is One Paths are Many
Comparative Study of various Traditions
of Several World Religions
Some One Tell Me What the Great Religions Believe?
Primer of World Religions - What they are & What they believe
Jainism began about
2,500 years ago in India.
known as "Mahavîra" Great Hero.
Scriptures: The Jain Agamas and Siddhãntas;
teach great reverence for all forms of life, strict codes of vegetarianism, asceiticism,
non-violence even in self defence and opposition to war.
About six million mostly in Central and South India, especially
in Gujarat and Mumbai.
There are two
sects. i. The Digambara ["sky-clad"] sect holds that a saint should
own nothing, not even clothes, thus their practice of wearing only a loin cloth.
They believe that salvation in this birth is not possible for women. ii. The Svetambara
["white-robed"] sect who disagrees with these points.
strives for the realization of the highest perfection of man, which in its original
purity is free from all pain and the bondage of birth and death.
term Jain is derived from the Sanskrit jina, "conqueror," and implies
conquest over this bondage imposed by the phenomenal world.
does not consider it necessary to recognize a God or any being higher than the
perfect man. Souls are beginningless and endless, eternally individual.
It classes souls into three broad categories: those that are not yet evolved;
those in the process of evolution and those that are liberated, free from rebirth.
has strong monastic-ascetic leanings, even for householders. Its supreme ideal
is ahiµsā, equal kindness and reverence for all life.
Jain Ãgamas teach great reverence for all forms of life, strict codes of
vegetarianism, asceticism, nonviolence even in self-defense, and opposition to
war. Jainism is, above all, a religion of love and compassion.
I believe in the spiritual lineage of the 24 Tīrthankaras ("ford-finders") of
whom the ascetic sage Mahāvīra was the last-that they should be revered and worshiped
above all else.
I believe in the sacredness of all life, that one must cease injury to sentient
creatures, large and small, and that even unintentional killing creates karma.
I believe that God is neither Creator, Father nor Friend. Such human conceptions
are limited. All that may be said of Him is: He is.
I believe that each man's soul is eternal and individual and that each must conquer
himself by his own efforts and subordinate the worldly to the heavenly in order
to attain moksha, or release.
I believe the conquest of oneself can only be achieved in ascetic discipline and
strict religious observance, and that nonascetics and women will have their salvation
in another life.
I believe that the principle governing the successions of life is karma, that
our actions, both good and bad, bind us and that karma may only be consumed by
purification, penance and austerity.
I believe in the Jain Ågamas and Siddhāntas as the sacred scriptures that guide
man's moral and spiritual life.
I believe in the Three Jewels: right knowledge, right faith and right conduct.
I believe the ultimate goal of moksha is eternal release from saµsāra, the "wheel
of birth and death," and the concomitant attainment of Supreme Knowledge.
Goals of Jaininsm:
goal of the Jains is becoming a Paramātman, a perfected soul. This is accomplished
when all layers of karma, which is viewed as a substance, are removed, leading
the soul to rise to the ceiling of the universe, from darkness to light, where,
beyond the Gods and all currents of transmigration, the soul abides forever in
the solitary bliss of moksha. Moksha is defined in Jainism as liberation, self-unity
and integration, pure aloneness and endless calm, freedom from action and desire,
freedom from karma and rebirth. Moksha is attainable in this world or at the time
of death. When it is reached, man has fulfilled his destiny as the man-God. For
the Jains there is no creator God and, therefore, no communion with Him. The nature
of the soul is pure consciousness, power, bliss and omniscience.
soul passes through various stages of spiritual development, called gunasthānas,
progressive manifestations of the innate faculties of knowledge and power accompanied
by decreasing sinfulness and increasing purity. Souls attain better births according
to the amount of personal karma they are able to eliminate during life. Between
births, souls dwell in one of the seven hells, the sixteen heavens or fourteen
celestial regions. Liberated souls abide at the top of the universe. All Jains
take five vows, but it is the monk who practices celibacy and poverty. Jainism
places great stress on ahiµsā, asceticism, yoga and monasticism as the means of
attainment. Temple pūjās are performed to the twenty-four Tīrthankaras or spiritual
preceptors, literally "ford-crossers," those who take others across the ocean