Proposal: Hinduism

Is Jainism and Nastik (Atheist) Hindu philosophy such as Cārvāka also in the scope of this proposal?

6 Answers 6


Both Jainism and Cārvāka are part of Hinduism. When I say this, you need a proper definition of Hinduism.

From Wikipedia:

Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent.

In the Indian constitution, the term Hindu includes Buddhism, Jainism & Sikhism.

P.M. Bakshi: The Constitution of India, p.41:

Article 25 (2)(b) of the Constitution stipulates that the reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jain or Buddhist religion

Thus, all faiths & philosophies which originated in the Indian subcontinent is Hindu.


Even if by definition Jainism can be considered as a sub culture of Hinduism having its origin in India, its tenants and philosophy differ greatly from mainstream Hinduism. When we say Hindu religion we actually mean Vedic religion. So by Hinduism we actually refer to a culture and social order which is based on the teachings and revelations of the Vedas. But Jainism is not based on the Vedas and it has its own sacred texts (Agamas). It has its own separate philosophy and prescribed way for life which vary fairly from Vedic system. It doesn't even accept the existence of a God. So if it is included then we will only be welcoming arguments and disputes like our old Acharyas (scholars) used to have in the past; and I believe it is neither our purpose nor our intention to do so. So Jainism having its own set of doctrines and philosophies should have its separate proposal like Buddhism. It is not a good idea to include Jainism here just to express how huge or great Hinduism is that it encompasses other religions like Jainism. Let's stick to the Vedic schools of thought only for clarity and purpose.

Now regarding Charvak school of thought we can include it. Why? Because it is not a separate doctrine itself having its own set of philosophies and ways for life. It simply rejects the authority of the Vedas and do not have its own existing texts or scriptures. Only 10 to 11 arguments of it are present which criticize the Vedic karmakanda system. These arguments have already been refuted in the past by our Acharyas. I would love to list them here, but I'll save the fun for later. Although there are materialists today who don't believe God, there are hardly any scholars or followers of this particular school of thought. So we won't get much questions or arguments about the Charvak philosophy.

So I would suggest making Jainism another standalone site like Buddism instead of including it here and accepting questions from Charvak philosophy.


Even from the ancient period, Jainism has been considered as a separate religion and is still so. So probably, it will not be in the scope of this site. I have no idea about Cārvāka.

  • carvaka is an atheist (Nastik) school within hinduism. Jainism is a separate religion. But there are too much things common among them eg. Story of Ram in padampuran, festivals such as holi, diwali.
    – Mohit
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 19:48
  • 4
    Jainism being a separate religion it should be discussed separately. But 'Charvaka' is a materialistic concept in Hinduism which do not believe certain aspects of it. Brihaspati's Sarvasiddhanta Samgraha work is notable. Hence Carvaka should find a place here for discussion.
    – Pradeep S
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 7:03

We should not consider Jainism as a part of Hinduism, it started from the same, but whatever book you open, you will find some or other thing in it related to Hinduism, that's why Hinduism is knwon as 'Mother of all Cultures'. The Karvaka can be the part.


Hinduism or Indic religion as is better known is a conglomeration of various philosophies and ideas. It cannot be bound by a single book or a single God. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism all have been in the past and present defined very loosely and have shared same boundary. As far as Cārvāka is concerned, it forms an integral part of Hinduism because of the flexible nature of it.

Hence, Jainism and Cārvāka should be included in this topic. At least if not Jainism, Cārvāka must definitely be included.

  • Hinduism is definitely NOT what you describe. Its very strongly based on Vedas and has been in existence for millenia and also account for existence of universe since billions of years which IMHO no other religion accounts for. So how come it can be termed collection of ideas.There's more to it but this should suffice for now
    – Vedic
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 13:10
  • @vedic, need not be, Hindusim has alternate and multiple interpretation to vedas. Even some people reject the authority of veda(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism_in_Hinduism). Commented May 31, 2014 at 13:18
  • wikipedia is poor source of information for religious related matters. An eg will explain better. Those who went to astrologer but got prediction wrong will say astrology doesnot make sense even though that astrologer may be fake but astrology is a science above all human flaws and if done scientifically always yields result. (BTW you may not believe in astrology, but still this example is valid).
    – Vedic
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 9:15

While I think Jainism is different than Hindu Religion. But Still I think we need to make this proposal scope to Hindu Culture not Hindu Religion. So all Hinduism inspired/originated religion-subcultures like Jainism can be part of this proposal.

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