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Contribution of Jainism to Indian culture

Jainism made the first serious attempt to mitigate the evils of Varna order and the ritualistic Vedic religion.Mahavira criticized the caste system and threw open the gates of Jainism for all people irrespective of their castes. He believed in the equality of mankind.he also laid stress on leading a simple life. He condemned all the complex rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices. He gave people a very simple religion to follow. The Jaina philosophy has certainly enriched Indian thought. The five vows ahimsa,satya,asateya,aparigraha and brahmacharya are relevant even today. The Hindu religious texts were all in Sanskrit. The early Jainas described Sanskrit language and adopted Prakrit language of the common people to preach their doctrines.Mahavira himself preached in Ardha-Magadhi.

Their religious literature was written in Ardha-Magadhi and the texts were compiled in the 6th century AD. The adoption of Prakrit by the Jainas helped the growth of this language and its literature. The Jainas composed the earliest important works in Apabhramsa and prepared its first grammar. In early medieval times the Jainas also made good use of Sanskrit and wrote many texts in it. Thus Jaina writings gave impetus to the regional languages. Even though these texts are religious scriptures yet we gain valuable information from them regarding the political and social state of those times.