Jainism originated in India, though the exact time of its origins is not known. Mahavira (ca. 540 BC) considered the 24th Tirthankara meaning the “learned,” is believed to be a contemporary of Buddha. However, according to Jain myths, Mahavira is said to have revived an ancient practice, and is not considered the founder of Jainism. Mahavira, like Buddha, was born as a Prince in northeast India, and gave up worldly life to become an ascetic. The core principle of the Jain faith is Ahimsa, meaning ‘Non-Violence,’ and Jain monks and nuns adhere to a strict rule of conduct, from what foods they consume to sweeping their path so as to not harm any insects while walking. Jainism also stresses the importance of respecting the environment, including trees, plants, and other living creatures. Jainism is a good example of how a religion can be founded on the value of Non-Violence as its core philosophy, thus it cannot be judged by the same standards as other religions. Being in the same milieu of Hindu cultural and religious worldviews, Jainism also believes in the cycle of birth and rebirth and to escape this you have to give up materialism and practice nonviolence.
“….., we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: ‘Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being’ ”. (Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation)
Here’s a video of Sam Harris on Jainism, no one says it better than him that not all religions are alike.