Jainism has several differing forms and sects perhaps I will limit this to a discussion of a more common form of Jainism.
But why not become Jain instead of Buddhist.
In Jainism one finds a eternal soul which can be very satisfying and really isn't a continum of consciousness...sort of about the same?
There are no Jain armies nor nations...why.... Jainists are absolute pacifists and cannnot abscribe to such things as military even police really
So absolute pacifism may be found in it. One may find buddhist soldiers armies governments nations some at times engaged in warfare...never will you find that in Jainism. In fact many Jains will only do things of a financial nature as to occupation as that is considered overall to be less harm producing.
Vegetarians....Jains are absolute vegetarians must be by their faith.
There is that old buddhist bugaboo called emptiness...but really is that so important? REally it seems we threaten great nihilism if we endeavor to study that thing without about many many years of compassionate service and certain religious practices before we may even look at that..so how can "that" be so important.
Jains do not just become enlightened and then abandon compassion as there are enlightened teachers called tirthankar one of which last taught about 2500 years ago who teach, similiar to buddhism. And if one is enlightened as human they become a arihant who teaches until they die..so really what is the difference. ONe may become a simple realized person who dies and cannot communicate with humans due to form seperateness but teacher one seemingly could become,and then communicate. Compasssion being inherant to the realization
So if one wants to ba a absolute pacifist and a absolute vegetarian and still find a soul, and still find compassion..why not Jain
They pray and do ceremony but only to those that are like themselves as all things have soul as they do.No creator god will be found.
Gods found may be more fortunate and advanced but it seems they are like us with souls and all souls are exactly alike such as bugs gods human have the same soul.
So...why not. Emptiness seems much to complicated we must find and measure all things one against another, there are few if any absolutes within the context of emptiness. So why bother with it at all...it is so complicated and makes everything so hard to ascertain..why not a simple but superior moral path...some Jains go to a extent of sweeping the ground before them to prevent killing..is that not a great thing to do.
Eat little they do as eating kills always
Please don't go to Jainist things finding absurd quotes or intentions, as one could equally find that in Buddhism as Mt Samuru being the center of the world those things being out of context and applied but not relevent.
REally in this day and time what application emptiness? Why not eternal soul that we can bring through total nonharm to enlightenment...why not?
Have you considered this thing? No threat then nihilism be...none at all. Would that not be comforting to be absolutely certain in things of diet what one can do and not do and all those other things..are not religions supposed to provide those things of comfort?
A link that very briefly touches on Jainism...http://www.patheos.com/Library/Jainism.html
..for those that are not familiar.
Jains like buddhists do not consider themselves hindus.
A brief touch on the religious concepts....
"Jainist beliefs and practices:
The universe exists as a series of layers, both heavens and hells. It had no beginning and will have no ending. It consists of:
The supreme abode: This is located at the top of the universe and is where Siddha, the liberated souls, live.
The upper world: 30 heavens where celestial beings live.
Middle world: the earth and the rest of the universe.
Nether world: 7 hells with various levels of misery and punishments
The Nigoda, or base: where the lowest forms of life reside
Universe space: layers of clouds which surround the upper world
Space beyond: an infinite volume without soul, matter, time, medium of motion or medium of rest.
Everyone is bound within the universe by one's karma -- the accumulated evil deeds that one has done. (The Jainist definition of karma differs from the Hindu and Buddhist meaning. To a follower of Jainism, all karma is bad. To Hindus and Buddhists, karma can result from a good or a bad deed.)
Moksha (liberation from an endless succession of lives through reincarnation) is achieved by enlightenment, which can be attained only through asceticism.
Jainism is based on three general principles called the three Ratnas (jewels). They are: Right faith.
They are expected to follow five principles of living: Ahimsa: "non violence in all parts of a person -- mental, verbal and physical." 3 Committing an act of violence against a human, animal, or even a vegetable generates negative karma which in turn adversely affects one's next life.
Satya: speaking truth; avoiding falsehood
Asteya: to not steal from others
Brahma-charya: (soul conduct); remaining sexually monogamous to one's spouse only
Aparigraha: detach from people, places and material things. Avoiding the collection of excessive material possessions, abstaining from over-indulgence, restricting one's needs, etc.
Jains follow a vegetarian diet. (At least one information source incorrectly states that they follow a frutarian diet -- the practice of only eating that which will not kill the plant or animal from which it is taken. e.g. milk, fruit, nuts.) They are not permitted to eat root vegetables because of the many living creatures that they contain. Also, to uproot a root vegetable kills it.
They often read their sacred texts daily.
Jains are recommended to pass through four stages during their lifetime:
Brahmacharya-ashrama: the life of a student
Gruhasth-ashrama: family life
Vanaprasth-ashrama: family and social services
Sanyast-ashrama: life as a monk; a period of renunciation
Divisions among Jains"
There are two groups of Jains:
The Digambaras (literally "sky clad" or naked): Their monks carry asceticism to the point of rejecting even clothing (even when they appear in public).
The Shvetambaras (literally "white clad"): their monks wear simple white robes. The laity are permitted to wear clothes of any color. "
A quote..generally it seems true.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.