, there is no concept of re-incarnation of Gods, while in Hinduism, Gods are re-born in different forms to counter the evil on Earth," Shah said.