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Ahimsā paramo dharmah

Ahimsā paramo dharmah

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Ahimsā paramo dharmah

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  1. Ahimsāparamodharmah Non-violence is the highest form of religious conduct

  2. VardhamanaMahavira Jina – or “Victor” Therefore his followers are called “Jains”

  3. Tírthańkaras • “Bridge Builders” The 24 Tirthankaras

  4. Jainism • Jain teaching is claimed to be uncreated and eternal, being reactivated by the ‘ford-makers’ in unending cycles • In the present cycle, historical evidence clearly reaches back to the last two of these teachers, Mahāvira (24th) and Pārśva (23rd), but it is evident that these teachers were reviving, restoring, and re-forming a thread of ancient thought who origins allegedly lie in Indian prehistory and is claimed to have links to the Harappa Culture

  5. Jainism • The aim of Jain spiritual practice is to liberate the soul (jivā) by freeing it from accumulated karma • Every soul is potentially divine and can aspire to achieve moksha by following a course of purification and discipline demonstrated by the Tīrthankaras

  6. Kaivalyaone’s own efforts are the only path to liberation A Famous Depiction of the Buddha practicing Austerities (i.e. fasting – a primary Jain ascetic practice)

  7. Jainism • At the heart of Jainism lies a radical asceticism based on five great vows which monks and nuns follow and which the laity attempt to the best of their ability

  8. The Five Vows • Ahimsā • satya • speaking the truth • Asteya • not taking anything not given • brahmacharaya • chastity • aparigraha • detachment from place, persons, and things – non-possession

  9. The Five Vows

  10. Core Beliefs • Every living being has a soul • Every soul is potentially divine, with innate qualities of infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss (masked by its karmas) • Regard every living being as you do yourself, harming no one and being kind to all living beings

  11. Core Beliefs • Every soul is born as a heavenly being, human, sub-human or hellish being according to its own karmas • Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter. • When a soul is freed from karmas, it becomes free and attains divine consciousness, experiencing infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss

  12. Core Beliefs • Right Faith (right vision), Right Knowledge and Right Conduct (triple gems of Jainism) provide the way to this realization • There is no supreme divine creator, owner, preserver or destroyer • The universe is self-regulated and every soul has the potential to achieve divine consciousness (siddha) through its own efforts

  13. Core Beliefs • Navakar Mantra is the fundamental prayer in Jainism and can be recited at any time of the day • Ṇamōarihantāṇaṁ - I bow to the arihants • Ṇamōsiddhāṇaṁ - I bow to the siddhas • Ṇamōāyariyāṇaṁ - I bow to the acharyas • Ṇamōuvajjhāyāṇaṁ - I bow to the teachers • Ṇamōlōēsavvasāhūṇaṁ - I bow to all the saddhus • Ēsōpan̄caṇamōkkārō, savvapāvappaṇāsaṇōMaṅgalāṇaṁ ca savvēsiṁ, paḍamamahavaīmaṅgalaṁ • This five-fold bow (mantra) destroys all sins and obstaclesand of all auspicious mantras, is the first and foremost one. • णमो अरिहंताणं णमो सिद्धाणं णमो आयरियाणं णमो उवज्झायाणं णमो लोए सव्व साहूणं एसोपंचणमोक्कारो, सव्वपावप्पणासणो मंगला णं च सव्वेसिं, पडमम हवई मंगलं

  14. Core Beliefs • Praying by reciting this mantra, the devotee bows in respect to liberated souls still in human form (Arihantas), fully liberated souls (Siddhas), spiritual leaders (Acharyas), teachers (Upadyayas) and all the monks (sarvasadhus) • By saluting them saying "namonamaha", Jains receive inspiration from them to follow their path to achieve true bliss and total freedom from the karmas binding their souls

  15. Core Beliefs • In this main prayer, Jains do not ask for any favors or material benefits • This mantra serves as a simple gesture of deep respect towards beings who are more spiritually advanced • The mantra also reminds followers of the ultimate goal of attaining moksha

  16. Core Beliefs • Non-violence (to be in soul consciousness rather than body consciousness) is the foundation of right view, the condition of right knowledge and the kernel of right conduct • It leads to a state of being unattached to worldly things and being nonjudgmental and non-violent; this includes compassion and forgiveness in thoughts, words and actions toward all living beings and respecting views of others (non-absolutism)

  17. Self-Control • Jainism stresses on the importance of controlling the senses including the mind, as they can drag one far away from true nature of the soul • Limit possessions and lead a life that is useful to yourself and others • Owning an object by itself is not possessiveness; however attachment to an object is • Non-possessiveness is the balancing of needs and desires while staying detached from our possessions

