On Jainism

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5 Feb 2011

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Monday January 17, 2011
Term paper topic posted this week
To comprehend Jainism, we have to go back to Sramana tradition which is a group people who reject
vedic tradition, and who left their home wandering into wilderness in search of answers to big questions
of life. People of Sramana engage in many forms of ascetic practice. The origins of Jainism is in Sramana.
:]v]u[]uo}}lo]lÁÀÁ]Z6 phases up and 6 down.
Jainism have 24 teachers in total to instruct people on how to lead live according to their tradition.
Usually these teachers arrive in the downward phase of people in order to save them from reaching rock
bottom. They are morally disciplined, self-masters. They set out guidelines on how to live a morally
informed life. These teachers are generally known by two names: Tirthankara(bridge builders, bridges
we may cross from unsatisfied to the satisfied life), and Jina(one has conquered itself). One who is
historically closest to us is a man called Vardhamana Kasyapa, more often known as Mahauira(which
means a great hero, someone who is greater than the individual.). He is often referred to as the founder
of Jainism.
He lived from 599BCE to
He was concerned with other people. In his life style, he was Sramana, somebody who engaged in
aseptic practices, who stands in the midst of all dangers, and bears hardships and calamities, who
experience homeless wondering. He is patient with hardship and calamity, is familiar with roots of
penitent?. Who has developed indifference with pleasure. He is self-disciplined. He has conquered the
cycle of birth and death. In Jainism narrative, he is characterized as extraordinary compassionate of
other beings. For example, there was }Ç}(Z]uZ}o]vPZ]uo(ÁZ]o]vZ]u}Z[Á}uXdZ]
story reveals the values of Jainism tradition.
Hagiography is a faith account of an individual. For example, the gossip would be considered a
hagiography. There are different versions of stories. Some say he was married and left his children and
wife. Other say he stayed with his parents.
He pulled his hair Á]ZZ]Zv}YMÀvµooÇZ]oov}(}]}v]voµ]vPZ]
clothing. Letting go his attachment to the mores of society. to this day, there are groups who function in
the forest naked. The idea here is that you are trying shed the ideas, prejudices that we hold in society
and to go out in search of something absolute immediate, something you personally discover. Trying to
shed biases, ideas, and prejudices of society by leaving your home. Embarrassment tells that you still
retain some sort of ego, showing that you are still concerned how other perceived about you.
To this day, monks and nuns pull their hair with their hands as an initiation to an ascetic life
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