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RLG100Y1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Asteya, Dravya, Paryushana

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Arti Dhand
Study Guide

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1. Jainism Study Guide
Dharshana- to pay homage to their guru and receive his blessing for he has taken the
Sallekhanna – and the process is nearing its end. Is the ritual death achieved at the end
of a long fast. No Jain is required to undertake such a fast. Jains are expressly forbidden
to cause harm to any living being whether in though, speech or action.
Jains path is one of renunciation- of departure from life during life and Sallekhanna is
merely its logical end.
Jainism confronts us with simple yet extraordinary message the path to happiness, truth
and self realization is the path of restraint. Happiness is the product not of doing but of
not doing not embracing the world but of disengaging from it.
Conquering our attachment to the world is the most difficult of all battles but for Jains it
is the only battle worth engaging. Such is the message of Jinas (victors or conquerors)
the 24 ascetic prophets the most recent one is mahavira from who Jainas take their
Jainism is a tradition that expresses itself ritually through the vernation and emulation
of the Jinas also know as the tirthankaras- builders of bridges across the ocean of birth
and death or samsara. The Jina is the highest expression of the Jaina ideal and the focus
of the Jaina devotional apparatus.
Commanding figure who could just as easily have been a worldly chakaravartin- the
ideal benevolent ruler- endowed with everything the world has to offer the Jina
conquers” the world by turning his back on it. The Jina is venerated in both potentialities
as the regal chakaravartin magnificently bejewelled and crowned and as the unadorned
Arhat (perfected being) entirely detached from worldly concerns.
Jainism expresses the essence of their tradition in three words ahimsa, paramo, dharma
(non-violence is the supreme path)
There are countless life forms many of which are invisible to the eye. All possess an
eternal soul jiva and none desires to be harmed.
Jains call this momentary awakening samyak darshan (right faith or correct intuition
into the workings of the world and it is the starting point of Jainism.
Most fundamental distinction is between two Jaina communities. Digambara (naked or
sky clad) and Svetambara (white clad). The spilt occurred some 200 years after the
death of mahavira and was the product of enduring differences regarding ascetic
practice, women’s spiritual capacity and the nature of the Jina among other things.
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