Take five minutes sitting in a quiet place where you

This preview shows page 8 - 10 out of 58 pages.

Take five minutes sitting in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Assumea comfortable position and close your eyes. Try to watch your inner thoughts and feelings. Try to watch them in a detached manner, without “getting involved” in any of them. Let your thoughts come and go without losing your status as a detached observer. This is more difficult than it seems but with practice gets easier.The idea is that through a regular discipline of attending and letting go, one identifies less with one’s thoughts and feelings, and spontaneously, a sense of Self (Atman) transcending the narrow, dualistic, “false self” begins to dawn.JainismThe question of Jainism and Hinduism is a good example of the “fuzzy boundaries” between religions. Jains reject the Vedas and differ in some chief points from Hindu beliefs (creed) and practices (cult). However, for many, Jainismseems like another form of Hinduism. The Indian government considers Jainism as merely a type of Hinduism.Read the following summary of Jainism:oThe origins of Jainism can be traced back to the Indus River valley civilization of 3000 B.C.
oJains believe that there were 24 great teachers the last of whom was Lord Mahavira who lived during 6th century B.C. These twenty-four teachers are called Tirthankaras-people who had attained all knowledge while living(Moksha) and preached it to the people. Thus, there is not one all-powerful supreme being that controls all.oJains believe in reincarnation. Their souls, which are believed to be a unique substance in the universe, take different living forms in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. This cycle has been going on forever, the universe has no beginning or end, it has always been and always will be. The ultimate goal is to get rid of one's karma on their soul so that they mayend this cycle. Once this goal is reached their soul has attained all knowledge and it rests in the heavens forever (Nirvana).oKarma theory is about actions and the results they bring to the soul's path.It is the simply the law of cause and effect with respect to the soul. E.G. One's actions for today will effect what will happen to them in this or their future lives.oThe way to get rid of one's karma is to follow certain rules of doing good somewhat similar to the ten commandments. These include the principles of:1.Ahimsa- To protect all life (non-violence)2.Satya- To speak truth3.Asteya- To not steal4.Brahmacharya- To not commit adultery5.Aparigraha- To limit one's possessionsoJains uphold these principles by practicing vegetarianism, non-violence in thought, deed, and action.oJains perform their sacred rituals at the temple or Derasar. Some of these rituals are:oPuja- Concentrating on one's soul through intense prayer sometimes in the presence of sculptures of the teachers to serve as an example of how to attain Moksha.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture