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Concept of God, Soul, Liberation in Jainism
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This lesson covers: Concept of God, Soul, Liberation in Jainism.

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  1. Jainism Lesson-3 By Dr. Roman Saini


  2. The Concept of God Jainism does not believe in a personal God. Universe runs own its own accord by its own cosmic laws. All the substances change or modify their forms continuously. There is no need of someone to create or manage the affairs of the . universe Nothing can be destroyed or created in the universe. Hence, Jainism does not believe in God as a creator, survivor, and . destroyer of the universe.


  3. Though they rejected the God as the creator of the world, they consider it is necessary to meditate on and worship the liberated, perfect souls. . . According to him, worship is not for seeking mercy and pardon. According to them, God is that soul who has completely removed all the Karmas. . To attain liberation is to attain Godhood.


  4. The Concept of Soul According to Jain, every living and non-living being is filled with soul All souls are not equally conscious. But every soul has the potential to attain infinite consciousness, power, and happiness. The soul is inherently perfect. These qualities are inherently in the very nature of the soul. Each jiva (soul) is eternally associated with Ajiva (non-conscious being) because of Karma. According to Jainism, soul is both permanent and changing. e . . . e


  5. According to jain philosophy, knowledge is not something to be grasped and possessed by the soul, but is a state of the soul itself. It is the essence of the soul. For Jains, each jiva has been associated with matter, and involved in the cycle of birth and death since the beginning of time. Some jivas, through their own efforts, have become liberated and escaped from the cycle. Liberated jivas do not have physical bodies. They possess infinite knowledge, infinite vision, infinite power, and e . infinite bliss - in effect they have become perfect beings.


  6. Therefore, Jains believe that o the soul exists forever. o each soul is always independent. o the soul is responsible for what it does. o the soul experiences the consequences of its actions. o the soul can become liberated from the cycle of birth and death. o the soul can evolve towards that liberation by following the right conducts.


  7. Liberation in Jainism According to Jainism, the ultimate aim of every soul is liberation. . This can be achieved through one's personal efforts. . God has no role to play in liberation. . In Jainism, liberation is attained only through the human body. . In liberation the soul is totally and absolutely free from all karmas and consequently established in its pure and pristine state The ideal state of freedom can be achieved only through a radical ascetical life.


  8. The essence of which is total renunciation of all bodily comforts and all material objects. . The Jains stress the following three indispensable conditions to attain the liberation. These conditions are follows Right Faith (Samyak darshan)- It is an attitude of respect towards truth. Right Knowledge (Samyak janan)- It consists in the detailed knowledge of all truths. Right Conduct (Samyak charitra)- It is refraining from wrong and performing what is right. 1. 2. 3.


  9. Above three have therefore come to be known in Jaina ethics as the three gems or "Triratna". With the harmony of these three conditions, liberation is attained which brings the realization of inherent potentiality and attainment of fourfold perfection. 93 . The fourfold perfection is known as "ananta chatustaya" such as 35 . 1. Infinite Faith 2. Infinite Knowledge 3. Infinite Bliss 4. Infinite Power


  10. Jains does not accept the principle that after having attained absolute freedom a soul comes again into this word in the form of incarnation. Generally, right conduct is divided into two grades- 1. 2. . The right conduct for the mendicant The right conduct for the layman. . Right conduct for the mendicant is called "sadhu dharma" and the right conduct for layman is called "grihastha dharma". A man who performs acts beneficial himself as well as to others is a sadhu or a saint/mendicant. He follows pancha vrathas. Those who are not qualified for the monastic discipline can make their lives fruitful by observing the spiritual discipline meant for layman. .


  11. Arihants are classified into two categories: Tirthankar and Ordinary-kevali. Tirthankar: Immediately after attaining kevala-jnana, if a person establishes the four-fold religious order of monks, nuns, sravakas (male laypeople), and sarvikas (female laypeople) is known as Tirthankar. He preaches the Jain philosophy, religion, ethics, conducts to his followers. . Tirthankar is also known as Jina, Arihant, Arhat, Arhant, or Nirgrantha. Ordinary kevali: The only difference between Tirthankara and ordinary-kevali is that the latter does not establish the religious order. He remains in the state of perfect blissful condition for the rest of his life after attaining kevala-janan. .