Posted by: Submitter | February 17, 2008

Jainism

JAINISM

Founder

Jainism has origins that stretch back into antiquity as far as 3,000 BC, predating the rise of Indo-Aryan culture in the Indian subcontinent. A steady evolution of Jain religious thought continued until the late 6th century BC. It was at this time that the codifier and renewer of Jainism would arise.

In the year 599 BC, a child by the name of Vardhamana Mahavira was born into a aristocratic family in Bihar in northern India. From an early age, he desired to be an ascetic and reach the peak of enlightenment. Although marrying young, as in the case of Buddha, he could not be settled by family or bearing of children.

At the age of 30, he sought permission to leave home and went in search of salvation. So great was his detachment from the world that at one point he discarded his clothing and began to go about the streets naked, meditating and completely detached from the world. At the age of 42, he reached the state of Jina (the conquerer) and began to take disciples. He was now a god.

He worked eagerly, converting his family members as well as numerous nobles and common people. He later founded of an ‘Order of Naked Ascetics’ for those seeking enlightenment that heard his message and wanted to preserve his teachings for posterity. By the time he had died at the age of 72 in the year 527 BC, he had begun a movement that would shape much of India’s policies for years to come.

Key beliefs

1. There is no Almighty God or Lord. God or the Lord is a liberated soul (Siddha). Every jina (living soul) has the ability to reach moksha (refinement) and thus become God, be they plant or animal.

2. Whoever has conquered his soul and freed it from the attachment of the world and from the karma that is around him is referred to as a Jina. Jina are referred to by Jains as God.

3. Rigorous asceticism is the only way to attain real salvation and break the cycle of reincarnation and the karma that surrounds one.

4. Vegetarianism is an instrument for cultivating compassion for living beings. It is only permissible to eat one-sensed beings, for the most part from the plant kingdom. Those that refuse to do so have left an integral of salvation and rectification.

5. The universe (what they intend by this is all creation) is without beginning, without end and most conspicuously without creator.

6. The future of man is in his own hands.

7. Ahinsa (sometimes called Ahimsa), the doctrine of non-violence, is one of the central pillars of the Jain religion. No violence is to be shown to any living creature. The Jain nuns as well as the monks wear special brushes on the front of their clothes so as to sweep insect and other small creatures from the way to prevent themselves from stepping on them.

8. The Jain must take five vows to be on the road of salvation: Ahinsa, Satya (truthfulness), Astaya (non-stealing), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) and Brahmacharya (chastity).

Extent

There are between 2.5-3 million devotees lost in the legalism and rigorous rituals of the religion of Jainism .

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Responses

  1. If you do good, you do good for your own souls. And if you do evil, it is for them” (17:7).Holy Quran

    and that is what Jainism…….

    Nobody has right to decide which religion is true and which is not……..


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