Jainism-The religion of Non-violence
History of Jainism
Jainism is actually a pre-vedic relegion according to its canons. But there is no historical proof to support that. So we have to accept it from the date of reliable evidence.That reliably dates back to 9th century B.C.
jAINS BELIEVE IN 24 THIRTHANKARAS who rejuvinated the philosophy from time to time.These thirthankaras are like prophets.First thirthankara is Rishabha Deva,whose mention and story is found in Rig-veda.So, jain scholors say that at;east, the existance of Jainism should be believed from the date of Rigveda.But ,historical evidences are found for 23rd thirthankara Parshwanatha only,who lived 250 years earlier to Bhagwan Mahaveera-the 24th thirthankara.Hence, jainism can safely be dated back to 9th century B.C.
Bhagwan Mahaveera,who was born and developed in present Bihar state.lived in 6th century B.C. and his date is undisputed. He was the contemporary of Buddha.but younger to him by 12 years.
Mahaveera lived for 72 years. He became a yogu at the age of 30, meditated for 12 years, and realised the ultimate truth( called -kevala gnana) nad spent the rest 30 years of his life in preaching it to the people, without any descrimination . Hence, he is regardwed as swami or god
Philosophy of Jains
Main points of Jainism can be enumerated as follows:
1. World is neither created nor is there is anyone to maintain it in the same condition. The universe came into existence because of the combination of so many different type of particles here, and it changes, as this permutation changes.So, there is no creater.
2. Every living being has a soul. Hence it has the capacity to get salvation( moksha) sooner or later. It has to make up its mind for that.
3. Good or bad deeds and thoughts done by us ( karma) acts as bondage, binding us to this world. We have to suffer for our deeds/thoughts either in sorrowful or enjoyable manner.Liberation from this cycle is the aim of life.
4 Salvation/moksha is nothing but bringing us out of this bondage of karma.This has to be achieved by doing good things, meditation, donations, helping the poors, etc. Keeping our needs to the minimum is the best way to have less karma.
5. on loosing karma, every soul can attain godhood.But that path is not easy.
6.God doesn't solves our problems. We have to solve it ourselves.God is revered and prayed for -he shows us the way to getout of the karma bondage.We pray him with the wish that let we too become like Him.
Video showing Jaina way of life.Video taken during the 'Mahamasthakabhisheka' Of Lord Gommatesha at Shravanabelagola
7.Good conduct, Good knowledge, and Good faith are three important virtues one should posses to achieve solvation.
8 Non-violence is the basis for all good developments. Violence is the root cause for all sins. Hence,observe non-violence at all costs.
Several books are available on jainism.But the following one is best for preliminery but quite exhaustive knowledge of this religion:
1. COMPENDIUM OF JAINISM-by Justice T.K. Tukol
Published by justice T.K.Tukol trust,Bangalore.
Chairman;B.T.Tukol,Ph:91-080-2664 8335; firstname.lastname@example.org
2.Studies in Jainism-by Herman Jacobi
3 Jainism-By-Annie Besant,Pub: The Theosophical society, Adyar,Chennai-20,India.