Questions about non-Tamil Jain, Buddhist and Ajivika beliefs

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Wed Dec 6 01:59:25 UTC 2000

The main difference between Jainism and Buddhism was that Buddhism, while
it did opposed killing of animals, did not oppose eating of meat.

In Jainism extramarital sex will be a violation of the anuvratas of the
householders, and any sex will be a violation of the mahavratas of the

Incidentally the term prostitute may be confusing. In India, the gaNikas
were not just prostitutes, they were also public entertainers (dancers,
singers etc). Well until the early part of this century a large fraction of
the singers and dancers in India were "prostitutes". The earliest recorded
songs in India were often sung by "prostitutes". It was not uncommon until
6-7 decades ago to hire such entertainers to perform at marriages, even at
the conclusion of some religious ceremonies.

Incidentally I have read that early movie makers in Bombay had a hard time
persuading postitutes to act in their movies because some of them
considered acting degrading. Some of movie stars of Indian cinema in the
past have been descendants of prostitutes.

In general the gaNikas were treated well in ancient Indian society.
Amrapali the courtesan had donated her mango groves to the Buddhist Sangha,
and had become a nun. I am not aware of a similar example in Jainism,
however one of the Ayagapattas at Mathura was dedicated by a courtesan.

It is my guess that Ajivika religion was somewhat loosely defined thus it
may be hard to find out the practices of the Ajivika. The practices may
have differed from region to region. There is some discussion in Basham's

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan wrote:

>1.What did the Jains (2000-1500 years ago) believe  regarding the karmic
>reward for butchers, hunters, sacrificing priests, prostitutes, and
>2.What did the Buddhists believe (2000-1500 years ago) believe  regarding
>karmic reward for butchers, hunters, sacrificing priests, prostitutes, and
>3. Were the Ajivikas' beliefs different from the above?

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