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Jainism & Sikhism

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Rod Williams

on 19 February 2015

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Transcript of Jainism & Sikhism

Jainism & Sikhism
Origins of Jainism
Jains
date the origins of their religion to the "
distant past
."
As with Hinduism, time is
cyclical
, not linear
In present cycle of universe,
24
great people have reached "
perfection
."
These "saints" are called
tirthankaras
Means "
crossing-maker
" or "
ford-finder
"
Not a
bridge
analogy
No historical evidence to prove existence of most
tirthankaras
23rd
, Parshva, may have existed in India between 850 & 800 B.C.
Most recent is now called
Mahavira
- "
great man
" or "
hero
"
Jain Worldview & Ethics
Rejects the idea of a Creator God
imperfection, suffering
Universe is eternal, changing; cycles of rise and fall
Periods of human existence begin with moral integrity & followed by moral decay
Each age has tirthankara- 24 ages so far
Dualism- spirit & non-spirit; in everything
Spiritual seeks escape from material
Sikhism & Its Beginnings
Sikhism
was founded in an area called
Punjab
, part of northwestern India and eastern Pakistan. The Punjab region has a long history of violent religious
conflict
between
Hindus
and
Muslims
.
Sikhism is an
outgrowth
of the teachings of a mystic
sant
called
Kabir
(1440-1518). His writings of mystical spiritualism drew greatly from
both
Hindu and Islamic teachings
Strong emphasis on the important role of a
guru
or
shaykh
Nanak
(b. 1469), founder of Sikhism, grew up as Hindu in today's Pakistan
Married with two children; became assistant to a sultan
Deeply religious, developed a devotional association with a friend named
Mardana
; sang hymns and discussed religious ideas
Sikhism's Development
Initially regarded as a movement within Hinduism, rather than new religion
Significantly combines elements of Hinduism and Islam
Hindu- reincarnation, karma, dualistic (spirit & body)
Islam- monotheistic w/personal qualities, social responsibility
Sikhs consider themselves unique; totally new revelation
Stages of development
Not defined as separate religion; sought peaceful coexistence
Persecution caused Sikhs to become more formalized with more clearly defined practices
Ultimately moved beyond their land and spread
India, in addition to
Hinduism
, is home to 2 other religions,
Jainism
and
Sikhism
. One is ancient and the other is relatively young.
Both
share
characteristics of Hinduism
Karma, reincarnation
Both emerged in
opposition
to Hinduism
Polytheism, ritualism, complexity
These two religions are extremely
different
Vedic expansion eastward met resistance by certain classes of people who opposed the caste system, priests, or even animal sacrifice.
Buddhism & Jainism arose with a strong emphasis in non-violence. Jainism has not spread due to a lack of conversion.
Mahavira
was likely a contemporary of Buddha, living around 540-486 B.C. His life is surrounded with legend (similar to Buddha)
Born into nobility
Left home at about age 30 to live as wandering holy man
Embraced extreme
asceticism
; begging
Avoided all attachments to materialism
Eventually went naked
Gentle, did not want to hurt any living thing
Strained drinking water
12 years of meditation & wandering led to his
liberation

experience
Mahavira
His liberation experience freed him from the
bondage of the world
No longer troubled by pain, suffering, shame, or loss
Mahavira
, because of his liberating experience is call a
jina
("
conqueror
")
Jainism derives its
name
Spent the next 30 years teaching with order of monks
With discipline, humans can overcome the bondage of body & material world
Lives of insight, austerity, & kindness
Karma & reincarnation exist
Spirit can move up or down the scale of rebirths
Karma is seen as something that clings to the spirit
Spirit= jiva; Matter= ajiva
Belief in superhuman beings existing within the universe; also subject to karma
Goal is total freedom; escape to highest realm
Jainism contains
five
ethical recommendations, which monks & nuns are expected to keep. Lay people are allowed to have some flexibility due to life situations.
Non-violence
(
ahimsa
)- gentleness, harmlessness; respect for all life, even insects; vegetarians; avoid careers that harm animals
Non-lying
- discourage falsehoods, exaggeration; cause hurt with words
Non-stealing
- arises from improper desires; causes pain
Chastity
- monks & nuns are celibate; married practice fidelity to spouse
Non-attachment
- bondage to money & possessions; austerity
Development & Branches
First developed in northeastern India, near Buddhism's start. Jainism eventually spread to other parts of India, adopting distinct branches from culture.
Digambaras
("clothed in sky")- Its monks go completely naked, even in public; expect people to renounce everything; mainly in southern India; most conservative branch; no women in monastic life, wait to be reborn as male
Shvetambaras
("clothed in white")- Monks dress in white robes; women are allowed as nuns; colder northern climate; devotional practices
Sthanakavasis
- More recent, past few hundred years; reform movement that resisted a drift towards devotional and ritualistic practices; focus on meditation and individual austerities
Terapanthis
- Most recent branch; reject the use of images also; has a hierarchy with supreme guru; have spread outside of India more than other branches
Main Practices of Jainism
Jainism, as a whole, emphasize the
individual
aspects of purification of character.
Most Jains have adopted practices of devotional offerings (
puja
) to
tirthankaras
(good karma)
food, incense, libations, oil lamps, flowers left at the feet of temple
statues
Monks and nuns practice regular
fasting
; lay people only during certain times of the year
Religious year ends with confessions of offenses
Pilgrimages
to holy sites and temple complexes are popular
Jains have few authoritative
scriptures
. The
11 Angas
&
12 Upangas
are teachings of
Mahavira
; not accepted by all.
Nanak
had a
spiritual

