Jainism is primarily an Indian religion and it is doubtful whether it crossed the frontiers of India. The Jain religion is contemporary to Buddhism and bears much resemblance to it. It was founded around 500 B.C. by Mahavira, the 24th and last of the Jain prophets called as Tirthankars or "finders of the path". Mahavira cannot be called the founder of Jainism rather its reformer. The first Jain prophet was Rsabha who is mentioned in the Vedas and hence Jainism can be considered to be of great antiquity. The Jains number a few millions in India and are predominantly found in the west and southwest.
They believe that the Universe is infinite. In Jainism, God as such does not exist. A liberated soul, that of a prophet is God. A voluntary death by penance is considered highly esteem. They also believe in reincarnation and eventual spiritual salvation or Moksha. One factor in the search for salvation is Ahimsa or reverence for all life and the avoidance of injury to all livi