REL 1020 Jainism
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by jschric on Wednesday September 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to REL 1020 at Clemson University taught by Brett Patterson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see World Religions in Religion at Clemson University.
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Date Created: 09/28/16
Jainism Jainism Today • 5.6 million Jains ○ All but 275k in India, it's homeland • Emphasis on "Ahimsa" -‐-‐> non-‐violence Most peaceful religion in the world ○ • Features interplay b/w the ascetic life of monks and nuns and the life of the Jain laity ○ Dana-‐giving laity do to support monks/nuns Mahavira (24th) • Jain teachings are exemplified by Mahavira and the other tirthankaras • Mahavira (follower of Parshva, 23rd) ○ The 24th and last tirthankara (animal symbol) of the current world cycle § Attaches no godness to the tirthankaras § Spiritual guides, not gods ○ Born in Northern India, probably mid 5th century BCE § Jains put him as older than Sidhartha § Scholars today-‐contemporaries, SA and Maha around the same time ○ Wealthy class ○ After 13 years of extreme ascetic practices (including nakedness), attained Kevala § Unlike SA: did asceticism and stayed there (keeps denying himself things in life) § Sat near tree, outside of shade □ SA sat underneath tree in shade ○ Preached until death (age 72) A History • The Indian historical context • Jainism through the centuries ○ Successful in business because of avoidance of agriculture (hurt things) ○ Wealthy laity/poor monks giving up everything • Jainism in today's world ○ Diaspora (moving out of homeland, those outside India) population includes about 105k Jains in North America Budd: soul/god Hind: soul/no god check video on Jains (Belief OWN) Jain: no soul/no god • Jainism in today's world ○ Diaspora (moving out of homeland, those outside India) population includes about 105k Jains in North America Budd: soul/god Hind: soul/no god check video on Jains (Belief OWN) Jain: no soul/no god Connections • An eternal succession of Tirthankaras • Jainism and Hinduism • Ahimsa and Asceticism: Jainism ideals • "Ahimsa": non violence Centerpiece of Jain teachings and way of life ○ ○ Asceticism naturally accompanies this emphasis on ahimsa b/c it helps Jains to avoid injuring life forms § Vegetarianism: spares the lives of sentient beings □ Fruit with smallest # of seeds: prevent killing as many potential lives as possible □ Strain water: don’t drink any microorganisma § Broom: sweep away bugs before they step § Cloth across mouth: don’t breathe in/swallow bugs Samsara and Release • Theory of the Universe ○ Samsara: time is cyclical ○ The world is degenerating § Currently: Kali Yuga, will eventually be created anew § Downward turn of the wheel: impossible for anyone to reach kevala, stuck in reincarnation □ Can still move up the cycle (good karma) but cannot escape § Last people to reach Kevala: followers of Mahavira ○ The Jain universe (loka) a vast space containing all souls (jivas) and matter (ajiva) § Three realms: Heavenly/Earthly/Demonic • Liberation and Salvation ○ Spiritual liberation requires that the soul attain kevala (perfect omniscience) ○ Kevala frees the soul from the tarnishing effects of karma (actions) Groupings • Digambaras (conservative/patriarchal (19th=man))/Shvetambaras (19th=woman) Jainism's two largest sects ○ ○ Digambara monks are "sk-‐clad" § Going around naked ○ Shvetambara monks: white robes • Digambaras (conservative/patriarchal (19th=man))/Shvetambaras (19th=woman) ○ Jainism's two largest sects ○ Digambara monks are "sk-‐clad" § Going around naked ○ Shvetambara monks: white robes ○ Majority of Jains: Shvetambara ○ Other sects: Sthanakvasi/Terapanthi § Sthanakvasi: women outnumber men (5:1) Monks and Laity • The Ascetic Life ○ Monks and nuns commit to five "Great Vows" (pg 208) 1. Avoid harming any life (ahimsa) 2. Abstain from lying 3. Do not take what has not been given 4. Renouncing sexual activity 5. Renounce possessions • Religious life of laity ○ Worship of tirthankaras ○ Pilgrimage to holy sites ○ Giving (dana) to ascetics Ultimate Reality • Samsara: eternal sequence of world cycles • Loka: vast expanse of space that includes 3 realms inhabited by human beings • Transtheistic: Jains can believe in deities, but the deities are of no consequence for the quest for spiritual liberation • Souls (jivas) and matter (ajiva) are eternal • Ultimate reality: best identified as kevala (supreme state of enlightenment) ○ Buddhism: found through meditation/Jain: asceticism How Should We Live? • 1: Ahimsa: non violence • 2: non-‐attachment • 3: pluralism: we all have individual visions of the truth/should not demand that others join your specific vision of truth(pg 196) • Asceticism naturally accompanies this emphasis on ahimsa. Away from bodily sensations • Both ahimsa/asceticism are exemplified by Mahavira and other tirthankaras and by Jain monks and nuns • Jains strive to avoid the tarnishing effects of karma ("actions") in order to move closer to kevala and spiritual liberation Ultimate Purpose • Eventually, every soul will become perfectly pure, allowing it to rise to the top of the loka in the transcendent state of kevala • Jains strive to avoid the tarnishing effects of karma ("actions") in order to move closer to kevala and spiritual liberation Ultimate Purpose • Eventually, every soul will become perfectly pure, allowing it to rise to the top of the loka in the transcendent state of kevala • The current state of this world is too degenerate for anyone to attain kevala • Jains strive for good rebirths, determined by the adequacy of one's spiritual and moral life
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