Saturday, August 18, 2012

Principles of Jain Religion!

Jain community consists of people working in the various fields of life like education, administration, farming, police, journalism, military and other jobs in private and public sector.Mostly followers of Jain religion are considered as Business people who according to Vedic philosophy comes under the category of "Vaisya"which is basically divided into four Brahmins,Kshtriya,Vaisyaand Sudra.
But that division was done by ancient rulers and kings which is still followed in many parts of our country(specially the rural areas.).In modern society,there is no such divisions.Jainism is followed by many small endogenous groups and tribal communities as well.It is widespread amongst many tribal communities of India including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bengal etc.

The Jain philosophy gives major emphasis on the following principles which are strictly followed by their disciples.

1)There is no creator:
According to Jainism the universe is eternal and endless, it was not created.Jainism favours eternity.According to this,the real purpose of life is to attain "Moksha" or "Nirvana" state.

2)Equality: Jainism is staunch promoter of equality amongst human beings.It is against discrimination done on basis of birth,color,caste,creed,sex,nationality or any other issues.Spreading love,Harmony and Brotherhood is the prime motto of Jain followers irrespective of such discrimination.

3)Pluralism: Pluralism is basic and one of the most important features of Jainism.
According to it truth can be judged only after knowing different points of views and hence it somehow favours
the democratic form of government policy.Secularism or capitalism which compels and force people to follow their rules and regulations without uttering their words,without expressing their thoughts is strictly prohibited by Jain philosophy.

4)Non Possession: Among the list of 5 vows of monks and Laymen,
 one is non-possession. In Jainism, possession is considered as the father of all sins.According to Jain philosophy
"Life is ephemeral and transient".People should work for attaining Nirvana(It is the state of complete peace and tranquility which indeed favours Non-Possession).

5)Celibacy: Bhagwan Mahavir(The twenty fourth incarnation of God according to Jain Philosophy)added this great vow and established its distinct importance.He said that all physical and mental miseries of the world are caused by the thirst for sensual pleasures.The ardent believers of Jainism and the people
turning into monks will have to follow this and it is considered as one of their important virtues which encompasses their all other virtues like truth,determination and sacrifice.

6)Vegetarianism:Jainism's ancient advocacy of vegetarianism is receiving global attention today due to severe food shortages in certain parts of the world and to the researches of the scientific community.It is the only viable answer to world hunger.It is now a fairly well established fact that whatever is necessary or desirable for human nutrition in meats or flesh foods equally well found in and at times actually derived from vegetable products.The followers of Jainism strictly follow this principle.Most of them even don't eat food afher the dawn.It actually treated like animal behaviour and it also becomes reason of killing of many small insects and microbes which become active during night time.

7)Non-Violence:This is again one of the chief and prominent vows considered in Jain religion.Giving pain to any living or non-living thing by any verbal or non-verbal means is considered as a sin.Peace and Harmony is the ultimate weapon used by Jain followers.However it doesn't favour acceptance of cruelty by other foreign external mediums.Jainism favours violence if it comes to self-defence.(By that,I don't mean if a mosquito bites you Jainism gives rights to you to kill that mosquito.That is a sin.).

If suppose your life is at stake and the pain that becomes inevitable and only violence is the last and the most necessary option left for your self-defence then it allows its disciples to use it for their self-defence.This is applicable to the attacks on nation, society, family etc. Jainism is not for cowards.All the ford makers of this religion were warriors.Until later medieval period, Jainism was dominated by many warrior communities.

There are many others like following the path of truthfulness,non-stealing etc but in this modern society their significance is somehow diminished and disciples of Jain religion don't give much attention to these values.In the words of the well-known Acharya Samantabhadra, "Jain Religion is something which takes the living beings out of the worldly misery and establishes them in the highest bliss." 

This interconnection between religion and morality imparts to Jainism its distinctive feature.The people all over the world following these principles with truth,honesty and determination are the actual followers of Jain Religion and they actually possess the qualities of being called a "True and a Staunch Believer of Jainism".

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