Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jainism

King Lear is talking about sermons and soda water as the modus vivendi in January and my colleague was talking about Jainism this morning. Jainism has five principles:

Non-violence (Ahimsa) - to cause no harm to living beings.
Truth (Satya) - to always speak the truth in a harmless manner.
Non-stealing (Asteya) - to not take anything that is not willingly given.
Celibacy (Brahmacarya) - to not indulge in sensual pleasures.
Non-possession (Aparigraha) - to detach from people, places, and material things.

There is some debate as to whether Jainism is related to Hinduism. Jainists maintain they are separate religions, Jainism being an ascetic way of life and Hinduism more centred around organised religion and ritual. Jains say they persuaded Hindus to relinquish their practice of sacrificing animals. In 2005 the Supreme Court of India ruled that Jains were a sub-sect of Hinduism but this was overturned in 2006 when it ruled that "Jainism indisputably is not part of
Hindu religion", seemingly to prevent them from claiming benefits granted to religious minority groups under constitutional law. However, it is unclear why Jains who practise non-possession would be interested in claiming such benefits.

6 Comments:

Blogger kinglear said...

Jainism sounds fine - except for the non-indulgence in sensual pleasures.Sounds a bit like Ghandi who, if memory serves,swore a strong oath to abstain from such things, and onmly lasted about 2 days. Then he swore a STRONGER oath and lasted a week. I wish I could say he then swore an even stronger oath and that was it, but it did sound to me as if it was eventually age that made the oath work ( no viagra those days...)
I also have it in mind that Nehru was a Jainist - any ideas?

1:46 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

That's the problem for many ascetics - remember St Augustine's prayer, "God, make me good, but not yet."
I think Nehru was an agnostic but perhaps he would have been more drawn to Jainism than Hinduism because he was certainly against the ritualism of Hinduism which he thought was stifling.

11:28 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

Gandhi did not abstain from beating his wife. Is that a "sensual pleasure" too?

11:39 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Is that really true, ED?

10:12 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

I am afraid it is, WW.

7:56 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I don't know anything about Jainism so I can't judge. But I'm interested to find out more now.

10:41 pm  

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