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Jainism - Presentation

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John Crow

on 17 June 2015

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Transcript of Jainism - Presentation

The Way of Non-Violence
Dual drives:
Disengagement from the world (and body) is necessary
Vibrant engagement with everyday world
Disengagement from the World
Jainism is part of shramana (‘world renouncing’) movement that also spawned Buddhism
Disengagement from the World
Jainism’s message was carried by its 24 ascetic-prophets known as ‘Jinas’ (‘victors’ or ‘conquerors’), the last being Mahavira (Great Hero)
The Four Parts of Jain Community
Monastic Monks
Monastic Nuns
Lay Men
Lay Women
The Jain Vows
1. Vow of non-injury (ahimsa) of all life
2. Vow to always speak the truth
3. Vow from taking anything not given you
4. They renounce sexual pleasures
5. They renounce all attachments

Ahimsa considered weightiest, and believed to encompass other four
Jain Cosmology
Universe made of jiva (soul), ajiva (non-soul)

Five types of ajiva (which lacks consciousness):
pudgala (pure matter)
kala (time)
dharma (principle of motion)
adharma (principle of rest)
akash (space)
karmic particle types: auspicious/‘good’ (punya), inauspicious/‘bad’ (paap)
Purging of all karmic particles (nirjara) must be done by taming and ultimately quelling passions
Karma can be dissociated from jiva through fasting, study of Agamas, meditation, etc.
‘Three Jewels’ of Jainism
samyak caritra (‘correct practice’)
samyak darshan (‘correct intuition’)
samyak jnana (‘correct knowledge’)

Belief that life’s problems stem from real physical activities, hence need for fasting, penance, etc.
Good intentions not enough—action is key
Renouncers focus on all actions, even the mundane
Main difference between ascetics and householders in degree of purification:
ascetics follow vows called mahavratas to prevent samvara and to focus on nirjara
laity have less strict anuvratas (e.g., limit belongings)
The Fast to Death
Sallekhana: ritual fast leading to death, practiced by some ascetics and some laypersons
Believed to expel bad karma, attract good karma, which is needed for rebirth in heavenly realm or spiritually advanced human state
Belief that at death, the soul is instantly reincarnated into a form determined by its karma
Full transcript