Jainism for Dummies


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A short simple introduction to the philosophy

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Jainism for Dummies

  1. 1. J ai nismGeneration Jain: Jainism Your Way 2008 YJA Convention Chicago, Illinois Presenter: Ameet Shah
  2. 2. What is Jainism? • ‘Jina’ ‘Spiritual Victor’ over inner enemies • Distinct and independent of other Indian traditions such as Hinduism and Buddhism • Way of life based on ahimsa (non-violence) and compassion • Believe in philosophy of karma, reincarnation, heaven/hell, and liberation (moksha) • Soul is ignorant of its true nature and bounded by karma since eternity • To overcome suffering, you need (1) Right Faith, (2) Right Knowledge, and (3) Right Conduct • Whole truth cannot be realized from single viewpoint- Anekantavada (non-absolutism)YJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  3. 3. Namokkar Mantra Namo Arihantanam I bow to all Arihants (Tirthankars) who have destroyed all 4 Ghati karmas Namo Siddhanam I bow to all Siddhas (liberated souls) who possess no karma Namo Ayariyanam I bow to all the Acharyas, the heads of various Jain congregations • Most revered prayer Namo Uvajjhayanam I bow to all Upadhyays, learned scholars and teachers of Jain scriptures • Rosary has 108 beads representing 108 qualities Namo Loe Savva Sahunam I bow to all Sadhus/Sadhvis (ascetics) who strictly follow 5 great vows of conduct of these 5 supreme beings Esa Pancha Namukkaro To these 5 types of great souls, I offer my prayers Savva Pava Panasano May such prayer help diminish all my negative vibrations and sins Mangalanam cha Savvesim Padhamam Havai Mangalam Offering this prayer is the foremost amongst all auspicious benedictionsYJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  4. 4. Concept of God FOUNDER LORD MAHAVIR •Jainism – eternal philosophy •Prince raised as Vardhaman •Tirthankars continually modify code •Left family/royal household at 30 of conduct/practices based on their •Emphasized celibacy and six daily time in history observances for followers •Tirthankar Mahavir, 24th tirthankar •At age 72, attained Nirvana (final established a religious order based death) – Diwali is celebrated to honor on Jain philosophy this achievement CONCEPT OF GOD •Preached universal love, reduction •Not a creator, protector, destroyer of wants/desires of universe •True nature of reality is timeless •Various “gods” – all have conquered •Jain scriptures: Agams (12 books) inner enemies and achieved ultimate goal of liberation •At death, arihants become siddhasYJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  5. 5. Three Cardinal Principles of Conduct Ahimsa (Non-Violence) Anekantavada (Multiplicity of Views) Aparigraha (Non-Possessiveness)YJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  6. 6. Five Great Vows • Ahimsa (Nonviolence/Compassion) • Satya (Truth) • Asteya (Non-Stealing) • Brahmacharya (Chastity) • Aparigraha (Non-Possession/Non-Attachment) Laypeople have 12 vows (“Anuvrats”) that include the above 5 (to a limited extent) plus 7 related to merit (3) and discipline (4)YJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  7. 7. Six Universal Substances • Only living substance – conscious and possesses knowledge Jiva (Soul/Consciousness) • Invisible, infinite numbers in universe • Nonliving substance – visible and nonvisible Pudgal (Matter) • Many types – soul interacts with 8 types of matter • Helps the soul and matter migrate from one place to another Dharma (Medium of Motion) in the universe – not cause, but helper • Helps the soul and matter rest, not cause, but helper Adharma (Medium of Rest) • Lokakash (universe) – occupied by 5 substances; finite Akasha (Space) • Alokakash – limitless space surrounding Lokakash; empty/void • Two views: time – imaginary thing with no real existence or it Kal (Time) has real existence made up of innumerable time atomsYJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  8. 8. Space and Time Space Time Cycle Regressive Alokakash Half Cycle Moksha 6. Very Happy 1. Very Happy 6 1 Upper World 5. Happy 2. Happy 5 2 Middle World 4. Happy- 4 3 3. Happy- Lower Unhappy Unhappy World 3 4 Lokakash 3. Unhappy- 2 5 4. Unhappy- Happy 1 6 Happy 2. Unhappy 5. Unhappy 1. Very Unhappy 6. Very Unhappy Progressive Half CycleYJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  9. 9. Karma Philosophy: Nine Fundamentals (Tattvas) to our soul are due not only to our actions of body, mind, and soul, Karma that bind but more importantly to the intentions behind our actions Jiva Bandha Samvar (Soul/Consciousness) (Characteristics of Bondage) (Stoppage of Attachment) Ajiva Nirjara Punya* (Non-living Substances – (Exhaustion of Accumulated (Merit of Good Deeds) Karmic Matter) Karma) Moksha Asrava Pap* (Total Liberation from all (Causes of Bondage) (Sin of Bad Deeds) Karma)* Sometimes included in Asrava, since they are the result of AsravaYJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  10. 10. Four Passions Wrong faith/perception of reality, lack of self-restraint, spiritual laziness, passions and activities of body, speech, and mind, lead to the attachment of karma nge ree go d ecei tYJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  11. 11. Types of Karmas Asrava causes karma particles to attach to the soul – once attached, karma’s bondage is explained in 4 forms: type, duration, intensity, and quantity of karma particles Ghati Karmas (Destructive Karma) Aghati Karmas (Non-destructive Karma) Mohaniya Vedaniya (Deluding Karma) (Feeling Pertaining Karma) Jnanavaraniya Nam (Knowledge Obscuring Karma) (Body/Physique Determining Karma) Darshanavaraniya Gotra (Perception Obscuring Karma) (Status Determining Karma) Antaraya Ayusha (Obstructing Karma) (Life Span Determining Karma)YJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  12. 12. Path of Liberation One can detach from one’s karma and attain liberation by understanding the true nature of the soul Three Jewels of Jainism Samyak Darshan Samyak Gnan Samyak Charitra (Right Conviction/Faith) (Right Knowledge) (Right Conduct)YJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism
  13. 13. Questions? Michchhami Dukkadam! ameetshah@gmail.comYJA 2008 - Generation Jain: Jainism Your Way Jainism