What is Jainism?

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What is Jainism?

This ancient Indian religion traces its history and spiritual ideas through a succession of twenty-four Tirthankaras. Its founders believed that the world was one, and that a person's life should be a reflection of this philosophy. There are many different schools of thought within Jainism, so if you're curious about Jainism, you've come to the right place!

The Most Important Teachings of Jainism

The most important teachings of Jainism focus on nonviolence, and adherents follow a strict vegetarian diet to avoid causing harm to animals and plants. Several Jains refrain from eating root vegetables, such as potatoes and pumpkins, because they destroy minute creatures in the process. Other observances include abstaining from alcohol, which kills minute life-forms. Finally, men were encouraged to avoid women, since they were believed to be the root of much evil.

A Jain's Belief in Karma

A Jains' belief in karma is based on the idea that each action in this life opens up the sense channels and determines the conditions of our next reincarnation. This concept has implications for every aspect of our lives, from the way we treat our neighbors to the way we treat our children. The practice of the three jewels, or nirvana, is the foundation of the Jain religion. But what exactly is karma?

Seeking Enlightenment in Jainism

Jainism identifies twenty-four different Jinas, each representing a renunciant teacher who has achieved enlightenment and a state of bliss and enlightenment. Throughout the ages, the Jains have been seeking a way out of the endless cycle of reincarnation. One such leader is Mahavira, a man who was born into a kshatriya warrior class and who, at thirty-one years of age, became an ascetic.

The Rich History of Jainism

The Jain tradition also produced a large repertoire of heroes and heroines that has been rewritten in every poetic form and language. The Story of the Sunday's Vow, for example, was penned in a 17th-century British Library manuscript. These texts have been adapted by the Jain community to suit modern audiences and preserve the values of Jainism. You can read a more comprehensive history of Jainism on Wikipedia or on Jainism's official website.

Jainism Today

Today, most Jains live in India, where there are approximately four million followers. However, Jainism has spread to other nations as well, with the largest communities residing in the Hindu-majority nation of India. It has adherents in several countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Belgium. Its history and culture are well-documented and are the subject of countless books, articles, and TV shows.

The Core Beliefs of Jainism

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that teaches that all living things have a soul. This soul is of equal value and importance to all creatures, regardless of their species. Jainism's core beliefs focus on recognizing that everything has three aspects, each containing inherent qualities and an infinite number of forms in time. Jainism has no creation myth, and the universe goes through infinite cosmic cycles. The Jains believe that human civilization rises and falls, and that the 24 'tirthankaras' appear to help man cross the "great ford" to cosmic paradise.

The Principles of Jainism

The core principles of Jainism are nonviolence and equality. The Jains believe in the sanctity of all living things and that we should treat them with respect. Jainism also stresses the importance of self-control and nonviolence. Jain temples are the sites of elaborate rituals and worship. Most Jains visit these temples on a regular basis. In addition to worshipping the 24 'sages' of Jainism, they also believe in reincarnation.

Ahimsa - The Foundation of Jainism

The foundation of Jainism is ahimsa, which means acceptance of all positive views. This principle is best illustrated by the Jain parable about the six blind men. They touch different parts of the elephant in order to find it. After touching each part of the elephant, each man finds that it is an actual tree branch, fan, rope, and trunk. Likewise, Ahimsa stresses the importance of nonviolence and compassion toward all living beings.

Various Aspects of Jainism

There are many aspects to Jainism. The most famous is its cosmology. It divides time into Siddhakshetras. These are major pilgrimage sites, and the location of various divine events. During the holidays, people observe chants in honor of the Tirthankaras. The rituals in Jainism are unique to India. The most important festival for Jain people is Paryushana, which lasts eight to ten days. In addition, many people observe fasting during these periods.

The Life of a Jain Monk or Nun

A monk or nun who follows the principles of Jainism lives a life of itinerancy. They follow the 'five great vows' of non-possessiveness, chastity, and non-violence. They practice a vegetarian diet and do not consume meat, fish, or dairy products. The basic prayer is the Namokara mantra. There are several other basic practices of Jainism, including vegetarianism and monastic life.

June 29, 2022




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