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Contemporary Issues In The Jainism Religion

2207 words - 9 pages

Contemporary Issues in the Jainism Religion

December 13, 2012
Contemporary Issues in the Jainism Religion

“The Jain emblem represents many important concepts to show the path to enlightenment by following the basic principles of Ahimsa (non-violence), Triratana (right belief, right knowledge and right conduct) and helping others” (Srehta, 2011). The outlined region of the image embodies the universe as termed in scriptures of Jainism. There are three realms listed as Loks. The top part reveals Urdhava Lok (heaven), the interior section specifies Madhya Lok (material world) and the lower portion indicates Adho Lok (hell). The semi-circular upper most area symbolizes ...view middle of the document...

The meaning of the mantera at the bottom of Parasparopagraho Jivanam is "Live and let Live." Every creature and all creatures should help one another.
“The distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are its belief in the independent existence of soul and matter, predominance of karma, the denial of a creative and omnipotent God, belief in an eternal and uncreated universe, a strong emphasis on non-violence, an accent on relativity and multiple facets of truth, and morality and ethics based on liberation of the soul”.
Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world. It believes in a universe without a beginning. Jainists do not believe in a God, they believe that every person has the potential to become a Jina or God. Jainism derives its philosophy from the teachings and lives of the 24 Tirthankaras (enlightened teachers).
Jains believe that the universe and everything in it is eternal. Nothing that exists presently is a part of creation, nor will it be a part of destruction. The universe consists of three realms: the heavens, the earthly realm, and the hells.
Jainism is an ancient religion that began during the sixth century and is mostly found in India. Though it is an ancient religion, it has had a profound effect on many aspects of modern society both inside and outside India, whether directly or indirectly.   It helps one reach peace and harmony, live a healthy lifestyle, and teaches one to be truthful not to harm others.  This directly and indirectly influences many areas of society, such as equality, non-violence, and anti-war movements.
Jainism has had a direct impact on reforms in Indian society, such as the issue of caste.  For example, they have had debates on traditional ideas, such as the caste system.   India is a division into caste systems, and members are not supposed to interact with those of a different caste.   The fact is Jains have debated whether or not to allow low-caste Jains to worship in temples of the higher castes has challenged traditional societal norms of India.
Though most Jains live in India, there are about 100,000 of them who live in other parts of the world, including Africa, The United Kingdom, and The United States, and many of them have never spent time in India.   These are the Jains that have the most direct influence on modern society outside of India.  Traditionally, Jainism advocated withdrawing from the natural world stating how it was dangerous instead of something one actively should engage in. During 1992, L.M. Singhvi described this religion as a perpetual philosophy that teaches the respect of all forms of life and thus, is an eco-religion.
Jainism has nine Tattvas or fundamentals necessary for a person to achieve the ninth and final step of liberation of one’s soul.  Karma is a binding force of matter that one is not able to see, hear, smell, feel, or taste and is not good deeds or bad deeds. The nine Tattvas include the following: Jiva (or the soul), Ajiva (non-living matter),...

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