This page will explain about Jainism and its core.
Jainism ( /ˈdʒeɪnɪzəm/; Sanskrit: जैनधर्म Jainadharma, Tamil: சமணம் Samaṇam, Bengali: জৈনধর্ম Jainadharma, Telugu: జైనమతం Jainamataṁ, Malayalam: ജൈനമതം Jainmat, Kannada: ಜೈನ ಧರ್ಮ Jaina dharma), is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul toward divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina ("conqueror" or "victor"). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha. Ancient texts also refer to Jainism as shramana dharma (self-reliant) or the "path of the nirganthas" (those without attachments or aversions).
Swastika was stolen and or copycat by the Nazis.
The symbol has a long history in Europe reaching back to antiquity. In modern times, following a brief surge of popularity in Western culture, a swastika was adopted as a symbol of the Nazi Party of Germany in 1920. The Nazis used the swastika as a symbol of the Aryan race. After Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, a right-facing and rotated swastika was incorporated into the Nazi party flag, which was made the state flag of Germany during Nazism. Hence, the swastika has become strongly associated with Nazism and related ideologies such as fascism and white supremacism in the Western world and is now largely stigmatized there. Notably, it has been outlawed in Germany and other countries if used as a symbol of Nazism. Many modern political extremists and Neo-Nazi groups such as the Russian National Unity use stylized swastikas or similar symbols.
Hitler was Christian and so was trying to incorporate Buddhist Teachings in with his own Christian beliefs, but it was incompatible, but he figured why not create an aryan race and later they'll develop the Supersoldier. He adopted the Swastika as his symbol for what he believed was the Aryan race. Hitler was a Catholic but Catholicism is a CHRISTIAN religion. I wont get much into that because this talks about Jainism not Nazis and Christianity.
|Jainism encourages spiritual development through cultivation of one's own personal wisdom and reliance on self control through vows (Sanskrit: व्रत, vrat7] The triple gems of Jainism—right vision or view (Samyak Darshana), right knowledge (Samyak Gyana), and right conduct (Samyak Charitra)—provide the path for attaining liberation from the cycles of birth and death. When the soul sheds its karmic bonds completely, it attains divine consciousness. Those who have attained moksha are called siddhas, while those attached to the world through their karma are called samsarin. Every soul has to follow the path, as explained by the Jinas and revived by the tirthankaras, to attain complete liberation or nirvana.
Jains do not believe in a creator deity that could be responsible for the manifestation, creation, or maintenance of this universe. The universe is self regulated by the laws of nature. Jains believe that life exists in various forms in different parts of the universe including earth. Jainism has extensive classification of various living organisms including micro-organisms that live in mud, air and water. All living organisms have soul and therefore need to be interacted with, without causing much harm.
Jains believe that to attain enlightenment and ultimately liberation from all karmic bonding, one must practice the following ethical principles not only in thought, but also in words (speech) and action. Such a practice through lifelong work towards oneself is called as observing the Mahavrata ("Great Vows"). These vows are:
To cause "no harm" to living beings (on the lines of "live" and "let live"). The vow involves "minimizing" intentional as well as unintentional harm to another living creature. There should even be no room for any thought conjuring injury to others, let alone talking about it or performing of such an act. Besides, it also includes respecting the views of others (non-absolutism and acceptance of multiple views).
To always speak of truth such that no harm is caused to others. A person who speaks truth becomes trustworthy like a mother, venerable like a preceptor and dear to everyone like a kinsman. Given that non-violence has priority, all other principles yield to it whenever there is a conflict. For example, in a situation where speaking truth would lead to violence, it would be perfectly moral to remain silent (for you are neither being untrue, nor causing violence by way of truth)
Not to take into possession, anything that is not willingly offered. It is the strict adherence to one's own possessions without desiring for the ones that belong to others. One should remain satisfied by whatever is earned through honest labour. Any attempt to squeeze material wealth from others and/or exploit the weak is considered theft. Some of the guidelines for this principle follow as under:
Always give people fair value for their labor or product.
Not to take into possession materials that are not earned or offered by others.
Not to take materials into personal possession that have been dropped off or forgotten by others.
Not to purchase materials as a result of being cheaper in value, if the resultant price reduction is a result of improper method of preparation. For instance, products made out of raw materials obtained by way of pyramid schemes, illegal businesses, stolen goods, etc., should be strictly prohibited
To exercise control over senses (including mind) from indulgence. The basic intent of this vow is to conquer passion, thus preventing wastage of energy in the direction of pleasurable desires. During observance of this vow, the householder must not have a sensual relationship with anybody other than one's own spouse. Jain monks and nuns practice complete abstinence from any sexual activity.
