Jainism Lesson- 1 By Dr. Roman Saini
Origin and Development of Jainism The origin of the Jainism can be traced back to the twenty four teachers as the same time of the origin of Buddhism. These teachers are called "tirthankaras"- one who establishes the path or ford. . . The term "jina" is the common name given to twenty four tirthankaras because they have conquered all passions and have attained liberation. . Hence, devotees of the jina are called "jaina" and the religion propagated by jina is called the "Jaina religion" .
The first of these teachers was "Rishabhdev" and the last was "Vardhaman" Vardhaman is also known as "Mahavira". Jainism was instrumental for a radical change in Indian society As it was originated against the monopoly of Brahmins over the religious scriptures and rituals. Therefore, it was developed when the vedic religion failed to meet popular needs, meaningless sacrifices and merciless killings of animals were being done. Besides, that meaningless practices had not provided the release from wordly bondages. .
Mahavira Mahavira was the contemporary of Gautam Buddha and lived in the sixth century B.C. He was the successor of the Parshvanath, who lived in the ninth century B.C. Parshvanath preached the doctrine of love and ahimsa. He enjoined four vows, which are 1. Ahimsa- Not to destroy life in any form 2. Satya- Not to lie in any situation 3. Asteya- Not to steal anything 4. Aparigraha- Not to own property His successor Mahavira added the fifth vow of "Brahmacharya (chastity)" . .
Sacred Scripture of Jainism Jainism and Buddhism, along with a school of materialistic called Carvak, were regarded as Heterodox or Unorthodox schools. . Because they have no belief that Vedas and Upanishads, and the Brahmin caste, had no authority. . . Therefore, each of main sects of Jainism recognizes its own body of sacred scriptures though many texts are common to all. Most of the ancient Jain texts are written in "Prakrta"- an early form of Sanskrit.
According to their own tradition, the text, we known today called "canon" was agreed upon almost a thousand years after the death of Mahavira at the council held at the Vallabhi in Gujarat. It is divided into six sections and contains either forty-five or forty-six books. The general outline of canon is as follows. 1. 2. 3. . The six Cheya-Suttas Two individual texts The four Mula-Sutras
4. The twelve Angas or limbs- a. Anga means what comes out from the mouth of the lord. b. Treats the life of monks and Ahimsa is a central feature. c. These twelve compilations are collectively known as "Dwadashangi". 5. The twelve Upangas or secondary limbs- a. They are varied content, mainly dogmatic and mythological. 6. The ten Painnas or scattered pieces- a. Deals with almost every topic of interest to the Jains in both prose and verse.
Jain Ethics Ethics is the most important part of the religion that guides them to right conduct. . And the goal of right conduct is the salvation or attainment of liberation. . In Jainism, religion is not different from the practice of the realization of our own essential nature. It puts greater emphasis on the practice of good life. According to Jainism, the guiding principle of one's life should be: "mitti me sarvabhuesu" i.e. "may I have a friendly relation with all beings". e . 35
The doctrine of Jain were formulated as a reaction and rejection of Brahmanism which then taking shape neglecting the non-violence. . The Jain theory of Judgement is known as "Syadvada" that is sevenfold classification of predictions. . According to Jaina, reality consists of three factors; 1. Permanence 2. Origination 3. Decay Therefore, they denied Buddha's theory of momentariness. .
Jainism preaches to takes the path of the following characteristics to realize the inherent potentialities of the human, 1. Self-reliance 2. Self-purification 3. Self-discipline However, Jainism is a "sramanic" religion. Because asceticism and mysticism, meditation and contemplation, silence and solitude, practice of highest virtues like non-violence, celibacy etc. are practiced in this religion.
Theory of Anekantavada Jainism makes a difference between Jivas (living) and Ajivas (non-living). . Therefore, it is basically dualistic. . It is also pluralistic in that it recognise the existence of an infinite number of animate and inanimate substances, And each animate and inanimate possess an infinite number of characteristics of its own. . This doctrine is known as "anekantavada
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