The scientific analysis of life and what every jain must know
5/16/2012 The scientific analysis of life and WhatJAIN every Jain must know Essentials of Jain philosophy - simplified | Dr. T.K. Jain, firstname.lastname@example.org
The scientific analysisof life and What every Jain must know BY : DR. T.K. JAIN PARAKH NIWASSHIVAKAMU VETERINARY HOSPITAL ROAD BIKANER 334001 MOBILE : 9414430763
Read the following sections only if youbelieve in the following ideas : -- 1. Rebirth2. Existence of soul 3. Aura sorrounds ourbody 4. Our liberation (freedom from thebirth-rebirt cycle) is in our own hand andthrough our own actions we can liberateourselves 5. Our thoughts and actions havea direct impact on our existence andfuture.Mahaveer used the local language of histime so that knowledge can reach to everyperson. His sermons were the simplest tounderstand and would be accessible toevery creature. It may surprise you thateven animals and birds could understandhis sermons (it is mentioned that animalsalso used to attend his sermons).Today’s Jain saints use all the Jain stotra inold Prakrit language – which is notunderstood by people. The result is that
most of the Jains don’t understand what isJain religion all about. In one of myprevious colleges, I was asked to reciteNavkar Mahamantra (Namaskar or Navkarmeans greetings, and it is the mostimportant recitation in Jain philosophy).When I spoke Navkar Mantra’s hindiversion, people were surprised. They saidthat they used to listen NavkarMahamantra year after year, but for thefirst time they understood its meaning.The meaning of Navkar Mahamantra is asunder : -I worship all those persons who haveconquered their enemies (enemies heremeans attachment, jealousy, hatred, love,and other such feelings)I worship all those persons, who haveattained eight Sidhhis (Siddhi meansattaining perfection and self control on
things like your speech, your thinking, youractions).I worship all those who are imparting trueknowledge to others and who are a sourceof ultimate knowledge and wisdom forothersI worship all those who established religionin proper format and have establishedproper systems for the propagation ofreligion (religion here means the path ofattainment of Nirvana / Moksha – whichhelps you to reach your soul).I worship all saints in this world. Saintshere means all those who are devoted toself realization and follow right path forself realizationThese five worships are very beneficial toeveryone and will remove my ill thoughtsand ill attachments and enable well beingall around for everyone.
I wish that every person should understandJain philosophy. For those who claim thatthey are Jain, it is necessary that theyshould understand Jain philosophy andshould try to follow it a bit – even if theycan follow it one percent.I will start with an incident. A GermanScholar liked Jain religion and its scientificnarrations. He wanted to understand manypractical aspects of Jain religion. He usedto search for visitors from India, andwhenever any person with surname Jainwould come Germany, he would approachthat person to understand the practicalaspects of Jain religion. He would getdisappointed every time. Every personwould reply “I am a Jain by birth, but Idon’t know anything about Jainism andhave never practiced all these.”. It is adisappointing fact that most of the people
who put Jain as surname, don’t understandthe rich heritage that Jain religion carriesand the great contribution it can make totheir life.Jain religion believes in soul and in re-birth. There is no God in Jain religion. Youcannot ask for any materialistic possessionfrom any Jain god / goddess. The ultimategoal of life is Nirvana (Moksha) and Jainreligion gives you the path to attain thatstate.Most of what Mahaveer said was compliedabout 1000 years after his departure by hisfollowers. This was put as Aagam (the mostimportant original literature of Jainphilosophy). Most of the knowledge ofAagam is for Saints (as it is so difficult thatit cannot be practiced by an ordinaryperson). Thus Aagam were never meant forcommon people. But for the common
people, Mahaveer had introduced verysimple practices, which have turned intorituals over a period of time. It is importantthat we must understand their meaning inour own language and try to practice themin the way we can understand. The basicpurpose is to follow what Mahaveer saidus to do and not just recite something,which we cannot understand.Aavashyak Sutra (necessary steps) containimportant practices, which are followed byJain Saints. Most of the Jain followers alsotry to adopt these practices in their lives. Ishall mention a few of these here : - Samayika Pratikraman Vandana and Hymn about twenty four tirthankara Kayotsarga
