Jainism is a religion and a way of life. For thousands of years, Jains have been practicing vegetarianism, meditation, yoga, and environmentalism. Jains believe in the soul in each living being from one sense to five senses, which is eternal and divine. What is Jainism?
Jainism - Basic Beliefs Jainism - Basic Beliefs God, Universe and LifeGod, Universe and Life God is not a Creator, Preserver or Destroyer of the universeGod is not a Creator, Preserver or Destroyer of the universe Life Suffering:Life Suffering: –Ignorance is the root cause of all suffering –Karma attaches to the soul due to soul's ignorance Ultimate Goal of LifeUltimate Goal of Life –Removal of soul's ignorance, hence be free from all karma
Features of Jainism Every living being is eternal, individual, and has a potential to become liberated or GodEvery living being is eternal, individual, and has a potential to become liberated or God The principles governing the successions of life cycles (Birth, Life, and Death) is KarmaThe 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 bind us with KarmaOur ignorance or intention behind our actions of body, mind, and speech bind us with Karma Path of liberation is to follow Righteous Perception, Righteous Knowledge, and Righteous ConductPath of liberation is to follow Righteous Perception, Righteous Knowledge, and Righteous Conduct
Jain Religion Features Desire is the root cause of all sufferingDesire is the root cause of all suffering Conquer your desire by your own effort in order to attain liberation.Conquer your desire by your own effort in order to attain liberation. Self purification, penance, austerity, and meditation are essential for Righteous Conduct.Self purification, penance, austerity, and meditation are essential for Righteous Conduct. Nonviolence is the highest principle to be followed in thought, speech, and action.Nonviolence is the highest principle to be followed in thought, speech, and action. One must cease injuring sentient creatures, large and small.One must cease injuring sentient creatures, large and small.
What is Jainism? –Jains are followers of JINA, the conqueror of inner enemies. –Inner enemies Anger (Krodh) Greed (lobh) Ego (mäna) Deceit (mäyä)
What is Jain Activity? Any activity of body, speech or mind that help us: 1. Eliminate anger, ego, deceit, greed within ourselves 2. Develop a vision to look for only good in others and completely ignore bad in others ~Acharya Haribhadrasuriji (700-770AD) in ‘Darshanshastra ’
Unique Teachings of Jainism Every living being has the potential to become God Path of liberation is to follow righteous perception, righteous knowledge and righteous conduct Conquer your desires through your own effort to attain liberation
Unique Teachings of Jainism Ahimsa (Universal love) strengthens the autonomy of life everywhere Anekäntväd (Non-absolutism) strengthens autonomy of thoughts & speech, and non-possessiveness Aparigraha (Non-attachment) strengthens autonomy of interdependence The above three realistic principles, which strengthen our belief that every living being has a right to self- existence.
These principles translate into three practices: –One should not kill –One should not trample others’ thoughts –One should not trample nature
Ahimsa (Non violence) Ahimsa is disciplined behavior towards every living being - Dashvaikalika Sutra (6/9) Absence of violence of any sort towards all beings at all times is Ahimsa. - Yogasutra In its absolute definition, ‘Ahimsa is the absence of evil thoughts, feelings or attitude’
Ahimsa (Non violence) Ahimsa is practiced at the physical level as well as mental level. In other words, it is stated that there should be no Himsa by mind, speech, and body. Even hurting someone’s feelings is himsä (violence).
Compassionate Living Ahimsä (non-violence): Not to cause pain to any living beings in words, in thoughts, and in actions. We do not have right to harm, abuse or exploit animals, birds, fish etc. It is a compassionate living in harmony with nature. Vegetarianism – To live a life with minimum violence and avoid animal by-products.
Jain Karma Theory Law of Cause and Effect Law of Action and Reaction What one sows, one reaps Our intention behind our actions of mind, speech, and body binds us with karma
Empowering Theory While the Law of Karma dictates what we are experiencing now to be the result of our own past action, 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!
A profound truth for 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 Mahavir (599-527 BC)
The ancient Jain scriptural aphorism Parasparopgraho Jivänäm –Tattvärtha Sutra (2000 year old Scripture) All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence 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
Environment Possesses Life Jainism believes that all Five basic Elements of the Universe which makes our environment possess life –Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Vegetation It also believes that every living being possesses one to five senses –Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Hearing Vegetation, Earth, Air, Water etc. possess one sense (touch) while Animals and Humans possess all five senses. Also human beings alone are blessed with the sixth sense of advanced developed thinking. Therefore, –Humanity is responsible for achieving oneness and harmony with all life by being careful, compassionate, loving and nonviolent.
Impact on Environment To produce 1 lb. of meat, an average of 40 lb of vegetation is used. (This calculation takes in to consideration, the land clearing, as well as food for the live- stock till slaughter - food cattle are generally slaughtered prior to 2-years-old, dairy cattle may live 4 years before being turned into burgers). To produce 1 lb. of meat, an average of 2500 gallons of water is used. (1 lb. of wheat requires 108 gallons of water, 1 lb. of rice needs 229 gallons of water, 1 lb. of potatoes require just 60 gallons of water). *Source: USDA 2001.
Impact on Environment Waste released in the environment by US meat and dairy industry: 230,000 pounds per second, polluting our land, air and water systems. *Source: USDA 2001.
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 far as possible. –Reuse / Recycle Products - Not to waste the gifts of nature –Share resources –Nature provides enough for our NEED, but not enough for our GREED
What does Jainism teach about ecology? Not possible to survive with absolute non-violence. Hence the destruction of one or the other form of life is essential for our survival. Destruction of higher sensed living beings is a more cruel act because of higher development of their senses, which inflicts more pain on them. It also has a greater impact on environment Hence Jainism advocates vegetarianism against raising animals for food.
We kill other lives because of our greed and possessiveness. This is the primary cause of all violence as well as imbalance in the environment.