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
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.
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