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Religion, God, and Theology Discussion of God, religion, faith, theology, and spirituality.

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Old 01-15-2009, 02:18 AM   #1
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What a Jain Believes

Some Basics:

Path of Liberation:

Jain Gods:

Synopsis from the above links-

The principle features of Jainism are:

·religious tolerance
·ethical purity
·harmony between self and one's environment
·spiritual contentment

Along with other Indian systems, it prescribes a path to liberation (Moksha), which consists of the three jewels (trinity or ratna-traya) of Jainism:

·right perception (samyak darsana)
·right knowledge (samyak jnana)
·right conduct (samyak charitrya)

Right perception creates an awareness of reality or truth, right knowledge impels the person to proper action, and proper conduct leads him to the attainment of the total freedom. They must coexist in a person if one is to make any progress on the path of liberation.

At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:

Nonviolence (Ahimsa) not to cause harm to any living beings

Truthfulness (Satya) to speak the harmless truth only

Non-stealing (Asteya)not to take anything not properly given

Chastity (Brahmacharya) not to indulge in sensual pleasure

Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha) complete detachment from people, places, and material things.

Jains hold these vows at the center of their lives. The monks and nuns follow these vows strictly and totally, while the common people try to follow the vows as far as their life styles will permit.

Jainism believes that universe and all its substances or entities are eternal. It has no beginning or end with respect to time. There is no need of some one to create or manage the affairs of the universe. Universe in run own its own accord by its own cosmic laws. Hence Jainism does not believe in God as a creator, survivor, and destroyer of the universe.

However Jainism does believe in God. When a living being destroys all his karmas, he possesses perfect knowledge, vision, power, and bliss. He becomes omniscient and omnipotent. This living being is a God of Jain religion. Hence Jains do not believe in one God. Gods in Jain religion are innumerable and the number is continuously increasing as more living beings attain liberation. Every living being has a potential to become God of the Jain religion.

__________________________________________________ ___________

Opinions, comments, observations on the theology and practice of Jainism.


Last edited by Zeno; 01-16-2009 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:29 AM   #2
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Re: What a Jain Believes

Very interesting. I studied meditation, yoga and Eastern philosophers some years ago and this religion closely matches most of the stuff that I saw. It reminds me of the philosophy of the drop of water;

Imagine that a drop of water is conscious. It can rationalize that it is wet, shaped like a pear and a clear color. It reasons that it is an individual, that it is unique and special. Place it in the ocean and it retains its sense of individuality, pitting itself against all the billions of drops of water that surround it.

Now, let us say that the drop works hard to raise its self-knowledge in the style of Jainism. After a lifetime of hard work it succeeds in raising its level of consciousness above the other drops. It becomes the ocean. It can perceive everything on all sides of the ocean at once, it is all the drops combined, a universal entity. Yet it still retains its original shape and form of a single drop. It is a tiger, a dove, a woman giving birth. It is universal consciousness.

I met a guru in India in my travels there a long time ago. He told the story of a woman who came to see the great guru. She invited him to dinner that evening at her house. The other worshipers were shocked - you didn't just go inviting the great guru to dinner. Incredibly he accepted. The woman was both overjoyed and consumed with worry. She rushed back to her home and began preparing the most elaborate meal possible. The guru had to eat as best as possible. She spent hours preparing the dinner and then waited at the appropriate time for the guru to arrive. He didn't come. She waited and waited, yet still no guru.
Then she heard some crashing sounds from the kitchen. She raced in to discover a large cat eating the food. She screamed and, taking a broom, chased it out the window. The dinner was ruined. So she prepared it all over again, and waited all night, but the guru did not come.
The next day she went to the great guru and asked, "Why did you not come last night to dinner as you said?" She then went into great detail talking about all the preparations that she had made.
The guru responded, "I did come. But you hit me with a broom and chased me out of the window!"

Last edited by Zeno; 01-16-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:32 PM   #3
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Re: What a Jain Believes

I always thought it was cool that they ask for forgiveness once a year from everyone they know.

