The term Jain is derived from the Sanskrit jina, "conqueror," and implies conquest over this bondage imposed by the phenomenal world.
Jainism strives for the realization of the highest perfection of man, which in its original purity is free from all pain and the bondage of birth and death.
Jainism does not consider it necessary to recognize a God or any being higher than the perfect man. Souls are beginningless and endless, eternally individual. It classes souls into three broad categories: those that are not yet evolved; those in the process of evolution and those that are liberated, free from rebirth.
Jainism has strong monastic-ascetic leanings, even for householders. Its supreme ideal is ahimsa, non-injury, equal-kindness and reverence for all life. The Jain Agamas teach great reverence for all forms of life, strict codes of vegetarianism, asceticism, nonviolence even in self-defense, and opposition to war. Jainism is, above all, a religion of love and compassion.