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Thread: Jaina Dharma

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    Post Jaina Dharma

    Mahayogi Vardhamana Jnatrputra (599-527 BC) was a Kshatriya, born in Magadha and remembered as Mahavira (Great Hero). He claimed the descent of his Jaina doctrine, which has much in common with Buddhism, from a line of 23 previous enlightened ones; and Jainas venerate their 24 preceptors as Tirthankaras (Ford Makers), perfected souls (Paratmas) whose imitation leads to a ‘crossing over’ into Moksha.

    Buddha-Dharma considers that, in Samadhi, the apparent multiplicity of Purushas is dissolved; whereas Jaina regards each Jiva (Self-Spirit) as maintaining its identity throughout eternity.

    Mahavira considered the violation of any individual Purusha to be the greatest cause of Karma, which he viewed as the actual material accretion that binds Purusha to earthly existence.

    Continued alimentation necessarily involves death, and thus the accumulation of fresh Karma. This is proved by the fact that fasting leads inevitably to physical wasting, and Paranirvana. Jaina Sannyasa is renowned for the severity of its flesh-denying Tapasya.


    AHIMSA in Jaina Sutras [from Sutrakritanga ~ Transl. H. Jacobi]

    Earth, water, fire, wind; grass, trees, and corn; and the moveable beings: the oviparous, viviparous, those generated from dirt, and those generated in fluids.

    These classes (of living beings) have been declared; know and understand that they (all desire) happiness; by (hurting) these beings (men) do harm to their own souls, and will again and again be born as one of them.

    Every being born high or low in the scale of the living creation, among moveable and immoveable beings, will meet with its death. Whatever sins the evil-doer commits in every birth, for them he must die.

    In this world or in the next (the sinners suffer themselves what they have inflicted on other beings), a hundred times, or (suffer) other punishment. Living in the Samsara they ever acquire new Karman, and suffer for their misdeeds.

    Some leave their mother and father to live as Shramanas, but they use fire; (the prophet) says: People are wicked who kill beings for the sake of their own pleasure.

    He who lights a fire, kills living beings; he who extinguishes it, kills the fire. Therefore a wise man who well considers the Law, should light no fire.

    Earth contains life, and water contains life; jumping (or flying) insects fall in (the fire); dirt-born vermin (and beings) living in wood: all these beings are burned by lighting a fire.

    Sprouts are beings possessed of natural development, their bodies (require) nourishment, and all have their individual life. Reckless men who cut them down out of regard for their own pleasure, destroy many living beings.

    By destroying seeds, when young or grown up, a careless man does harm to his own soul. (The prophet) says: People are wicked who destroy seeds for the sake of their own pleasure.

    Man, cease from sins! For the life of men will come to an end. Men who are drowned in lust, as it were, and addicted to pleasure will, for want of control, be deluded.

    Exert and control yourself! For it is not easy to walk on ways where there are minutely small animals. Follow the commandments that the Arhats have well proclaimed.

    Heroes of faith who desist from sins and exert themselves aright, who subdue wrath, fear, etc., will never kill living beings; they desist from sins and are entirely happy.

    It is not myself alone who suffers, all creatures in the world suffer; this a wise man should consider, and he should patiently bear such calamities as befall him, without giving way to his passions.

    As a wall covered with a plastering of dried cow-dung is by a shock made thin, so a monk should make his body lean by fasting, etc. He should abstain from slaughter of living beings.

    This is the Law proclaimed by the Sage.

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    24 Jaina Tīrthankaras (or Nāthas):

    1. Ādi,
    2. Ajita,
    3. Sambhava,
    4. Abhinandana,
    5. Sumati,
    6. Padmaprabha,
    7. Supārśva,
    8. Candraprabha,
    9. Pushpadanta,
    10. Śītala,
    11. Śreyāmsa,
    12. Vāsupūjya,
    13. Vimala,
    14. Ananta,
    15. Dharma,
    16. Śānti,
    17. Kunthu,
    18. Ara,
    19. Malli,
    20. Munisuvrata,
    21. Nami,
    22. Nemi,
    23. Pārśva, and
    24. Vardhamāna (Mahāvīra).
    Last edited by sarabhanga; 19 May 2006 at 07:20 PM.

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