Jain doctrine teaches that Jainism has always existed and will always exist, although historians date the foundation of the organized or present form of Jainism to sometime between the 9th and the 6th century BCE. It has been guessed that, like several traditions in Hinduism, Jainism may have had its roots in the Indus Valley Civilization, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India.Other scholars suggested the shramana traditions were separate and contemporaneous with Indo-Aryan religious practices of the historical Vedic religion. However most Jains think of it as an eternal religion - rightfully so.
The religion is divided into two major sects: Digambara and Svetambara
Although they are similar and believe in the same doctorine (sort of like Christian denominations), there are some slight differences like:
Digambaras stress the practice of nudity as an absolute pre-requisite to the mendicant's path and to the attainment of salvation. But the Svetambaras assert that the practice of complete nudity is not essential to attain liberation.
Digambaras believe that a woman lacks the adamantine body and rigid will necessary to attain moksa, i.e., liberation: hence she must be reborn as a man before such an attainment is possible. But the Svetambaras hold the contrary view and maintain that women are capable in the present life time, of the same spiritual accomplishments as men.
According to the Digambaras, once a saint becomes a kevali or Kevala-jnani, that is, omniscient, he needs no morsel of food. But this view is not acceptable to the Svetambaras.
The Svetambara monks wear white clothes. but the Digambara monks of the ideal nirgrantha type are naked.
The Svetambara monks collect their food from different houses while the Digambara monks take food standing and with the help of knotted upturned palms and in one house only where their sankalpa (preconceived idea) is fulfilled.