experience
of great power
Went to forest for 3 days; entered into "
divine presence
" or experienced
God
directly
Revealed to Nanak that there is only
one God
Nanak called God the "
True Name
"
All names and terms applied to God are
limited
; God is beyond all human conception
Nanak left his family with Mardana to become homeless
wanderers
Nanak preached and sang, seeking disciples
Word
Sikh
means "
disciple
"
His clothing blended Hindu and Muslim elements
Hindu
dhoti
(cloth pants) orange Muslim coat & cap; Hindu markings on forehead
Nanak
and
Mardana
continued to practice their devotional teachings until Mardana's death. Shortly after, Nanak passed on his authority to a chosen disciple. He died in
1539
at the age of
70
. He is commonly referred to as
Guru Nanak
, the first in a line of
10 Sikh gurus
("
spiritual teachers
")
Earliest Stages
- Period of the first
four Gurus
Nanak, Angad, Amar Das, Ram Das
Hymns
written, communities organized, headquarters established in
Amritsar, India
Next Stage
- Consolidation and
definition as religion
Arjan, 5th Guru, built the
Golden Temple
Collected 3,000 hymns
Created the sacred book of Sikhs, the
Adi Granth
("
original collection
")
Became increasingly
defensive
due to Islamic persecution (practice of wearing
sword
)
Subsequent Stages
- further militarization
Following further Muslim persecution, 10th Guru,
Gobind Rai
, elevated Sikh military power
Started a special Sikh military order for men, called the
Khalsa
; ended any caste distinction
All males in Khalsa took name
Singh
("
lion
")
Sikh Beliefs, Practices, & Scripture
Adi Granth
- primary book of Sikh scripture
Three main divisions
:
Japji
- long poem by Nanak that summarizes the religion; opens with
"There is only one God, whose name is true, the Creator, devoid of fear and enmity, immortal, unborn, self-existent."
39 Ragas
(tunes) by Nanak & other Gurus
Poems & hymns
collection from various gurus & saints
Believed to contain
living spirit of Nanak
and his successors;
treated with utmost reverence
Sikh homes often have a dedicated room for
Adi Granth
Reincarnation & Karma
Body and spirit
are bound; spirit seeks to escape limitations of the body; may take many lifetimes to accomplish
Social responsibility
to the poor and oppressed
The Five K's of the Sikh Khalsa
Many Sikhs today follow the way of the
Khalsa
. The practice of the
5 K's
distinguish them significantly from the rest of the world. They are not practiced by all Sikhs, but those who have entered the
Khalsa
.
Kesh
- uncut
hair
and
beard
- in association with the lion and its power; hair is worn in a topknot and covered with a
turban
Khanga
- hair
comb
- to hold the long hair in place
Kach
-
special undergarments
- to indicated alertness and readiness to fight
Kirpan
-
sword
- for defense
Kara
-
bracelet of steel
- to symbolize strength

Members of the Khalsa are required to
avoid all intoxicants
. In recent years,
women
have been allowed to be admitted.
Sikhism in the Modern World
Because of military training, many Sikhs were employed by the British as
soldiers
Sikhs experienced challenges following
British departure
in 1947
2 million
fled Pakistan to avoid
Muslim persecution
Sikhs have sought an
independent state
in northern India, which has caused great antagonism with
Indian government
Government forces & Sikhs have fought for control of
Golden Temple
Sikh bodyguards
assassinated
PM
Indira Ghandi
in 1984
Many Sikhs have
settled
outside of India
Large community in Vancouver, British Columbia
Full transcript