jainism

Jainism ( Sanskrit: जैनधर्म Jainadharma, Tamil: சமணம் Samaṇam, Bengali: জৈনধর্ম Jainadharma, Telugu: జైనమతం Jainamataṁ, Malayalam: ജൈനമതം Jainmat, Kannada: ಜೈನ ಧರ್ಮ Jaina dharma), is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul toward divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina (“conqueror” or “victor”). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha. Ancient texts also refer to Jainism as shramana dharma (self-reliant) or the “path of the nirganthas” (those without attachments or aversions).

Samvara & Nirjara

Samvaraor stoppage of karmic influx is achieved through practice of:

  1. Three guptis or three controls of mind, speech and body,
  2. Five samitis or observing carefulness in movement, speaking, eating, placing objects and disposing refuse.
  3. Ten dharmas or observation of good acts like – forgiveness, humility, straightforwardness, contentment, truthfulness, self control, penance, renunciation, non-attachment and continence.
  4. Anuprekshas or meditation on the truths of this universe.
  5. Pariṣahajaya, that is, a man on moral path must develop a perfectly patient and unperturbed attitude in the midst of trying and difficult circumstances.
  6. Cāritra, that is, endeavour to remain in steady spiritual practices.

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Nature of Mundane Existance

Let the intrinsic nature of self (soul) remain victorious always which gets manifested due to termination of false belief, etc. This alone is the means of Liberation.

Now, in this Shastra light is thrown on the path of liberation. Liberation is the ‘Release from bondage’. This soul is having bondage of karmas* and due to that bondage the soul is suffering from miseries. Although Jiva is continuously trying also to ward off the misery but without attaining the right means misery does not end and misery is also unbearable; therefore, this Jiva is becoming restless.

Thus the root cause of all miseries to this Jiva is the karmic bondage. Its destruction (separation) is Emancipation (liberation) and same is the supreme welfare and the prime duty is to make true effort for the same; therefore, all preaching is for the same.

Just as a physician first tells the patient about the diagnosis of disease as to how he got diseased, thereafter he tells him about the different conditions resulting from the disease. Thereby the patient infers that he assuredly has this disease. Then the physician further tells him about the means of curing the disease in various ways and makes him believe about the appropriateness of the treatment. Giving such advice is the duty of physician. And if that patient adopts that means then he can enjoy his natural state after freeing himself from the disease. This is the duty of the patient.

Similarly, here the Jiva (mundane being) having karmic bondage is first being told the reason for the karmic bondage as to how he got entangled with the karmas. Then he is told about the various conditions which he undergoes. Thereby the Jiva concludes that he assuredly has such karmic bondage and then he is further told in various ways about the means of release from that karmic bondage and the physician makes him believe about the efficacy of the means. So much is the sermon of the scriptures. If this Jiva makes efforts accordingly then by freeing himself from karmic bondage he can enjoy his natural bliss. This is the duty of Jiva.

*Subtle matter particles or atoms of Karman-Vargana which are characterised with bonding power with soul.

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Source : Chapter 2 :  MOKSHA MARG PRAKASHAK
(The Illuminator of the Path of Liberation)
By : Acharyakalp Pt. Todamalji, Jaipur