Jainism
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What is Jainism?

Jainism is one of the world’s oldest religions, and simply stated- a way of life; the Jain faith is set apart by belief in and adherence to principles of non-violence (ahimsa), non-absolutism (anekantvaad), and detachment/non-possessiveneness (aparigrah).

Ahimsa extends to every form of life and refers to the abolition of violent thoughts, speech, and actions; this principle encourages universal friendship (maitri), benevolence (pramod), compassion (karuna), and forgiveness (kshama). Vegetarianism is a fundamental tenet of Jainism, based on the ideology that every living being in existence possesses an eternal soul; the preparation and consumption of a Jain diet involves minimizing violence, accepting only what is indispensable for human survival.
gan

Mahatma Gandhi was a large proponent for the practice of Ahimsa.

Anekantvaad refers to the multiplicity of viewpoints; to understand the complete truth, every individual’s perspective and aspect of a given situation must be considered; this principle encourages tolerance, harmony and peaceful coexistence.
6-blind-men-hans

The story of the blind men and the elephant is a perfect example of Anekantvaad.

Aparigrah refers to detachment from worldly possessions, along with the overcoming of inner vices that contribute to uncontrolled desires; this principle promotes selflessness, generosity, and philanthropy. Jains believe that attachment and delusion (moh) is the leading cause of harmful elements that inhibit spiritual advancement.
Sth_Ter_nuns-Arjun.jpg

Jain monks take a vow of aparigrah, renouncing their worldly possessions and living with only the bare necessities. Followers of Jainism may practice aparigrah by trying to limit their possessions and attachment to worldliness as much as possible for each individual.

 Jainism outlines a path of purification and self-realization; by acquiring the correct knowledge (samyak gyaan), insight/faith (samyak darshan), and conduct (samyak charitra), one progresses to achieve a supreme state of spiritual well-being and perfection.
girnar_006

Mount Girnar in Gujarat, India is a  holy pilgrimage site for Jains. Interesting coincidence: turn your head 90 degrees to the right and look at the picture–doesn’t it look like the facial profile of a Thirthankara?!

This entry was posted in: Jainism

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Jain foodie with a passion for compassionate cooking. I’m writing to inspire living a healthy, compassionate lifestyle through a Jain diet.

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