  18. Self-Control • Four things are difficult for a soul to attain: • 1. human birth • 2. knowledge of the laws governing the souls • 3. absolute conviction in the philosophy of non-violence • and 4. practicing it in every day life activities

  19. Self-Control • It is therefore important not to waste human life in evil ways. Rather, strive to rise on the ladder of spiritual evolution • The goal of Jainism is liberation of the soul from the negative effects of unenlightened thoughts, speech and action. This goal is achieved through clearance of karmic obstructions by following the triple gems of Jainism • Right Faith (right vision) • Right Knowledge • and Right Conduct

  20. There are 4 million Jains today in India, UK, Canada and US

  21. There are 4 million Jains today in India, UK, Canada and US

  22. There are 4 million Jains today in India, UK, Canada and US

  23. By the 1st century CE, the community had split into two main groups • Digambara • "clad only in the four directions“, or naked • Found mostly in Southern India • Shvetāmbara • "white clad“ • Found mostly in Western and Northern India • By far, the majority

  24. Disagreements between Digambaras and Shvetāmbaras • Digambaras • do not wear clothes because they believe clothes are like other possessions, increasing dependency and desire for material things, and desire for anything ultimately leads to sorrow. • believe that women cannot attain moksha in the same birth • Shvetāmbaras • wear white seamless clothes for practical reasons and believe there is nothing in Jain scripture that condemns wearing clothes. Sadhvis (nuns) of both sects wear white. • believe that women may certainly attain liberation and that Mallinatha, the 19thTirthankara, was female.

  25. Disagreements between Digambaras and Shvetāmbaras • Digambaras • Believe that Mahavira was not married • Believe that Mahavira renounced clothes • Engage in much stricter austerities • Shvetāmbaras • Believe the princely Mahavira was married and had a daughter • Believe that Mahavira was conceived by a brahmin couple, and the embryo was later moved to the womb of a Ksatriya woman

  26. Jain Metaphysics The universe is divided in three worlds. We live in the central world. The underworld, occupied by demons and demigods, consists of colored layers with the darkest at the bottom. The earth's surface forms the middle world. Above the earth is the celestial world, with 16 layers for beings born in the kalpa heavens without Jain insight and the 14 layers for those with insight.

  27. Jain Metaphysics On top of all this, beyond the heavens, is the crescent-shaped apex of the universe, a region permanently occupied by souls who are already liberated (not in this picture, unfortunately)

  28. Jain development • The diffusion of Jainist practice is fairly diverse, but there is little to no disagreement about the fundamentals of Jain doctrines and philosophy. Jain philosophy, which claims to reject the authority of the Vedas (while still accepting karma, souls, etc. – does reject caste), is known as the nāstika school • It is characterized by a realistic classification of being and a theory of knowledge which has connections with Sāmkhay and Buddhist thought • Jain philosophers have made many distinctive contributions to Indian philosophy, particularly the doctrines of nayavāda and syādvāda, which together form the doctrine of the manysided-ness of reality

  29. Jain Logic • Anekanta – ‘Multisidedness’the doctrine of non-absolutism • Every view is right in some respects • Syadvada – the doctrine of conditional statement • No view is right in every respect • The Seven Conditional Predications : • Relatively, a thing is existent • Relatively, a thing is non-existent • Relatively, a thing is both existent and non-existent • Relatively, a thing is indescribable • Relatively, a thing is existent and is indescribable • Relatively, a thing is non-existent and is indescribable • Relatively, a thing is existent, nonexistent and indescribable.

  30. Jain Logic • According to Jain metaphysics, the reality is constituted by innumerable material and spiritual substances, each of which is the locus of innumerable qualities • Not only are there innumerable substances, each with innumerable quality, but each quality is susceptible to an infinite number of modifications

  31. Jain Logic • Clearly ordinary knowledge (non-omniscient) cannot comprehend this complex reality, for ordinary knowledge is limited not only by the limited power of the senses and reason, but also by the perspectives adopted by the knower as well as by the conditions of the space, time, light, and so on

  32. Jain Logic • Recognizing the incredibly rich and complex nature of reality, Jains developed the concept of notion of the "Many-sidedness" (anekant) of existence in opposition to their opponent’s claims that Brahman alone, because it is permanent and unchanging, is ultimately and absolutely real or that, as the Buddhist claimed, nothing is permanent, and the changing process are the only reality • This concept of the many-sidedness of existence enabled Jain thinkers to affirm both permanence and change • What things are in the substance are in themselves, as substance, is permanent • But the forms or modes of these substances are continuously changing.

  33. Jain Logic • Emphasizing the limits of ordinary knowledge, Jainism developed the theory that truth is relative to the perspective (naya) from which it is known • Furthermore, because of reality is many sided and knowledge true only from a limited perspective, all knowledge claims are only tentative (syat) having the form, "X may be Y," rather than "X is Y."

