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Human values


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Jainism and its relation to the five Human Values.



HUMAN VALUES

JAINISM

TRUTH

(Sathya)


One of the 5 vows of Jainism is:

Satya – To speak only what is true, pleasant and good.



RIGHTOUSNESS

(Right – Conduct)

(Dharma)


The 3 jewels or Triratna of Jainism are:

Right Faith

Right Knowledge

Right Character



PEACE

(Shanti)


Ref: to section on Love below;- these will bring peace.

LOVE

(Prema)


(Universal)

Love in Jainism is expressed through their 4 forms of Public Conduct:-

  1. Kind acts without reward

  2. Rejoice at well being of others

  3. Relieve suffering of others

  4. Pity criminals.

NON-VIOLENCE

(Thought, Word, Deed)

(Abhimsa)


“All living beings hate pain, therefore do not injure or kill them. This is the essence of wisdom, not to kill anything”.



 Ref: Unity Of Faiths (29th-31st July 1984) J.Jagadeesan

"Jain" or "Jaina" means a follower of Jina, those persons who have conquered the lower nature of passion, which includes hatred, lust, anger, pride and greed. The passions are considered as enemies of the soul; they taint the natural qualities, obscures right belief, causes false knowledge and wrong conduct of the self.

The main point in the Jain religion is the reverence paid to holy men, who have raised themselves to divine perfection through long discipline. He who is enlightened is known as Jineswara (chief of the Jinas), a spiritual guide who enables one to cross over the ocean of birth and death in this world.

Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, is the reformer of Jainism as He revived the Jain doctrines. ‘Maha’ means ‘great’ and ‘Vira’ means ‘a hero’. The Jain theory is based on reason. It is based on right faith, right knowledge, right conduct, tempered with mercy. Jainism is not a theistic religion in the sense of the belief in the existence of a God as the Creator and the Ruler of the world. The highest being in the Jain philosophy is a person who has attained perfection rather than an abstract Being.



Suggested Activity : List three ways in which you can reduce the harm caused to others and be more forgiving in your life and attempt to put these into practice.

1. Try not to get angry, and if you do drink a glass of cold water.

2. Forget the wrong that is done to you by others,

3. Speak lovingly and softly to all.



Some Festivals in Jainism

Mahavira Jayanti - March/April
This festival celebrates the day of Mahavira's birth.
Jains will gather in temples to hear readings of the teachings of Mahavira. Images of Mahavira are paraded through the streets with much pomp and ceremony.

Paryushana - August/September
The word 'Paryushana' means 'to stay in one place', which signifies a time of reflection and repentance for the Jain devotee. Originally this was done in monasteries. This festival consists of eight days of intensive fasting, repentance and pujas. Often monks will be invited to give teachings from the Jain scriptures.

Divali - October/November
This festival is celebrated throughout India. In Jainism, it has special significance, as on this day in 527 BC, Mahavira gave his last teachings and attained ultimate liberation or perfection of the soul.


Kartak Purnima – October/November
This is considered to be an auspicious time for pilgrimage to the sacred sites associated with the Jain religion.

Mauna Agyaras – November/December
This is a daylong observance of fasting and silence. Jains also meditate on the five great beings.

JAIN VALUES

AHIMSA – NON-VIOLENCE


Thoughts lead to action, therefore pure, non-violent thoughts are important in order to live a peaceful life.

SATHYA – TRUTH


That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.

APARIGRAHA – SIMPLICITY


A life free from clutter or attachments enables us to focus on our own enlightenment and liberation.

ASTEYA – CHARITY


When we share what we have with others and avoid taking that which does not belong to us, we realize that nothing belongs to us.

SAIYAM – RESTRAINT


We should be masters of our senses and not slaves to them.

Restraint in our eating, actions and sleeping will cultivate a deeper peace of mind helping us to lead a balanced and disciplined life.


ANEKANT – RESPECT


Truth has many facets and there are no absolute truths – no one right answer. Tolerance for different viewpoints and beliefs will help us to live peacefully amidst the diversity of life that surrounds us.

KSHAMA – FORGIVENESS


Blame and hatred results in violence to oneself. When we forgive, we heal ourselves (and possibly others). When we ask for forgiveness, we develop our own humility. We move forward, instead of being held back.

Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation, UK Fact Sheet 2

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