Jainism



Beleifs
Jainism was one of religions in India along with Hinduism and Buddhism. It was founded by Vardhamana Mahanira. The chief principal that guides the behaviour of jainists is ahisma. Ahsima is reverence of life, the principal of nonviolence and noninjury towards all living things.This principal has led to a beleif in the equality of all souls and the freedom to associate with anyone. The caste system was therefore not used.

Jains beleive that time, the world, and space are eternal and uncreated, which means that they have always been here and they always will be. Jains beleive in three differant regions. The middle region, the region we live in, contains all living things. There are animals, people, gods and devils in this region. Below this region is a group of hells, places of torture and punishment. And above the middle region is a group of heavens. This is where souls who have finshed the spiritual succession live. The beings in the world are seperated into two groups. Living things are called souls. The nonliving things are called nonsouls. Nonsouls are all knowing. Souls are not.
Jainism teaches that the way to freedom of the soul and eternal bliss is through living lives of harmlessness. Followers beleive in reincarnation, as well as karma. Once the soul has acheived liberation, they are freed from the constant cycle of rebirth. The base of Jainism is being conscious of the welfare of every living thing in the universe, and the universe itself. Followers of Jainism beleive that every thing that is living has a soul. Plants, animals, people, etc. and should be considered equally, and treated with kindness and respect. Because of this, Jains are vegetarians. They eating no meat and live their lifestyle in such a way so that they minimize their use of natural resources. The three main principals are right beleif, right knowledge, and right conduct. There are 5 great vows called the mahavratas. They say that there should be no violence, no attachment to possessions, no lying, no stealing, and sexual restraint. Although Jainism is an ancient culture,the teachings of Jainism are still relevant in today's world because many people still practice it. The teachings of Jainism are mutually used in other religions as well. Many people also use teachings of jainism, or it's principals in their everyday life, even non-practicers. A lot of these concepts have been accepted, even in just modern day ethics.


Followers of Jainism
There are two types of Jain beleivers, monks and layfollowers. Monks devote their whole lives to the spirtitual process. They follow the principle of ahisma and avoid sins such as lying, stealing, sexual intercourse, and eating meals at night. Some monks have no posessions or clothing, others have a few posessions. These possesions often include a robe, an alms bowl, a duster to sweep insects out of their paths, and a cloth to keep insects out of their mouths.

Layfollowers must refrain from eating certain foods, limit possesions, be happy with their partners, and avoid violence, stealing, and lying. They also should avoid traveling unless it is absolutly necessary. A layfollower is required to devote themselves to the stages of the spiratul process by doing variousrituals.
Temple worship plays a big part in Jainism. Both monks and layfollowers worshipTirthankaras and other souls that are called the Lords of Gods.


The Swastika. symbol of the seventh Jina (Saint), the Tirthankara Suparsva
The Swastika. symbol of the seventh Jina (Saint), the Tirthankara Suparsva
The Jain Emblem
The Jain Emblem
Jain flag
Jain flag

Click here to see a Jainism symbols:
http://www.ejainism.com/jainsymbols.html


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