  34. Limiting Perspectives • The limitations of knowledge are illustrated with a popular Jain story, involving five blind man and elephant

  35. Limiting Perspectives • When it is understood that knowledge is limited by the particular perspectives from which id is achieved, it becomes easy to see that knowledge claims are conditioned by the limitation of the perspective that is assumes and should always be expressed as only tentatively true

  36. Limiting Perspectives • Just as the blind men should have been more circumspect, saying for example, "Standing here, feeling the object with my hands, it feels like a winnowing fan. It may be a winnowing fan," so should everyone understand that their knowledge claims should be asserted only conditionally

  37. Conditional Predications. • Analyzing the logic of conditional assertion, the Jains came up with a sevenfold schema for making a truth claim about any particular object. For example, the following assertions are possible with respect to, say, the temperature of a glass of water: • It may be warm (to someone coming from the cold) • It may not be warm (to someone coming from a very warm room it felt cold) • It may be both warm and not warm, depending upon certain conditions. • Independent of all conditions, the water is indescribable (all knowledge rest on certain conditions) • Indescribable in itself, the water may be said to be warm subject to certain (a combination of 1 and 4) • Indescribable in itself, the water may be said not to be warm, subject to certain conditions (a combination of 2 and 4). • Indescribable in itself, the water may be said to be warm and not warm depending upon certain conditions (a combination of 3 and 4).

  38. Conditional Predications. • The reason why the last three assertions all begin with the claim "Indescribable in itself" is that every substance known and described possesses an infinite number of qualities -- each of which also possesses an infinite number of modifications • Although ordinary knowledge reveals some of these qualities and modifications, it cannot reveal them all • Thus, all descriptions of reality are only partial • The substance itself, with its infinite qualities and modifications, can be fully known only when all the limitations to knowledge are overcome.

  39. Conditional Predications. • The sevenfold scheme of conditional assertion forces us to recognize the partial and incomplete nature of ordinary human knowledge • This is very important initial step in overcoming the passions, because desire, hatred, pride, anger and greed stem from partial one-sided understanding of things dogmatically presumed to be the whole truth • How many times have we embarrassingly realized the inappropriateness of our anger, jealousy, pride, or greed when we came to see the "full picture"?

  40. Conditional Predications. • Greed for money vanishes when it is understood that money can’t buy health, friends or happiness • Excessive pride gives way to humility when we come to appreciate the wonderful qualities and accomplishments of others • Anger and hatred disappear when we realize that other objects, situations, or persons are no threat to us • To the extent that we appreciate that the knowledge from which the destructive passions arise is partial, we are encouraged to restrain ourselves until our understanding increases.

  41. Awakening Vision • Understanding the partial nature of ordinary knowledge makes Jains more appreciative of the knowledge of the Ford-makers (Tirthankars) • It encourages faith in their teachings and motivates efforts to emulate their lives in the hope of achieving similar omniscience, purity, and bliss • This in turn awakens a deep longing for true insight and knowledge which may serve as a catalyst to activate the soul’s natural inclination to freedom and direct its energies toward recovery of its omniscience.

  42. Jain Logic •  The significance of this Sevenfold judgment is that our knowledge, regarding anything is relative; everything exists from the point of view of its own substance, space, time and form and it does not exist from the point of view of others substance, space, time and form  

  43. Jain Logic • A Jar, for instance, exists from the point of view of its substance • clay • its space • the room in which it is • its time • the present moment • and its form or mode • which is its particular shape- • having narrow neck, broad, belly, red color, etc. 

  44. Jain Logic • The Jar does not exist from the point of view of another substance, say silver or gold, another room, another time and another shape etc • When we affirm these two different standpoints (existent and non-existent) successively we get the third judgment a 'Jar' is both existent and non-existent 

  45. Jain Logic • If we want to describe its existence and non-existence simultaneously, than Jar becomes indescribable, i.e., neither real nor unreal  • This is the fourth judgment

  46. Jain Logic • Form of fifth judgment is that, from a particular point of view, the Jar exists and it is also indescribable   • Because there is no one word which can describe its existence and non-existence simultaneously 

  47. Jain Logic • Similarly the statement that the 'Jar' does not exist, and is also indescribable, forms the sixth judgment  • Relatively, 'Jar' exists, also it does not exist and somehow it is indescribable  • This is the seventh judgment. 

  48. Jain Logic • These three forms of judgments are really combinations of indescribable with 'is' 'is not' and 'is' and 'is not' respectively 

  49. Jain Logic • The same theory can also be applied to the soul  • The soul exists from the aspects of its own substance, space, time and form and while from the point of view of anther's substance, non-soul, it does not exist