PratyakhanSamayika : it is done for 48 minutes.Samayika means equanimity. It is a feelingof equality towards every living being.Samayika means that we have samefeelings towards every being. We don’thave love or hatred or jealousy orrepulsion towards any being. Samayika isdone twice, once in the morning – justafter sunrise and once in the evening – justbefore sunset. During Samayika, a persontries to develop calmness and a feeling ofequanimity towards every living being onthe Earth.Pratikraman: Literally it means to returnback. Thus it is an exercise of repentenceand to return back to our original status. Itis done twice – once just before sunriseand once just after sunset. It is done for
one hour. During Pratikraman, we try torecall our ill thoughts or ill actions andrepent for them and try to return back toour pure state of mind. If we have donesomething due to our attachment, we tryto recall all those actions and try to purifyour selves from those actions and try torevert ourselves back to pure state ofmind.Vandana : Vandana is worship. There is noprovision of seeking any materialistic thingfrom the God in Jain philosophy. So thequestion arises – why should we doworship. Worship is done so that we mayhave the virtues that the Tirthankars andSaints had in themselves. Vandana is donewith a purpose to seek the virtues,wisdom, knowledge and right path.Worship is just offering respect to ourideal persons. Worship here doesn’t have
to do with seeking materialistic pleasures.Lord Mahaveer didn’t promote anytemples. However, it is a good practice if aperson goes to temple daily and offers hisworship to Tirthankars. This will enablehim to change faster . However, it wouldnot be appropriate (in my personal opinion– you may differ) to offer flowers or othersuch things before God or to light a Dipak(Lord Mahaveer prohibited Jains to use fireunnecessarily).Kayotsarga : - Kayotsarga is the mostfundamental in Jain philosophy and it isbeing practiced for thousands of years. Allthe Jain Tirthankars used this method forattaining Nirvana. Kayotsarga is differentfrom Shawasan (deep relaxation).Kayotsarga has following sequence : -
Relax the body and detach yourself fromthe body – understand it that your soul isdifferent from your body.Relax your breathingRelax your mind (mind cannot relax unlessbody is relaxed and breathing is alsorelaxed)Relax your ideas and ultimately rest in yoursoul.Lord Bahubali did Kayotsarga for one yearstanding in a forest (now it seems difficultto understand how he did it – but at thattime, there were many techniques forcontrol of body, breathing and one’s aura –which do not exist today, there are storiesof saints doing Kayotsarga and no wildanimal would even touch them due totheir aura). In fact the earlier methods ofKayotsarga have been lost with the passageof time. In today’s time, you can do
Kayotsarga as sitting or sleeping posture orfor a short time you may do it standingalso. In ancient times, it used to be done instanding posture by the Jain monks. Thismethod is used only among Jain Monks.Jain philosophy says that calm body willenable you to have calm breathing. Calmbreathing will enable you to calm downyour mind. Calm mind will enable you toreach your soul. You may do this for asmuch time as convenient to you – startwith a few minutes and increase to onehour or more. It is believed that we canfirst control our body, then we can controlour breathing and then we can control ourmind and our ideas and then we can reacha status of enlightenment – being with oursoul and ultimately through our will, wecan attain Kevalya Gyan (Moksha), which isthe ultimate state, beyond which we will
be free from the cycle of birth and rebirth.We are in the cycle of birth and rebirth dueto our own attachment and our owndesires, when we free ourselves from ourattachments, we are able to liberateourselves (because basically, the soul isfree and it is our own folly that we haveattached ourselves with the materialisticworld and wish to enjoy ourselves in thisworld – thus we end up in the chain ofbirth and rebirth – which is an endlessprocess).Pratyakhyan : it literally means to give up.In this method a person gives upeverything and tries to detach from thematerialistic world. There are many typesof methods in this. The easiest of all isNokarsi – where a person doesn’t eat ordrink anything till 1.5 hours after sunrise.People often do Upvas (not eating anything
