7 tenets of Jainism which are more relevant than ever before

Jain, yes we are Jains,
People call us insane coz we bare pain,
We are humane but yes, we don’t complain.
We Sustain, increase our capital gain and believe in spreading the chain,
Jain, yes we are Jains.

Jainism is the oldest religion and is considered as one of the most peaceful religions. The name Jainism is derived from the Sanskrit verb “jina”(to conquer). It refers to the ascetic battle that Jain Monks and nuns must fight against passion and bodily senses to gain enlightenment and purity of soul.

Right knowledge, right faith, and right conduct were the three most essentials for attaining liberation but if I were told to link those Jainism essentials with today’s culture, I would submit the following:

1. Non-violence or non injury

’’Ahimsa Parma dharma”

Do not injure, kill, oppress, enslave, insult, torture, or abuse any creature or living being including our self. Nonviolence is based on love and kindness for all living beings but the culture today we are living in is causing harm to self because of the deficiency of peace and love towards our self.
Jainism preaches strict vegetarianism, and prohibits non-vegetarian foods; it explains that violence is not defined by actual harm, for this may be unintentional. Without violent thought there can be no violent actions and as it is rightly said that the taste of food we eat, makes our behaviour.
The various forms of non-violence are:
• Non –injury to all living beings.
• Not causing pain and suffering to others including plants and animals.
• Compassion towards all living creatures.
• The practice of forgiveness, love and friendliness.
• Peace and equanimity towards oneself and others.

2. Non Stealing

“Thou shalt not steal.”

This practice demands that one neither steals nor has the intent to steal another’s property through actions, speech and thoughts. One should not take anything which does not belong to them. Stealing is not only about stealing physical goods but also stealing a person’s identity for the fake name sake. We live in a society where money is thought to be everything “iss paise ke liye insan, kuch bhi kar sakta hai”.
We are witnessing thefts all around – not just theft of money or property, but theft of ideas and creativity and theft of others’ prestige and honour.

3. Truth

“A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity.”

Jainism preaches that untruth & false hood are bred when anger, greed, fear & jokes are part of one’s character. One should remain silent if the truth causes pain, hurt, anger, or death of any living being. Sometimes to speak the truth, a very high courage is required but the courage is worth it. Only those who have conquered greed, fear, anger, jealousy and frivolity can speak the truth. If you feel you are truthful, before sleeping just pass by your complete day and realize in how many small matters you lied today.
Leave about lying to others, we lie to our self. We portray ourselves as someone we actually are not.

4. Chastity

“Chastity is difficult long term matter; one must wait patiently for it to bear fruit.”

At the time of indulgence in activities of sensual pleasure, a person set aside all virtues. This is a very difficult vow to observe; considered as most difficult by many. A person not indulging in activities of pleasure but imagining those is equally dis-respectful to the teachings of Jainism. We are living in an era where warming, mingling, making love, cohabitation is part of a trend.
Jainism preaches cent percent abstinence from pleasure – sensual or to any of the five senses.

5. Non- attachment

“Detachment is not that you should own nothing. But that nothing should own you.”

Jainism establishes that the more a person indulges in worldly wealth & possessions, the more they are likely to assert to sin in order to acquire this wealth. In the long run, they are most likely to be unhappy since these material possessions are futile. We even don’t like someone else calling our best friend as their best friend. It is very much possible that the ones holding on to the material world are likely to succumb to greed, jealously, ego, hatred etc.
Lord Mahavir has said that wants and desires have no end, and only the sky is the limit for them.

6. Karma

“Do good things and good things will come your way.”

Jainism believes in karma and karma is closely associated with its belief in matter as real and universal. It is a cause and effect relationship. The nature of karma depends on our actions – pious action results in subtle situations while sinful actions to denser situation. Karma matters even with the thoughts and not just the actions thus even thinking evil for someone will add to our bad karma bandha. We may feel that to survive in this evil world we need to be bad with the worse or else we will not survive or make our stand but believe me; the seeds of your good deeds shall reap in fruitful fruits sooner or later.
No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come.

7. Tyaga

“There is power in self- sacrifice.”

Tyaga means giving up; giving up worldly activities which involve injury to others,; giving up possession by distributing it to needy. Avoid eating after sunset and before sunrise. Consume resources optimally. We should make use of only number of things necessary for life and to avoid the others. All that is preached by Jainism is practical, scientifically beneficial and also environmentally beneficial. We should not be attached to anyone or anything because nothing is permanent and Jainism teaches us the same.

To sum up, what was preached by Lord Mahavira is more relevant today than ever before in the history of mankind:
1. It’s better to win over self than over a million enemies.
2. Have compassion towards all living beings. Hatred leads destruction.
3. Every soul is independent. None is dependent on another.
4. Live and let live.
5. He, who conquers himself through himself, will obtain happiness.

Ritika Khajanchi

Ritika Khajanchi is an Associate Company Secretary. Charged with the motto of ‘Service above self’, Ritika aims at serving the business community in Surat with her skills and knowledge of managing companies and firms.

  1. Its a very informative topic on which you have enlighten our mind. Just keep writing because we love your work💯

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