Jainism, one of India's great religions, like Buddhism, was a reformist movement developed in reaction to brahmanical Hindu traditions and practices such as caste division and animal sacrifice. The 24th jina, Mahavira, was an elder contemporary of the historical Buddha living between 599-527 BCE. Though often cited as the founder of the faith, Mahavira was considered as a compiler of teachings and practices that existed for eons. The central tenet of Jainism is a strict adherence to the principles of non-violence (ahimsa) with followers taking extreme care not to harm any living creature. The Jina, having obtained complete liberation, is depicted naked ('sky-clad'), standing in the yogic meditation pose kayotsarga (body-abandonment), with elongated limbs demonstrating his superhuman character, expressing well-being and emphasizing the spiritual over the physical.
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