Jainism: One of the religions of India, distinguished from Hinduism by its refusal to accept the Brahmanic Vedas as authoritative. Jainism grew out of the teachings of Mahavira, a fifth-century B.C. contemporary of Gautama (the Buddha). It is distinguished by its emphasis on asceticism and commitment to the principle of harmlessness.1
1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 63.