Jainism

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Padipa, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Padipa

    Padipa Om Mani Padme Hum

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    Hello everyone

    I was wondering if anyone had any information on Jainism and the Jain way of life...I don't know too much on the subject but from what I've read, I know that the word Jain refers to a follower of the Jinas, or great teachers, and that there are 24 Jinas altogether. I've also read that they believe in reincarnation and to acheive freedom from the cycle of birth and death, they practice complete and total non-violence, or ahimsa. I don't know too much more than that. Can anyone help me out?

    Namasté
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Padipa,


    thank you for the post and welcome to the forum.

    this may prove to be of some interest:

    The origins of Jainism can be traced back to the Indus River valley civilization of 3000 B.C.

    Jains believe that there were 24 great teachers the last of whom was Lord Mahavira who lived during 6th century B.C. These twenty-four teachers are called Tirthankaras - people who had attained all knowledge while living (Moksha) and preached it to the people. Thus, there is not one all-powerful supreme being that controls all.

    Jains believe in reincarnation. Their souls, which are believed to be a unique substance in the universe, take different living forms in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. This cycle has been going on forever, the universe has no beginning or end, it has always been and always will be.

    The ultimate goal is to get rid of one's karma on their soul so that they may end this cycle. Once this goal is reached their soul has attained all knowledge and it rests in the heavens forever (Nirvana).

    Karma theory is about actions and the results they bring to the soul's path. It is the simply the law of cause and effect with respect to the soul.
    E.G. One's actions for today will effect what will happen to them in this or their future lives. The way to get rid of one's karma is to follow certain rules of doing good somewhat similar to the ten commandments. These include the principles of:
    1. Ahimsa - To protect all life (non-violence)
    2. Satya - To speak truth
    3. Asteya - To not steal
    4. Brahmacharya - To not commit adultery
    5. Aparigraha - To limit one's possessions
    Jains uphold these principles by practicing vegetarianism, non-violence in thought, deed, and action.

    Jains perform their sacred rituals at the temple or Derasar. Some of these rituals are:
    • Puja - Concentrating on one's soul through intense prayer sometimes in the presence of sculptures of the teachers to serve as an example of how to attain Moksha.
    • Samayik - Forty-eight minute ritual that asks for forgiveness for one's sins
    • Namokar Mantra - A short prayer that can be said at any time that shows obeisance to the perfect souls that have achieved Nirvana.
    The biggest event in the Jain calendar is the holy week (8-10 days) of Paryushan where Jains reflect upon their actions throughout the past year. The week takes place in August or September and is concluded by a three hour prayer called Pratikraman.

    http://www.umich.edu/~umjains/
     
  3. Padipa

    Padipa Om Mani Padme Hum

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    Namasté Vajradhara

    Thank you very much for the informative reply. I hope to see more of your knowledge on these forums.

    Jainism seems to be closely related to Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism (the law of Karma, reincarnation--Hindu, not Buddhist rebirth though). That website is very helpful as well.

    I wonder if there are or have been any Jains on these forums...probably not, considering that they seem to be stricter on attatchment to material possessions than the other Vedic faiths, i.e. no computer.
     
  4. Padipa

    Padipa Om Mani Padme Hum

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Mahatma Gandhi study with Jains for a period of time? I think I heard that he came from Kathiawar, which was a strong Jain area. I'm pretty sure his policy of non-violence was strongly influenced by Jain notions of Ahimsa. Any other thoughts on this?
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    one of the IT guys at my work is a Jain.

    i recently told him about this forum so there is a chance that he may join. you are correct though, at this time, we don't have any members that are self-proclaimed Jains.
     
  6. shareknowledge

    shareknowledge New Member

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    Namaste,

    To get more information on the Jainism please visit the website

    www.jainworld.org or www.jainworld.com

    Both the links go to the same site. The site will give you detail information about Jainism.

    Also Padipa, I think you are right that Mahatma Ghandhi was influenced by Jainism. If I am not wrong he read and followed one of the great jain preacher by the name of Shri Shrimad Rajchandra.

    Jai Jinendra.
     
  7. Padipa

    Padipa Om Mani Padme Hum

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    Namasté shareknowledge,

    Thank you for the post, that website was very useful. Jainism is a very interesting and enlightening faith, as are the other Vedic religions. I think I may purchase a book on the subject...
    Thanks again :)

    It would be great to talk to your friend, Vajradhara, if he does decide to join these forums.
     
  8. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    shareknowledge, i believe, is that very friend :)
     
  9. jimyec

    jimyec New Member

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    Namaste all

    first of appreciate efforts of all to start the discussions on jainism some what !!
    as a follower of jainism i told u to ask as much questions in this forum to fulfill jainism the best level .....

    for jain forum bodhi aksed there are many online forums on net available like
    Jain Jinvani Forums - Powered by vBulletin has as like this forum giving you excellent information abt jainism and history etc... and also have very much useful information like Jainism is not a branch of Vedic tradition all religions are derived from Jinas and principles pictures proofs u can get on this forum

    with regards Jimmy:)
     
  10. bodhi_mindisfree

    bodhi_mindisfree New Member

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    all religions are derived from Jinas

    You sound a little egocentric. If all religions derive from Jainism, why are there only an estimated 2 million followers in the world? (My source is on page 142 of SACRED PATHS OF THE EAST by Theodore M. Ludwig Third Edition).
     
  11. Caleb

    Caleb New Member

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    The last post was like a year ago so I am probably talking to myself, oh well.

    I heard Gandhis mother was a Jain

    In Buddist monastic orders and in Jain orders, is there equality of the sexes? Or is the female order taught by a male? Sure they are of smaller numbers usually everywhere, but are women monks fulfledged Acaryas of the female order?
     

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