Saturday, December 24, 2011

  • Every living being has a soul.[21]
  • Every soul is potentially divine, with innate qualities of infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss (masked by its karmas).
  • Therefore regard every living being as you do yourself, harming no one and being kind to all living beings.
  • Every soul is born as a heavenly being, human, sub-human or hellish being according to its own karma.
  • Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter.[22]
  • When a soul is freed from karmas, it becomes free and attains divine consciousness, experiencing infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss(Moksha).[23]
  • The triple gems of Jainism ("Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct") provide the way to this realisation.[24] There is no supreme divine creator, owner, preserver, or destroyer. The universe is self-regulated, and every soul has the potential to achieve divine consciousness (siddha) through its own efforts.
  • Non-violence (to be in soul consciousness rather than body consciousness) is the foundation of right view, the condition of right knowledge and the kernel of right conduct. It leads to a state of being unattached to worldly things and being nonjudgmental and non-violent; this includes compassion and forgiveness in thoughts, words and actions toward all living beings and respecting views of others (non-absolutism).
  • Jainism stresses the importance of controlling the senses including the mind, as they can drag one far away from true nature of the soul.
  • Limit possessions and lead a life that is useful to yourself and others. Owning an object by itself is not possessiveness; however, attachment to an object is possessiveness.[25] Non-possessiveness is the balancing of needs and desires while staying detached from our possessions.
  • Enjoy the company of the holy and better-qualified, be merciful to afflicted souls, and tolerate the perversely inclined.[26]
  • Four things are difficult for a soul to attain: 1. human birth, 2. knowledge of the laws governing the souls, 3. absolute conviction in the philosophy of non-violence, and 4. practicing this knowledge with conviction in everyday life activities.
  • It is, therefore, important not to waste human life in evil ways. Rather, strive to rise on the ladder of spiritual evolution.
  • The goal of Jainism is liberation of the soul from the negative effects of unenlightened thoughts, speech, and action. This goal is achieved through clearance of karmic obstructions by following the triple gems of Jainism.
  • Namokar Mantra is the fundamental prayer in Jainism and can be recited at any time of the day. Praying by reciting this mantra, the devotee bows in respect to liberated souls still in human form (arihants), fully liberated souls forever free from rebirth (siddhas), spiritual leaders (Acharyas), teachers, and all the monks and nuns.[27] By saluting them saying "namo namaha", Jains receive inspiration from them to follow their path to achieve true bliss and total freedom from the karmas binding their souls. In this main prayer, Jains do not ask for any favours or material benefits. This mantra serves as a simple gesture of deep respect toward beings that are more spiritually advanced. The mantra also reminds followers of the ultimate goal of reaching nirvana or moksha.[28]
  • Jains worship the icons of jinasarihants and Tirthankaras, who have conquered their inner passions and attained divine consciousness, and study the Scriptures of these liberated beings.
  • Jainism acknowledges the existence of powerful heavenly souls that look after the well-being of Tirthankaras. Usually they are found in pairs around the icons as male (yaksha) and female (yakshini) guardian deities. Even though they have supernatural powers, these deities are also souls wandering through the cycles of births and deaths just like most other souls. Over time, people began worshiping these deities as well.[29]

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