Aparigraha (Non-possession, Non-materialism)
To observe detachment from people, places and material things. Ownership of an object itself is not possessiveness; however, attachment to the owned object is possessiveness. For householders, non-possession is owning without attachment, because the notion of possession is illusory. The basic principle behind observance of this vow lies in the fact that life changes. What you own today may not be rightfully yours tomorrow. Hence the householder is encouraged to discharge his or her duties to related people and objects as a trustee, without excessive attachment or aversion. For monks and nuns, non-possession involves complete renunciation of property and human relations.
Jains hold that the universe and its natural laws are eternal, and have always existed in time, however, the world constantly undergoes cyclical changes as per governing universal laws. The universe is occupied by both living beings (jīva) and non-living objects (Ajīva). The samsarin soul incarnates in various life forms during its journey over time. Human, sub-human (category catering to inclusion of animals, birds, insects and other forms of living creatures), super-human (heavenly beings) and hellish-beings are the four forms of samsarin soul incarnations. A living being's thoughts, expressions and actions, executed with intent of attachment and aversion, give rise to the accumulation of karma. These influxes of karma in turn contribute to determination of circumstances that would hold up in our future in the form of rewards or punishment. Jain scholars have explained in-depth methods and techniques that are said to result in clearance of past accumulated karmas as well as stopping the inflow of fresh karmas. This is the path to salvation in Jainism.
A major characteristic of Jain belief is the emphasis on the consequences of not only physical but also mental behaviours. One's unconquered mind tainted with anger, pride (ego), deceit, and greed joined with uncontrolled sense organs are powerful enemies of humans. Anger comes in the way of good human relations, pride destroys humility, deceit destroys peace, and greed destroys good judgement. Jainism recommends conquering anger by forgiveness, pride (ego) by humility, deceit by straight-forwardness, and greed by contentment.
The principle of non-violence seeks to minimize karmas that limit the capabilities of one's own soul. Jainism views every soul as worthy of respect because it has the potential to become siddha (paramatma "highest soul"). Because all living beings possess a soul, great care and awareness is essential in one's actions. Jainism emphasizes the equality of all life, advocating harmlessness towards all, whether great or small. This policy extends even to microscopic organisms.
Jainism acknowledges that every person has different capabilities and capacities to practice and therefore accepts different levels of compliance for ascetics and householders. The Great Vows are prescribed for Jain monastics while limited vows (anuvrata) are prescribed for householders. Householders are encouraged to practice five cardinal principles of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possessiveness with their current practical limitations, while monks and nuns have to observe them very strictly. With consistent practice, it is possible to overcome the limitations gradually, accelerating spiritual progress.
Jainism and animal rights
Of all the spiritual traditions there is none which focus on non human animals to the extent of Jainism. Encompassing within its scope of non violence and universal compassion even the tiniest microscopic creature.
to practice Ahimsa as a rule of life. Ahimsa is central to Jain belief, the practice of which has been a great influence in more recent times for peacemakers such as Gandhi. Ahimsa, a sanskirt term, means to do no harm, literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa. Ahimsa is an important tenet of the ancient religions that originated in India namely Buddhism, Hinduism but most notably Jainism. Ahimsa is a rule of conduct prohibiting the killing or injuring any living being. It is associated with the belief that all kinds of violence result in negative karma. Jain doctrine teaches that the universe is filled with an abundance of life and that each being without exception is of importance and that any injury, even accidental, caused to any creature effects the order of the entire world. Jains should be non-violent toward all other living beings, including their own selves, this not only by deed but also in thought and word. Jains take painstaking effort to preserve the life and wellbeing of all creatures.
The Ancient teachings of Jainism concerning our relationship with animals continues today.
Read more in depth information on this website about Jain ideology concerning the treatment of animals:
Vegetarianism and veganism
Jains practice strict vegetarianism. The practice of vegetarianism is instrumental for the practice of non-violence and peaceful co-operative co-existence. Basic non-violence principles can be performed depending on one's capability and specific situation in terms of meeting one's life's demands and expectations. Jainism acknowledges that it is impossible to discharge one's duties without some degree of himsa/violence, but encourages to minimise as much as possible. Jains are strictly forbidden to use any leather or silk products since they are derived by killing of animals. Jains are prohibited from consuming root vegetables such as potatoes, garlic, onions, carrots, radishes, cassava, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc., as the plant needed to be killed in the process of accessing these prior to their end of life cycle. In addition, the root vegetables interact with soil and therefore contain far more micro-organisms than other vegetables. Also, the root vegetables themselves are composed of infinite smaller organisms, hence, consuming these vegetables would mean killing all those organisms as well. However, they consume rhizomes such as dried turmeric and dried ginger. Eggplants, pumpkins, etc. are also not consumed by some Jains owing to the large number of seeds in the vegetable, as a seed is a form of life. However, tomatoes are consumed normally as its seeds are difficult to be killed (even at high temperatures/pressures). Mushrooms, fungus and yeasts are forbidden because they are parasites, grow in non-hygienic environments and may harbor other life forms. Jains are also not supposed to consume food left overnight because of contamination by microbes. Most Jain recipes substitute potato with plantain.
