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Jainism - History According to Jain scriptures Jainism has existed in principle from eternity Historical and archeological evidences account Jainism at least 7000 year old Propounded by 24th Tirthankar Mahävir Swämi (599 BC- 527 BC) Root word is Jina – means the one who has conquered inner enemies, which are anger, ego, deceit and greed
Jainism – Basic Tenets There is no creator, sustainer or the destroyer of the universe. There is NO super power There is no beginning or an end of the universe Universe runs on auto pilot on five things: Time, Inherent nature, Destiny, Karma and Self-effort There is a life after death and it is dependent upon your Karma Every action of mind, speech or body results in bondage of Karma to the soul
Jainism – Basic Tenets Soul is bound with Karma from eternity Until a soul is free of Karma bondage, there will be no liberation or Moksha One must suffer or enjoy the consequences of bound Karma OR must get rid of that Karma by austerity, penance or other desirable things Therefore, our efforts should be directed towards not getting new Karma and to get rid of already bound Karma
Jainism – Basic Tenets Root cause of all misery is, DESIRE Curtailing and ultimately getting rid of all desires results in attaining the ultimate, Moksha
Jainism – Five Principles Non-violence Truth Non-stealing Celibacy Non-possessiveness Monks and nuns follow these five principles to the fullest possible, while lay people follow these principles with several well-defined exceptions
Jainism – Path to LiberationJainism prescribes a simple path to Liberation. Right Faith Right Knowledge Right Conduct
Jainism – Path to LiberationWhat is right faith? There is a soul The soul is eternal. It cannot be created de- novo, nor can be destroyed There is Karma Soul is bound with Karma from eternity There is Moksha One can attain Moksha
Jainism – Path to LiberationWhat is right knowledge? Desire is the root cause of all sufferings Behind every perceived happiness there is unhappiness (absence of happiness is unhappiness) Jina‟s teaching is the true knowledge which guides us to the path to liberation Only way to achieve everlasting peace is to free the soul from the bondage of Karma
Jainism – Path to LiberationWhat is right conduct? Non-violence : Not to cause harm to any living being in thoughts, by speech or by bodily actions. Every living being, no matter how small, has a soul (Jainism has always believed that five fundamental elements (fire, air, water, earth and vegetation) are living beings. No higher evolved living beings should be hurt and harm to five fundamental elements should be minimized to bare minimum. (What a eco friendly religion !!!!)
Jainism – Path to LiberationWhat is right conduct? Non-possessiveness: Possessiveness is due to desire. Desire to have any tangible or intangible thing is possessiveness. Failure to gain what is desired is the root cause of unhappiness and misery. Elimination of desire is the ultimate step in attaining liberation
Jainism – Path to Liberation What is right conduct? Theory of Multi-view points: There could always be an element of truth in any statement, depending upon how one looks at it. This helps create mutual respect, expand our knowledge and helps us understand other side of the coin. Every living being, no matter how small, loves its existence and fears death. Respecting their view is the ultimate application of this theory among many others. However, the whole truth and absolute truth is known only by Jina, the one who has attained omniscience and taught us the truth learned by Him.
Jainism – Who is God? We call Tirthankar as our „GOD‟ Tirthankar is the one, who has attained Moksha and taught us the path to liberation Tirthankar was born as an ordinary human being just like any one of us. Mahävir Swämi (599 BC– 527 BC) is our last Tirthankar Upon attaining liberation, Tirthankar now exists as a pure soul who does not have any desire, love or hatred and THEREFORE, He cannot help us or hurt us.
What does Jainism Teach about Ecology? Non-Possessiveness / Self-restraint is the second most important Jain principle. Minimizing consumption provides respect for others‟ life and environment. Reduce needs and wants as much as possible. Reuse / Recycle Products – Do not waste gifts of nature Share resources. Nature provides enough for our NEED, but not enough for our GREED.
The Ancient Jain Scriptural Aphorism Parasparopagraho Jivänäm “All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence “ ----Tattvärtha Sutra (2000 year old Scripture) Environment is imbued in every living beings If we harm “ONE” we harm “ALL” living beings Refreshingly contemporary in its premise and in its promise. Forms the basis of the modern day science of ecology
Jainism - Summary Every living being is an individual ahs a soul and, has a potential to become liberated or God At liberation the soul remains in Moksha forever, and never loses its identity The principles governing the successions of life cycles (Birth, Life, and Death) is Karma Our ignorance or intention behind our actions of body, mind, and speech is the cause of Karma bondage to the soul Path of liberation is to follow Right perception, Right knowledge, and Right conduct
Jainism - Summary Desire is the root cause of all suffering Conquer your desire by your own effort in order to attain liberation. Self purification, penance, austerity, and meditation are essential for Right conduct. Nonviolence in thought, speech, and action is the foremost principle to be followed. One must cease injuring sentient creatures, large and small.
Jainism - Summary While the Law of Karma dictates what we are experiencing now is the result of our own past action/s, the Law - by clearly defining the principle of cause and effect - also lays before us positive future direction of our own choice and making Only WE are responsible for our past, present and future and only WE can alter it. No one else can!
Unique Features Of Jainism Ideals of compassion and non-possessiveness build a strong sense of social service, mutual love and respect. No war was ever waged to convert or coerce Equality of woman in society and religion. Independence from priestly domination. The most eco friendly and peace loving religion Rests the power in your hand not in the super power by making you responsible for your own deeds
A Profound Truth of All Times“One who neglects or disregards the existence of earth, air, fire, water and vegetation, disregards his own existence which is entwined with them.” - Lord Mahävir (599 B.C. - 527 B.C.)