Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Teachings The Jains repudiate the authority or infal,. libility of the Vedas, and do 'not attach any importance to the performance of sacrifices. They believe that every object, even the smallest paIticle, possesses a,soulaI1d i13 endowed with consciousness. A natural corollary, oLtl1isprinc~pl~ is their strict. (}pservance of ahimsa or non-injury to any sentient being.

Soul or a Supreme Power as the Creator and Sustamer 9f the universe. The Jain gqal of life is to a,ttain'deliverance from the fetters of earthly exjstence.The cause.of the s°'4's embodime~t being the presence oJ lazrmic matter, moksha could be achieved, if and' when a person gets rid of ~l1lazrma inherited from past lives, and acq~res no new one. the way to this is through the Triratna (Three Jewel§)-rlght (aitl1, right knowledge, and right conduct. The Jain emphasis the practice of pen~nces, such as yogic exer9ses ahd fasting, even to the point of death as it would give'strength fo tbe' soul and keep th.e lower matt,er subdued, Jairiism does not deny, th,e existeQceof gods but.refUse$ to give gods any important p~ut il} the universal.t>c))~we.

both classes being included in the 63 Great Men (Satalaz-purusas), who live at regular intervaISin the cycle. At the peak period men are.dfenormoUs size 'and reach a tremendous age. They have no ne~d of laws or property, for the wishing-tree (lazlpavriksha) gives them all they need for the asking. At present, the world is rapidly declining; The last ;Trithankara of this age has passed to final nirvana, and gradually true. religion will' be lost. Mahavira in his omniscience is said to have even given' his followers the name and address' of the last 'Jina ofthis'aeonr The process of decline willcontinue:for40,OOOyears, when men will be dwarfs in stature, with"a life of only 20 yeal'S, and will dwell in caves, having forgotten. all culture, even the' use of, fire. Then the tide 'will fum, and they will begin to improve again, only to' decline once more, and So' Off.

Full salvation is not, possible to"the layman:. In this Jainism differs from Buddhism and Hinduism;,which con.; cede jt in exceptional C9ses. To attain nirvana, a man must abandon all trammels"including his' clothes. Amonasticilife is essential for salvation. The life of .'the monk shotlId be governed by the five vows. JainisIrt does not condemn the vamasystem. Mahavira attribUted the birth of a person into a varna to the. sins and virtues of that individual in the previous birth. But all individuals, irrespective of caste, can strive for liberation through good deeds and gadd .living.;

This migration led to the gteahschism in Jab Bhadrabahu, who led ilie emigrants, insisted' on the I tion of the rule of nudity which Mahavira had 'estabw Sthulabhadra, theJeader of the monks 'rho;remained i; north, allowed' his followers to wear white garments, to,the hardships and confusions of the,famine. Hence'/ the two sects of the;Jainas, the Dignmbatas('sky-cladl naked), and the vetambaras'fwhite-clad:).The schism not become final until the first century ,AD; and there i1
neyerany fundamental doctrirtal differences.

liurther splits took place among both the Digaml and. the, $vetambaras in about sixth century AD. Swtambaras split into Terapanthis and Digambaras Samtliyas. The Terapanthis, .and Samaiyas renounced I worship altogether and devoted.themselves to the wor. of the scriptures.

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