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Lecture 20

Jainism terms from text and lecture 2011-2012

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University of Toronto St. George
Arti Dhand

Jainism Wednesday January 18 2012 957 AM Jainism emerges from the 6th century and is classicalto understand Jainism we must go back to the period of the SRAMANA movement y SRAMANA movement is homeless wandering and is a reaction to the critic of VEDIC tradition to yseek answers for themselvesJainism emerges from this culture and where people would leave their homes and go off either yindividually or as a groupVedic tradition was where everyone came together but Jainism was concerned with individuality yand why am I here Who am I And how do I find happiness in a world of anxiety and distress This what people thought about while wanderingJainism structures itself around 24 teachers that emerge in different periods of history y Time is in a wavelike pattern in 6 phases and cycles y Jain understanding of time there have been 24 teachersyto inspire and teach and invigorate our thinking yteacher appears on the way to the bottom of the cycle to provide enlighten to those who have the ycapacity for itthe 24 teachers are called the TIRTHANKARA literally means bridge builderthey build bridges yfrom MOKSA and SAMSARA SAMSARAthe world as we experienceyMOKSAabsolute happinessythey give you the guidance to get from SAMSARA to MOKSAyJINAvictor victorious over the trials of samsaric existence refers to the 24 teachersyin textbook he is the bridge builderymost recent is VARDHAMAN KAJYAPA MAHAVIRA literally means great spiritual hero and is yvictorioushis titlewas an elder contemporary of the Buddhayfounder of the Jain traditionyin historical terms we know almost nothing about this teacherymany hagiographies of Mahavirareligious biography in the faith traditionyTells us stories about when he was still I his mothers fetus even as a fetus he was concerned yabout causing distress to his mother would not move to help mother In capsulate the personality of him in Jain tradition and trying to minimize pain and discomfort to living beings virtue of Jain tradition Various accounts of his lifeparents were of aristocratic classyone account tells us he was married and has a child and another denies thisyboth agree at age 32 is that he left home to become a SRAMANA seeking personal truthsySearching for answers and to mark this transition from life of comfort to life of rigor he pulls his yhair out with his bare hands Ritual for Jains to follow when they become monks Being able to subject body to discipline and having minimal attachment to comfort and the idea of pain through your body for spiritual reasonshe wanders out in the forest and eventually comes to certain realizationsyafter which he spends the next years of his life and teaching a massing or a followingyafter he dies he has significant following behind himyJainism is oldest to have a monks order and a large female followingy
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