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What we learned about Jainism
Asian Philosophies
Steven Brown
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mindy on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHILOS 2120 - 0010 at Ohio State University taught by Steven Brown in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 44 views. For similar materials see Asian Philosophies in Political Science, Philosophy, & Religion at Ohio State University.

Similar to PHILOS 2120 - 0010 at OSU

Popular in Political Science, Philosophy, & Religion


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Date Created: 10/10/16
Jainism  Originates in ancient India (maybe as old as Hinduism but very old)  Agama literature (2  or 3  century BCE)  24 Tirthnakaras: spiritual leaders, “ford/bridge makers” o Most recent Mahavira, “Great Hero”, contemporary with the Buddha (historical) o Parsva the 23  Tirthnakara was also historical  Deny the authority of the Vedas (heterodox) o Heterodox­ not agreeing with belief or standards o Do have concepts of Moksha, Samsara, and Karma  Two major Sects (philosophically similar) o Svetembara (“white clad”) o Digambnara (“air clad”)  Male monks are nude  5 vows o Non Violence (ahimsa)  Pacifists to the highest degree o Truth (satya) o Non­stealing (asteya) o Celibacy/Chastity (brahmacharya)  Celibacy­ complete abstinence from sex  Chastity­ only sex within approved contexts  With Jainism you can get married, it’s ok for you to have sex,  don’t do it too often and take it easy because non attachment o Non­attachment (aparigraha)  Cannot have attachment to anything  Ahimsa o Non­violence is all pervasive o Live as peacefully as possible o No direct violence  Stabbing, punching or shooting o No violent thoughts o No violent manners of speaking o Refrain from violence in ALL possible ways o Jains are very very vegetarian  Can eat dairy in some ways  Only eat one sensed creatures  Can’t eat potatoes or most root vegetables because they have many lives within them  Have to harvest them in ways that minimize damage to the plant and to the other creatures around it  Won’t drink unfiltered water  Some of the strictest sects will pray for the creatures they accidentally kill  Can’t have honey or fermented food  5 types of beings, corresponding with 5 senses o 1­sensed beings (only sense of touch)  plants, water, air, fire, etc. o 2­sensed beings (sense of touch and taste)  worms, leeches, etc o 3­sensed beings (sense of touch, taste, and smell)  ants, lice, etc o 4­sensed beings (sense of touch, taste, smell, and sight)  flies, and bees o 5­sensed beings (sense of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing)  humans, animals, birds, heavenly and hellish beings  beings in the world that aren’t human and part of the reincarnation  cycle  Sidenote: How can pacifists respond to violence o Strict pacifists: They will not resist it or they will resist it passively o Violence begets violence and the only way out of that violence is to stop being  violent  Why are we so concerned with Ahimsa (nonviolence) o Harming/killing another being accumulates bad karma o In Jainism, Karma is matter that sticks to our souls  Souls are individual and unique  Your soul resides in your body  The desires and passions that it has attract bits of karma  Bad keeps you from reincarnating to better lives  Good can shed your karma  Jainism symbol o Line of text  All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence o Hand  Has a word: Ahimsa surrounded by 24 spokes of a wheel also 24 spiritual  leaders o Swastika  American Context: Hitler took it and it is a symbol of violence in Hitler’s  eyes  4 quadrants, 4 states of being within Samsara  Hellish Beings, Non Human Animals, Humans, Heavenly Beings  More like mentors, more than like a monotheistic God o 3 dots  3 paths to Enlightment  Right Faith/Right Perception o Having a proper picture of the world  Right Knowledge o Sensory o Spiritual o Clairvoyance o Telepathy o Omniscience  Those who are fully enlightened, know everything  Right Conduct o 5 vows o Siddhashila: Realm of the enlightened­ the little eye thing o Siddhas­liberated ones  Those who have conquered all of their passions  Through ascetic practices  Permanence and Impermanence o Hinduism embraces permanence  Everything is always the same and static o Buddhism embraces impermanence  Do not dwell on past o Jainism embraces both  Permanence and impermanence are both necessary in order to properly  understand the real world  Like soul is permanent  Body and mind constantly in flux  Reality cannot be within extremes  Jainism’s view of other religions o Suggestion: Jains are epistemological relativists  Knowledge is valid only relatively relevant to a specific context, society,  culture or individual o Exclusivism  Our views are right  Everyone else is wrong  The wrong people will have bad things happen to them o Inclusivism  Our views are right  Other people are wrong at least sometimes  But others can be right enough for good things to happen  Jainisms classified as inclusivism o Pluralism  Our views are right  Many other views are right too even if they are really different and  apparently contradictory  Good things will happen to everyone  Jainism is an inclusive religion o There are substantial disagreements with Hinduism and Buddhism o But these differences are not so bad that they prevent others from the pursuit of  Enlightment or the shedding of karma o The Tirthanakaras are omniscient, so any disagreement with them is a real error.


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