Apart from all these, Jains also follow strict diets on "teethees" - eleven days (six days in Shukla Paksha - New Moon Fortnight and five days in Krishna Paksha - Full Moon Fortnight). They do not eat greens on these days, also termed as not to touch / use any sharp cutting object in the kitchen. These days and are enlisted below: 1. All Bij - Second day of both the fortnights for aaradhna of "Samyag Darshan" 2. Pacham - Fifth day of Shukla Paksha & Agyiras - Eleventh day of both the fortnights for aaradhna of 14 Purva Gyan 3. Aatham - Eight day of both the fortnights, Chaudas - Fourteenth day of both the fortnights, Punam - Full Moon Day & Amavas - New Moon Day for aaradhna of Charitra. The reason for stricter dietary observance on these eleven days is that the probability of the finalisation of the next birth is much more on these days compared to the other days.
Compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to Jainism. Human life is valued as a unique, rare opportunity to reach enlightenment; to kill any person, no matter what crime he may have committed, is considered unimaginably abhorrent. It is a religion that requires monks and laity, from all its sects and traditions, to be vegetarian. Some Indian regions, such as Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka, have been strongly influenced by Jains and often the majority of the local Hindus of every denomination have also become vegetarian.
Jainism is beyond biocentrism
Jainism's stance on non-violence goes far beyond vegetarianism. Jains refuse food obtained with unnecessary cruelty. Many practice a lifestyle similar to veganism, due to the violence of modern dairy farms, and others exclude root vegetables from their diets to preserve the lives of these plants. Potatoes, garlic and onions in particular are avoided by Jains. Traditionally-oriented Jains do not eat, drink, or travel after sunset, and prefer to drink water that is boiled and then cooled to room temperature. Many Jains abstain from eating root vegetables as the plant, which is a living organism, is usually uprooted during the harvest. The purpose of these practices is to minimise the harm that may otherwise be caused to living organisms inadvertently.
Buddhism in Sri Lanka is very similar to Jainism
Animal Friendly Cultural Heritage and Royal Decreesin the Legal History of Sri Lanka
by Senaka Weeraratna
Contemporary Sri Lanka is the heir to a rich and unique pre-colonial history in respect to Animal Welfare. Historical rock inscriptions and ancient chronicles e.g. Mahawamsa, reveal that extensive state protection was granted to animals and the slaughter of cows was strictly prohibited.
These historical sources further reveal that the ethic of Ahimsa (non-violence towards other sentient beings) a cardinal tenet in Buddhism and Hinduism, was a paradigm of public administration and justice in pre-colonial Sri Lanka.
The trusteeship power of the State was extended to protect animals, birds and other living creatures of the land pursuant to a moving plea made by Arahant Mahinda to King Devanampiyatissa in their very first encounter at Mihintale about 2300 years ago, in the following words:
"Oh! Great King, the birds of the air and the beasts have an equal right to live and move about in any part of this land as thou. The land belongs to the peoples and all other beings and thou art only the guardian of it."
Jainism just like Buddhism etc are Atheistics
|Jains do not believe in any deity or deities.
Atheism is accepted within some religious and spiritual belief systems, including Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Neopagan movements such as Wicca, and nontheistic religions. Jainism and some forms of Buddhism do not advocate belief in gods, whereas Hinduism holds atheism to be valid, but some schools view the path of an atheist to be difficult to follow in matters of spirituality.
Is There a Hindu Atheism? Examples of Atheism in Hinduism:The Sanskrit word nirisvaravada translates at atheism and means disbelief in a creator god. It does not require disbelief in anything else that might be a "god," but for many anything less than a creator isn't a genuine god in the first place. Both the Samkhya and the Mimamsa schools of Hindu philosophy reject the existence of a creator god, making them explicitly atheistic from a Hindu perspective. This doesn't make them naturalistic, but it does make them as atheistic as any belief system, philosophy, or religion from the perspective of religious theists in the West.
Is There a Buddhist Atheism? Examples of Atheism in Buddhism:Buddhism is widely regarded as an atheistic religion. Buddhist scriptures either do not promote or actively reject the existence of a creator god, the existence of "lesser" gods who are the source of morality, and that humans owe any duties to any gods. At the same time, though, these scriptures accept the existence of supernatural beings which might be described as gods. Some Buddhists today believe in the existence of such beings and are theists. Others dismiss these beings and are atheists. Since there is nothing about Buddhism which requires belief in gods, atheism in Buddhism is easy to maintain.
