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JAINISM AND WORLD PEACE

INTRODUCTION

Jainism is the religion professed by the Jains. There are only few lacs of Jains but the principles of jainism touch the basis or existence of any living entity under the sun. It preaches nonviolence towards all who breathe. It discourages hatred towards anybody including enemies.

JAIN SHRAVAKA - 12 VOWS

A jain layman(shravaka) has to observe 12 vows:

1 not inflict any injury on any living being consciously or intentionally
2 not utter lies which will injure anybody or create wrongful loss or gain to anybody.
3 not steal goods of anybody.
4 not have sex with lady, other than wife.
5 will have limit to his wealth, consume surplus in charity.
6 will limit sphere of activity.
7 will limit articles of consumption.
8 will not entertain evil thoughts and not give sinful or harmful advice.
9 will practice ‘samayika’ (equanimity of mind for 48 minutes).
10 will abstain from worldly activities for one day per year.
11 shall practice one day per year of life as a Jain monk.
12 shall observe full fast once a year.

PRINCIPLES OF JAINISM

1

Principles of Jainism preach and propagate pure, chaste, unadulterated and unfrictional life which is harmonious and soothing the other anguished lives in the universe.

2

It preaches democracy in concepts and freedom in beliefs. it respects the right of existence of any living being of any miniature. it not only lives and lets others to live but helps others to live also.

3

It is environment friendly and discourages cutting of trees and generation of unnecessary waste and unnecessary consumption.

4

Jains preach ‘Samvara’(stoppage) and ‘Nirjara’(consumption of karma(the law of action). According to Jainism, both killing of a man and killing the smallest possible are murders.

5

This is the most democratic and equitable aspect of Jainism. All living entities love life and love to exist. Hence we have no right to exist by killing anybody however big or small.

 JAIN MONKS

Jain Monks strictly observe the following rules:

1

Principles of non-violence in its entirety.

2

A Jain Monk does not stir out to beg alms if it is raining because it may injure insects crawling on the grounds. in the process he may starve for days together but he does not mind.

3

They always stay without light, lest the insects might assemble and be scorched with the heat of light.

4

They always hold a strip of cloth against their mouth while speaking so that even minutest insect should not be tortured by their vocal vibrations.

JAIN PENANCES

Jains undertake following penances:

1 Penances are like self imposed punishments which destroy our evil acts done consciously or unconsciously before.
2 Fasting, one of modes of penances, is done where no food, no water nor any substance of any nature is eaten, swallowed or tasted. this continues up to one day or week or sometimes even months.
3 Even today many lay house holders among jains abstain from even drinking water after sunset, because that may endanger the lives of insects present around after sunset.

References

Book on ‘JAINISM AND WORLD PEACE’

Part I Jainism and world peace by Shri Ghanshyam Joshi

Part II The Jain notions of the soul by Shri M. G. Merchant

[Navjivan Granthmala, Gariyadhar(Saurashtra)]


By Prof. (DR.) Kanak Madrecha