jainism-300 - Maria Tsiolkas David Liu Rel 300 9 March 2009...

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Maria Tsiolkas David Liu Rel 300 9 March 2009 Principles of Jainism Jainism is a religion that is based on the notion of non-violence to any living thing, excluding those followers, because everything can be divine. Followers are those individuals who have reached liberation of samsara, and teach others the way. There ideas came from twenty-four Tirthankaras, the last being Mahavir, who lived ascetic lives on the principles of karma, ahimsa, aparigraha, and anekantwad. These pillars of Jainism have parallels to other religious traditions in the faiths of Hinduism and Buddhism. The Tirthankaras are the founders of the religion and are the reason that it even has its name. Jina is the term to describe someone who has reached liberation, and all the Tirthankaras were Jinas, which means “a ‘winner’ over passions,” (Fisher 116). The passions that Mary Pat Fisher talks about are the materialistic items in people’s lives; and those are what Jains are supposed to learn to live without. In order to be a Jina and live an ascetic life, one must be celebit, practice meditation, fast, always speak the truth, and own no possessions. During ones life, it is said that they would have to go through many cycles or lives, which is called samsara, in order to reach liberation. Within the cycles of lives, the forms could be human, animal, insect, or deamon figures. This Jains believe every living being has a spiritual soul, which they used the
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term "jiva" to describe this soul. They also believe all souls are equal and by nature, because they all possess the potential of being liberated; they are perfect, peaceful, all-knowing, timeless, and endless in number (Young 100). This is the reason that Jains do not disturb the earth, meaning they do not make any food, but only take what is given to them. Giving into the passions causes karma. Everything they do in life is accumulated over time, and that is called Karma, and the Jains try to keep the amount of Karma they have to a minimum. "Like Hindus and Buddhists, Jains believe that our actions influence the future
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jainism-300 - Maria Tsiolkas David Liu Rel 300 9 March 2009...

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