Is There a Jain Atheism? Examples of Atheism in Jain Religion:For Jains, every soul or spiritual being is worthy of the exact same praise. Because of this, Jains do not worship any "higher" spiritual beings like gods nor do they worship or pay homage to any idols. Jains believe that the universe has always existed and will always exist, so there is no need for any sort of creator god. None of this means that no spiritual beings exist which might be called "gods," however, and thus a Jain might believe in beings which might be considered gods and therefore technically be a theist. From a Western religious perspective, though, they'd all be atheists.
Is There a Confucian or Taoist Atheism? Atheism in Confucian & Taoist Religion:On a functional level, at least, both Confucianism and Taoism can be considered atheistic. Neither is founded on faith in a creator god like Christianity and Islam are. Neither promote the existence of such a god, either. Confucian texts describe a "Heaven" which is a transcendent , personal power of some sort. Whether this qualifies as a personal deity or not is a subject of debate, but it seems at least possible for a person to follow Confucian teachings and be an atheist. Basically the same issue exists for Taoism: belief in some deity may be included, but may not be absolutely required.
God in Jainism
Jainism rejects the idea of any creator, mentor or destroyer God. If godliness is defined as the state of having freed one's soul from karmas and the attainment of enlightenment and a God as one who exists in such a state, then those who have achieved such a state can be termed gods. Thus, Mahavira was God but he was not the only God, there were many other Gods too. However, the quality of godliness is one and the same in all of them. Thus, Jainism can be defined as polytheist, monotheist, nontheist and atheist varyingly, depending on one's definition of God.
Godliness can be defined as the inherent quality of any soul characterizing infinite bliss, infinite power, infinite knowledge and infinite peace. However, these qualities of a soul are subdued due to Karmas of the soul. One who achieves this state of soul through right belief, right knowledge and right conduct can be termed as God. This perfection of soul is called Kaivalya or Bodhi. A God thus becomes a liberated soul- liberated of miseries, cycles of rebirth, world, Karmas and finally liberated of body as well. This is called Nirvana or Moksha.
Gods can be thus categorized into embodied gods also known as Tīrthankaras and Arihantas or ordinary Kevalin, and non-embodied formless gods who are called Siddhas. Jainism considers the Devīs and Devas to be demi-goddesses and demi-gods who dwell in heavens owing to meritorious deeds in their past lives. These souls are in heavens for a fixed lifespan and even they have to undergo reincarnation as humans to achieve liberation.
Jainism and non-creationism
Jainism does not support belief in a creator deity. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents - soul, matter, space, time, and principles of motion have always existed (a static universe similar to that of Epicureanism and steady state cosmological model). All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws. It is not possible to create matter out of nothing and hence the sum total of matter in the universe remains the same (similar to law of conservation of mass). Similarly, the soul of each living being is unique and uncreated and has existed since beginningless time.
The Jain theory of causation holds that a cause and its effect are always identical in nature and hence a conscious and immaterial entity like God cannot create a material entity like the universe. Furthermore, according to the Jain concept of divinity, any soul who destroys its karmas and desires, achieves liberation. A soul who destroys all its passions and desires has no desire to interfere in the working of the universe. Moral rewards and sufferings are not the work of a divine being, but a result of an innate moral order in the cosmos; a self-regulating mechanism whereby the individual reaps the fruits of his own actions through the workings of the karmas.
Through the ages, Jain philosophers have adamantly rejected and opposed the concept of creator and omnipotent God and this has resulted in Jainism being labeled as nastika darsana or atheist philosophy by the rival religious philosophies. The theme of non-creationism and absence of omnipotent God and divine grace runs strongly in all the philosophical dimensions of Jainism, including its cosmology, karma, moksa and its moral code of conduct. Jainism asserts a religious and virtuous life is possible without the idea of a creator god.
Jain opposition to Creationism
Jain scriptures reject God as the creator of universe. 12th century Acarya Hemacandra puts forth the Jain view of universe in Yogasastra as thus –
Besides scriptural authority, Jains also resorted to syllogism and deductive reasoning to refute the creationist theories. Various views on divinity and universe held by the vedics , samkhyas , mimimsas, Buddhists and other school of thoughts were analysed, debated and repudiated by the various Jain Acaryas. However the most eloquent refutation of this view is provided by Acarya Jinasena in Mahapurana as thus –
My Views on Jainism
|My views on Jains / Jainism.|
|I'm not a Jain myself but I very deeply respect that religion because it respect ALL life, it has a very ecocentric stance which means respecting all animals, bugs and even plants. Since their beginning they were deeply concerned about the wellbeing of animals and the environment.. I'd say Jainism is one of the best religion there is out there. Well Buddhism and few others goes on the "best" list. Any belief system that respect animals and the environment and doesn't treat them like trash are considered a good belief.|