Published on February 19, 2009
JAINISM : JAINISM Jain Society Of Metropolitan Chicago Bartlett, IL What is Religion? : What is Religion? Dharma What is Religion? : What is Religion? “What holds one from falling from spiritual degeneration is religion” Slide 5: What is Religion? According to Lord Mahävir, “The true nature of a substance is a religion” Thus, Revealing the true nature of our soul Revealing the inherent qualities of our soul is ‘Dharma’ Slide 9: Inherent Qualities of our Soul Infinite Knowledge Infinite Perception Infinite Energy Infinite Bliss Slide 10: Attributes of Soul Slide 11: The first two are cognitive functions of the soul and represent consciousness. Energy is an abstract force which powers the operation of the knowing and perceiving qualities of the soul. Bliss is a state which includes compassion, love, and total self-sufficiency. Inherent Qualities of our Soul Why do we need a Religion? : Why do we need a Religion? Why do we need a Religion? : Why do we need a Religion? A Moral Compass Guiding Light What is Jainism? : What is Jainism? Slide 15: 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, which is eternal and divine. Jainism - Basic Beliefs : Jainism - Basic Beliefs God, Universe and Life God is not a Creator, Preserver or Destroyer of the universe Liberated souls are Jain Gods, who are only knowers and observers, but not doers Universe is made of two eternal and self-existing elements Living beings (souls) Non-living Substances (Matter, Space, mediums of Motion and Rest, Time) The principles governing the successions of life cycles (birth, life, and death) is Karma particles which are attached to the soul from the beginning of time. Jainism - Basic Beliefs (continued) : Jainism - Basic Beliefs (continued) Life Suffering Ignorance is the root cause of all suffering Soul is ignorant from the beginning of time Karma attaches to the soul due to soul's ignorance Ultimate Goal of Life Removal of soul's ignorance, hence be free from all karma Liberated soul is an all knower and observer, but not a doer which is an ideal state of living Features of Jainism : Features of Jainism Every living being is eternal, individual, and has a potential to become liberated or God At liberation the soul remains finite, lives in Moksha forever, and never loses its identity The 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 Karma Path of liberation is to follow Righteous Perception, Righteous Knowledge, and Righteous Conduct Jain Religion Features : Jain Religion Features Desire is the root cause of all suffering Conquer your desire by your own effort in order to attain liberation. Self purification, penance, austerity, and meditation are essential for Righteous Conduct. Nonviolence is the highest principle to be followed in thought, speech, and action. One must cease injuring sentient creatures, large and small. What is Jainism? : 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? : What is Jain Activity? Any activity of body, speech or mind that help us Lose interest in satisfying the desires of our five senses 2. Eliminate anger, ego, deceit, greed within ourselves 3. Develop a vision to look for only good in others and completely ignore bad in others ~ Acharya Haribhadrasuriji (700-770AD) in ‘Darshanshastra’ Slide 23: the BASICS THE ULTIMATE GOAL : THE ULTIMATE GOAL To free our soul from its bondage of Karma through: Samyak Darshan (Righteous Perception) Samyak Gnyan (Righteous Knowledge) Samyak Charitra (Righteous Conduct) Slide 25: 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 Slide 26: Unique Teachings of Jainism Ahimsa (Universal love) Anekantvad (Non-absolutism) Aparigraha (Non-attachment) Slide 28: Non-violence (Ahimsa) – strengthens the autonomy of life everywhere Non-absolutism (Anekäntaväda) – strengthens autonomy of thoughts & speech, and non-possessiveness Non-possessiveness (Aparigraha) – strengthens autonomy of interdependence The above three realistic principles, which strengthen our belief that every living being has a right to self-existence. Slide 29: These principles translate into three practices: One should not kill One should not trample others’ thoughts One should not trample nature Slide 30: 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’ Slide 31: 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 himsa (violence). Activities to Support Vows : Activities to Support Vows Non-stealing Celibacy Truthfulness Non-Violence Non-Possessiveness Fundamental Beliefs : Fundamental Beliefs The soul exists in contamination with karmic matter and it longs to be purified Living beings differ due to the varying density and types of karmic matter The karmic bondage leads the soul through the states of existences (cycles) Karmic fusion is due to our ignorance, non-restraint, carelessness, passions, and activities Fundamental Beliefs : Fundamental Beliefs Bondage of Karma Violence to oneself and others ?Bad karmic matter Helping others in nonviolent ways ?Good karmic matter Austerity forms the karmic shield against new karmas as well as setting the decaying process in the old karmic matter What is Karma? : What is Karma? Karma is a matter (Pudgal) determining the fate of the soul in rebirths It is composed of very fine karmic particles Entire Universe is filled with karmic particles Jain Karma Theory : 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 : 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! Karmic Bondage Cycle : Karmic Bondage Cycle Omniscient Only Non-Destructive Karmas Inhibition and Wearing Off Less Intensity Self-Restraint Karmic Particles Actions Mind, Body, Speech Dormant Karma Reaction Fruition Occurs Strong Intensity Strong Passions A profound truth for all times : 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 : 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 : 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. Compassionate Living : 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. Impact on Environment : 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 : 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? : 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? : 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. Slide 47: 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.
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