Last edited by Zeno; 01-16-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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Re: What a Jain Believes

how do they know when someone has attained godhood?

Do Jainists leave their dead out to decay and be eaten by scavengers? That's hard core.

Last edited by Zeno; 01-16-2009 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:28 AM   #5
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Re: Something about Hinduism

About Hinduism:

From above link:

Hinduism is the world's oldest extant religion, with a billion followers, which makes it the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas and practices that originated in India, characterized by the belief in reincarnation, one absolute being of multiple manifestations, the law of cause and effect, following the path of righteousness, and the desire for liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.

How is Hinduism unique from other religions?: Hinduism cannot be neatly slotted into any particular belief system. Unlike other religions, Hinduism is a way of life, a Dharma, that is, the law that governs all action. It has its own beliefs, traditions, advanced system of ethics, meaningful rituals, philosophy and theology. The religious tradition of Hinduism is solely responsible for the creation of such original concepts and practices as Yoga, Ayurveda, Vastu, Jyotish, Yajna, Puja, Tantra, Vedanta, Karma, etc.

How and when did Hinduism originate?: Hinduism has its origins in such remote past that it cannot be traced to any one individual. Some scholars believe that Hinduism must have existed even in circa 10000 B.C. and that the earliest of the Hindu scriptures – The Rig Veda – was composed well before 6500 B.C. The word "Hinduism" is not to be found anywhere in the scriptures, and the term "Hindu" was introduced by foreigners who referred to people living across the River Indus or Sindhu, in the north of India, around which the Vedic religion is believed to have originated.

What are the basic tenets of Hinduism?: There is no “one Hinduism”, and so it lacks any unified system of beliefs and ideas. Hinduism is a conglomerate of diverse beliefs and traditions, in which the prominent themes include:

· Dharma (ethics and duties)
· Samsara (rebirth)
· Karma (right action)
· Moksha (liberation from the cycle of Samsara)

It also believes in truth, honesty, non-violence, celibacy, cleanliness, contentment, prayers, austerity, perseverance, penance, and pious company.

The basic scriptures of Hinduism, which is collectively referred to as "Shastras", are essentially a collection of spiritual laws discovered by different saints and sages at different points in its long history. The Two types of sacred writings comprise the Hindu scriptures: "Shruti" (heard) and "Smriti" (memorized). They were passed on from generation to generation orally for centuries before they were written down mostly in the Sanskrit language. The major and most popular Hindu texts include the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Hinduism believes that there is only one supreme Absolute called "Brahman". However, it does not advocate the worship of any one particular deity. The gods and goddesses of Hinduism amount to thousands or even millions, all representing the many aspects of Brahman. Therefore, this faith is characterized by the multiplicity of deities. The most fundamental of Hindu deities is the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - creator, preserver and destroyer respectively. Hindus also worship spirits, trees, animals and even planets.

The five Principles and 10 Dsiciplines of Hinduism:

1. God Exists: One Absolute OM.
One Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara (Shiva)
Several divine forms
2. All human beings are divine
3. Unity of existence through love
4. Religious harmony
5. Knowledge of 3 Gs: Ganga (sacred river), Gita (sacred script), Gayatri (sacred mantra)

1. Satya (Truth)
2. Ahimsa (Non-violence)
3. Brahmacharya (Celibacy, non-adultery)
4. Asteya (No desire to possess or steal)
5. Aparighara (Non-corrupt)
6. Shaucha (Cleanliness)
7. Santosh (Contentment)
8. Swadhyaya (Reading of scriptures)
9. Tapas (Austerity, perseverance, penance)
10. Ishwarpranidhan (Regular prayers)

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Old 01-16-2009, 02:01 AM   #6
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Re: What a Jain Believes

By the way, a follower of Jainism is called a Jain, not a Jainist.

Last edited by Zeno; 01-16-2009 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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Re: What a Jain Believes

Originally Posted by jason1990 View Post
By the way, a follower of Jainism is called a Jain, not a Jainist.
Thanks - Fixed.

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