Dhruvi Shah – How would you explain Jainism to someone who is not familiar with it?
Jainism is a religion from India that teaches non-violence and the path of liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Jains follow Ahimsa (non-violence), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness), and Anekantvad (respecting others perception).
Jains believe that every living being, such as a human or plant, has a soul. Jains believe each living thing should be treated equally. Jains are vegetarians so that there will be less harm to animals. The 3 jewels of Jainism are Samyak Jnan (Right knowledge), Samyak Darshan (Right faith), and Samyak Charitra (Right conduct). Jains believe in karma, the consequence of your actions. There is good karma (punya), and bad karma (paap).
There are 9 types of Punya and they are:
1-Anna (food) Punya. You get it by giving pure vegetarian food to needy or animals.
2-Paan (water) Punya. You get this be giving pure water to who needs it.
3-Layan (space) Punya. It is when you offer your own space for someone to stay in, etc.
4-Shayan(sleep) Punya. This is when you offer ways to sleep of give place or materials for sleep, like a bed.
5-Vastra (cloth) Punya. You give clothes to the needy.
6-Maan (mind) Punya. You want good things to happen for all living souls.
7-Vachan (speech) Punya. Talking nicely to or about people.
8-Kaya (body) Punya. Giving Physical services using your body
9-Namaskar (bowing down)Punya. It is offering respect.
The 18 Paaps are:
- Pranatipat : Causing violence.
- Mrishavad : Speaking lies.
3 Adatadan : Stealing.
- Maithun : Unchastity or too much desire.
- Parigrah : Having attachment.
- Krodh : Getting angry.
- Maan : Being arrogant.
- Maya: Being deceitful.
9 Lobh : Being Greedy.
- Rag : Showing attachment.
- Dvesh : Showing hatred.
- Kalah : Quarrelling.
- Abhvakhyan : Making false accusations.
- Paishunya : Gossip.
- Rati-arati : Liking bad and disliking good things.
- Par-parivad : Criticizing others.
- Maya-Mrishavad: Malice or lying with the intent of cheating..
- Mithyatvashalya : Believing in false things.
There are many different kinds of karma. There is Gnanavarniya(Knowledge obscuring) karma, Antraya(Goal blocking), Darshanavarniya(faith deluding) and a lot more. They are all divided into subcategories. Ex: Antaraya karma is divided into Dana Antraya, Virya Antraya, etc. There are 2 types of karmas: Ghati(Destructive) and Aghati(Non-destructive). Aghati only impacts the body, so when you leave it, you leave the karmas too. Aghati impacts the soul. It will always be with you in whatever body, or life till you are liberated.
We follow the 24 tirthankaras. They have achieved Moksha, when the soul is liberated and all karmas have been destroyed. They are:
Shree Rishabhdev (Aadinath)
Shree Pushpadant (aka Suvidhinath)
Shree Mahavir Swami
There are 5 types of knowledge:
Mati jnan(knowledge through senses)
Shrut jnan(knowledge through reading and listening)
Mati jnan(knowledge through time and space)
Mana-Paryavya jnan(knowledge through telepathy)
Keval jnan(all knowing)
This is how I would explain jainism to someone who is not familiar to it.