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RLGA01H3 (62)
Henry Shiu (55)
Lecture

Jainism

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Department
Religion
Course
RLGA01H3
Professor
Henry Shiu
Semester
Fall

Description
Jainism  Religion that exemplifies KARMAMARGA – marga = path KARMA = way of works  It’s what you do that counts: your words/deeds/actions  A principle of non-violence: Himsa = violence; ‘a’ opposite  The worst kind of karma you can create is the harming of other living beings: hurting/killing them  In order to save yourself from committing karmas that are bad, Jainism wants to make sure that you lead a lifestyle that is free from all these potential transgressions of harming other living beings  Developed alongside Buddhism  6thcentury: a rise of the merchant class; a change in economic condition in that period; businessman were very wealthy  Due to successful merchants that existed and did well without access to the “blessings” of the Vedas and without following all these traditions  Influential merchants: Beginning of intellectual thinking of  Began to question validity of the Vedas: whether the pyramidal caste system of society should be maintained and this truth about the entire universe only being in the Vedas  New religious groups known as the sramana  They gave up the dharma (religious/social duty), gave up samskara; to seek personal liberation in the forest  Hereditary priesthood rejected  Sacrificial religion rejected – it is selfish  Jainism exhibited more discipline: in organizing its community; more easily and well-defined STRUCTURE in their religion (in comparison to diversity and variability in Hinduism)  No believe in a god: no creator, no one supervising actions and behaviour, no rewarding or punishing god  More like a religion that talks about karma and as in fact a more objective and scientific way  You are responsible for your actions and if you do something wrong, you will suffer the consequence with karma Karmic matter  NOT an invisible force something but it is tiny small matter  So small that you cannot visibly see it but it is there  As long as your mind has selfish desire, it will change the nature of your soul in such a way that it will become like a sponge and you absorb all his karmic matter around you  Idea of a “soul” that  It is your intention of your mind that determines the quality of the karma – if all you are thinking of is evil in nature (or considerate) you will accumulate bad karma (or good karma)  determines the quality of our reincarnation  Not that good karma will lead you straight to liberation!  Good karma will only lead you to have a better rebirth while still being stuck in samsara  Tirthankaras: describing those that have attained liberation already  24 teachers who laid out this transformative path th  One of the two major schools of Jainism say that the 19 trithankara was a woman! – very “forward” thinking  First trithankara = Rsabha  Picture: universe as seen by Indians  Symbolical of a mountain – at the very centre of our world system is a mountain  At the bottom around circle have 4 continents and our wold is there (rippling effect = ocean) - We in the southern continent called Jabmbudvipa  10: layers of heaven; celestial realms above the central mountain  Same level is a huge ocean = w  11&12: sun and mood  This isn’t a factual representation: used imagination with inspiration of the Himalayas as a mountain  Believed that there were many systems out there: multiple solar systems; infinite universe  Rsabha: established the world order; referring to an ethical system o Bharata was first emperor and son of? o “World” order: because they believed India to be the world o Bharata is the indigenous name of India  600,000 years it took to attain liberation  Not to be taken in a literal way – it gives practitioners a sense of purpose to not be discouraged and realize it takes a long time and to continue practicing until they may find release  You are on your own to attain the release  It is a contra statement made against the Hinduism bhakti movement which asks to worship a deity to hope for grave from them to give you  It isn’t about charity but about austerity and renouncing the world  An ascetic religion: asks practitioners to renounce  Very strict and sometimes mean self-control of thoughts, actions and your speech  Not allowed to enjoy life and thinking of others before yourself  Strict vegetarians: because most likely to attain meat by killing an animal or causing others to harm and kill for you  Leather: processed animal skin by killing animal; also furs in modern times o This could be harsh in the winter! But sacrifice  Always thinking about animals and that they are equal to humankinds, spiritually speaking  Also your beloved ones could be reborn as an animal and if you harm the animal, you are harming them  Mahavira: we can never be sure about the dates – notorious Indian system of dating which is unreliable  No need to be concerned about different accounts of his life  Jina: “victor” over the ocean
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