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Organized non-violence

Discussion in 'Jainism DIR' started by RushabhS, May 5, 2015.

  1. RushabhS

    RushabhS New Member

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    Hello all,

    Let me introduce myself: I am a Jain by birth and am intimately familiar with the Jain philosophy and would be happy to answer any questions.

    Here is one single paragraph explaining Jainism:

    Jainism, in its purest form (free of all external and historical cultural artifacts and influences), is neither a philosophy nor a religion. It is an organized way of life revolving around a cardinal principle: ahimsa (non-violence), in all three aspects: mind, speech, and body. Non-violence and non-attachment are the two sides of the same coin. To practice non-violence, one must not be attached to anything and if one is not attached to anything, one is incapable of committing violence.

    Some thoughts:
    There are two ways of viewing Jainism: through its philosophy or through your conscience. The former expounds the existence of soul, the current defilement of soul by karma, and the liberation of soul through non-violence/non-attachment. The latter is based on the uniquely human feeling of compassion and empathy. Take this feeling to the extreme and you have complete non-violence.

    Jainism was originally designed for monks only. During Parshvanath's and Mahavir's times, there was no laity. You are either a Jain (a monk) or you are not. And all monks had to wander alone; it is only centuries after Mahavir that monks started wandering in groups. There are more interesting tidbits that I will share with you guys along the way.

    There have been many comments and questions about the "radicalism" and "extremism" of Jainism. But is non-violence really radical/extreme compared to violence?
     
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  2. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! It's good to have a Jain here. I admire the non-violence ideal and ethics of Jains.
     
  3. James Field

    James Field Member

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    Do Jain monks still wander ? And if so, how often do non Jains donate food to them ?
     
  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Welcome Rishabh. For all this time I was substituting for Jains, since I am a Rajasthani and have lived in Udaipur region for a long time. I am glad that you are here. I request you not to abandon the forum. I hope there will be many more interesting Jain discussions.

    @James Field - Yes, the monks, male and female, still wander. To stay at one place is against their rules. Jains will consider it their fortune to be visited by monks and will provide food to them every time and thereby gain merit (it is a good deed to help people on their spiritual journeys)..

    But I think, this has lead to jains providing rich food to monks - and the monks cannot refuse what is offered to them. They can beg only once a day (Am I correct, Rishabh?). Of course, non-vegetarian food is neither prepared nor offered in a jain family. They have restrictions even on certain vegetables.
     
  5. RushabhS

    RushabhS New Member

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    Hello James,

    Yes they still do wander. They must wander in order to prevent attachment to places. They stay in one place during the monsoons (4 months, so as to avoid harming water-borne insects in the mud) and wander all across India the rest of the year.

    They usually beg for alms at trusted Jain households so that the food they received is guaranteed to be free of violence. They may accept food from non-Jain laypeople if the laypeople are known to be strict vegetarian. If a Jain layperson were to offer impure/violent food to a Jain monk, the amount of bad karma received by the layperson is prodigious. If a Jain monk cannot find proper food, he goes without food until he gets the proper food. Here is more info on the alms called "gochari":
    Some special rules of conduct for sadhus and sadhvis
     
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  6. James Field

    James Field Member

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    Thank you for the response and the link
     
  7. spiritualhitchhiker

    spiritualhitchhiker neti, neti, neti

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    How do they tell if the food they are donated contains garlic and onion or not?
     
  8. RushabhS

    RushabhS New Member

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    Probably by smell/taste. They are supposed to eat very simple gruels so the presence of onions, garlic, and other root vegetables would be obvious.
     
  9. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Definitely by smell. It can be perceived even on entering a house. Of course, jain households (or many brahmin households) will never use them. Not the food that lets one advance in spirituality, ties us to taste. Salt, chillies, spices are OK. They impart enough taste.
     
  10. ShivaFan

    ShivaFan Satyameva Jayate
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    Namaste

    I also have a dear friend from Udaipur, a Jain, who works in Abu Dhabi currently, the last time he was here we visited the Milpitas (California) Jain Temple as well as several Hindu Temples as well. As far as the Jain Temple, actually I visit many times (see link below) and if you are ever there, who knows you may see me. I also know Jains in the SF Bay Area, interesting in that many are very rich. That is for another discussion, I am very glad a Jain is here in the Forum. I am a Hindu.

    Your ever well wisher

    jcnc
     
  11. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Yes, Udaipur has many jains. They are at other places as well, particularly Madhya Pradesh. My best friend is a jain and so was my granddad's secretary. I hugely admire Lord Mahavira and wish he was one of the avataras of Lord Vishnu. Perhaps he was, with his message of Ahimsa and Aparigraha, only that we fail to recognize it.
     
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