for 24 hours, in Chowihar, people don’tdrink also during these 24 hours), similarlyin Bela, people don’t eat for 48 hours andin Tela, people don’t eat for 72 hours. Afew persons do Athai (doing continuous 8Upwas – remaining without food for 8 dayscontinuously). Ayambil is one type offasting in which a person eats only once ina day – that too of only one type of grain –there are different grains fixed for differentdays for that purpose. A few persons doMaskhaman (fasting for one month) orVarshitap (fasting for one year – in such away that one day there is fast and next daythe person can eat some food and so on)also – but let us now focus on the mostimportant thing- the most important thingis that as a result of this exercise, youshould develop detachment from yourworldly existence. By remaining hungry,
you can evolve your will power fordetachment and try to focus on theultimate goal of life i.e. liberation orMoksha. Without this exercise, thesepractices will be fruitless. Detachment is aslow process and therefore you have to tryit again and again. As per Jain philosophy,attachment is more difficult to get rid of incomparison to hatred, although both mustbe avoided. Jain philosophy lays specialemphasis on what we eat and drink andhow we do it. There are living beingseverywhere including air, fire and water.Therefore we have to minimize our eatingand drinking. We have to eat less (Jainphilosophy says that we must eat at least25% less than our regular appetite). Wemust eat such food, which causesminimum sufferings to the living beings.Therefore non-veg food is prohibited.
Similarly, roots are also prohibited. Aperson can eat or drink only during daytime – not during night time, because asper Jain philosophy, during night there aremany living beings, which take birth onlyduring night and disappear during day timeand therefore eating and drinking duringnight is prohibited. Jain philosophy doesn’tapprove of eating honey, or liquor or othersuch material, which involves eithersufferings to other living beings or whichhave been prepared to alter ourconsciousness. Jain philosophy is based onthe basic principle that the ultimate goal ofa being should be liberation and thereforeall the actions and ideas must be evaluatedin that reference. Since liberation of soul ismore important than any thing else, thepractices have been evolved which helps inliberation. The three most important tools
that help us in liberation are : 1.Knowledge (gyan) 2. Philosophicalunderstanding and vision (darshan) 3.Character and our actions (charitra). Jainsaints are supposed to lead a life ofausterity. If they make any mistake orbecome consumtion oriented or deviatefrom their path, there are stringent self-punitive actions that thay they have toperform. Generally they cannot usevehicle, they cannot use modern gadgets,and they cannot indulge into modernluxuries or comforts. They have to keepminimum basic things with them (whichare prescribed) and they have to walkbarefoot. They travel from one place toanother – they are not allowed to settle orreside at one place. They have to devotesome time in spreading knowledge amongpeople and in Jain philosophy, spreading
right knowledge (how to get liberation) is agreat task. Aacharang Sutra (the firstAgam) gives detailed description of how aJain saint has to lead his / her life.Jains believe that there is continuousAshrav and Nirjara (Ashrav means that wehave attachment and therefore we acquireKarma Pudgal – which ultimately createrebirth chain for us) (Nirjara means thatthrough our efforts, actions, thinking andself control, we can detach ourselves fromour actions and thus we may get rid of theKarma which have attached us). There aredetailed methods and descriptions ofLeshya (auro which surrounds us) and howwe can purify our leshya. The mostimportant aspect is our own willingness – ifwe truly desire - we can achieve it –though continuous efforts.
I apologise to all those who believe that Ihave written something wrong. I sincerelyadmit that I am not an expert in thissubject and whatever I have written isbased on the practices that I haveobserved during my childhood in my home(from my mother) and I haven’t taken anyformal training in this subject. I sincerelyacknowledge the great contribution of allJain saints and scholars in their respectiveroles and I don’t have even a fraction ofknowledge in comparison to them.I seek forgiveness from everyone andforgive everyone for any misinterpretationor misstatement in the process.