Jul 24, 2011

Jain Enlightment: A Cosmic Way of Life

Jain Enlightment: A Cosmic Way of Life

"Jain" comes from the Sanskrit word "Jina" that means "conqueror" and implies the conquest over one's inner passions – anger, hatred, greed, ego, and deceit. The primary goal of Jain Dharma is the perfection and purification of soul -.the principle, governing the successions of lives on earth, through karma.

To accomplish this total freedom from ceaseless cycles of re-births, living, pain, misery, and death, Jains achieve the righteous path through right perception, right knowledge and right conduct. Right perception creates an awareness of the reality or truth. Right knowledge impels a person to proper action. Right conduct leads to the attainment of total freedom.

All followers of Jainism observe five disciplines: (i) Non-violence (Ahimsa) - or not causing any harm to any living being; (ii) Truthfulness (Satya) - to speak harmless truth; (iii) Non-stealing (Sateya) – not to take what is not given or earned; (iv) Chastity (Brahmcharya) - not to indulge in illicit sensual pleasures; v) Non-Possession (Aprigraha) – absence of self-interest over people, places and all material possessions. Therefore, Jain philosophy teaches how to live a life without violence in thought, word or actions that leads to universal love or Ahimsa. Time magazine quotes: "Jainism's pre-eminent discipline, Ahimsa (non violence) deeply influenced Mahatma Gandhi and altered the course of Indian history" as it did for Martin Luther King Jr. in America and Nelson Mendella in South Africa, and is very relevant for today.

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