RG ST 3 Lecture 8: RG ST 3 Lecture #8

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University of California - Santa Barbara
Religious Studies

Jainism (cont.) Basic Beliefs ● Jains do not believe in a supreme being who creates or runs the universe ● Rather, world operates according to its own laws in vast cycles of time ● Each cycle has a period of evolution and degeneration without beginning or end ● The Eternal universe is real (not illusion) compromised of space, motion, rest, time, matter and soul ○ The real world is all too real, and you want to be free because reality consists of suffering Soul (jiva) & Non-Soul (ajiva) ● Ultimate goal of Jainism is to separate soul (jiva) from inert matter (ajiva) to be free from samsara ● Space contains infinite souls whose essential nature is consciousness, bliss, & energy, but they are enmeshed in matter ○ If you are to have your spirit removed from your physical body, then you would experience the purest forms of consciousness, bliss, and energy ○ We engage in karma because of desires ● Existence is an embodied state accompanied by desire, leading to more karma and more rebirth Jiva vs. Ajiva ● The air that we breathe are filled with souls, and the air has a soul itself ○ When we breathe, we are committing acts of violence ● Vegetarians and vegans don't hurt animals, but they commit acts of violence to plants. ● Everything in our lives has a soul, and the point of Jainism is to not harm these souls ○ If we do participate in this type of violence, we engage in karma. Karma ● Jains see karma as a subtle form of matter ● Universe is filled with tiny karmic particles that become attracted to souls ● Due to defilement, the soul attracts karma ● Due to desire & hatred, soul becomes "moist" and karma sticks to it, clouding its pure consciousness Buddhacarita (Adventures of Buddha) Birthplace: Kapilavastu ● Prince Siddhartha born in the Shakya clan in Kapilavastu (Nepal) ○ Important because he is born into a state of affluence and security ○ Shakya clan = ruling clan (son of a chief) ● Parents were King Shuddhodana & Queen Mahamaya ○ Maya = illusion* & Mahamaya = great illusion Divine Conception ● Queen Maya dreams of a white elephant touching her with his trunk & entering her body ○ Queen is the object of veneration ● Thus, Siddhartha Gautama was conceived without "defilement" ○ Siddhartha's birth is outside the realm of desire ● Walking in Lumbini (Nepal), she paused to pick a flower ● Prince was born causing no pain or bloodshed ○ Born from the side, not birth canal which symbolized lack of sexual nature ● He took 7 steps and announced this would be his last birth Buddha's Pronouncement "I am born for Enlightenment for the good of the world; this is my last birth in the world of phenomena." Sage Asita's Prediction ● Sage predicts that he will be a great king or a holy man ● Shuddhodana didn't want his son to become a holy man
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