What is Non-Violence
( collected from eJainism site )
Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence. Ahimsa is a rule of conduct that bars the killing or injuring of living beings. Jainism has assigned the first position to the vow of Ahimsa among the five main vows prescribed for continuous observance by its followers. It is, therefore, necessary to see and understand the various aspects and implications of the Jaina vow of Ahimsa.
Ahimsa means avoidance of Himsa (violence). It has been treated as the first of the five Mahavratas (great vows), prescribed by Jain religion and this Ahimsa Mahavrata has been defined in `Ratnakaranda-sravakachara' as following:
"Abstaining from the commission of five sins, himsa and the rest in their three forms, krita, karita and anumodana, with the mind, speech and the body constitutes the Maha-vrata of great ascetics."
It means that the Ahimsa Mahavrata involves the avoidance of Himsa i.e., injury to sentient beings in every possible manner. The Himsa can be committed by three kinds of Yoga, i.e., modes or means viz., of mind, speech and body. In other words, injurious activity can be committed mentally (by mind, or in thoughts), orally (by speech), and physically (by body, or by action). In addition to these three Yogas, Himsa can be committed by three kinds of Karana (action), as Krita (by doing it oneself), Karita (by getting it done through others), and Anumata or anumodana (by giving consent to others doing it).
Further, by the combination of these Yogas and Karanas it is clear that Himsa can be committed in 9 ways, i.e., by the application of 3 Karanas to each of the 3 Yogas. Thus, the Ahimsa can be observed in full in the following 9 ways:
- Mentally not to do injury oneself.
- Mentally not to get injury done by others.
- Mentally not to approve injury done by others.
- Orally not to do injury oneself.
- Orally not to get injury done by others.
- Orally not to approve injury done by others.
- Physically not to do injury oneself.
- Physically not to get injury done by others.
- Physically not to approve injury done by others.
Obviously, in the Ahimsa Mahavrata, the Ahimsa is observed in a complete or full manner, i.e. in the above nine ways. Since this Ahimsa Mahavrata is extremely difficult to practice, it is prescribed for the observance by the persons in the ascetic order.
Taking into account the extreme severity involved in the observance of Ahimsa Mahavrata, the Jaina scriptures have prescribed the vow of Ahimsa with less degree of intensity for the observance by the householders and called it as Ahimsa Anuvrata. The authoritative sacred book `Ratnakarandas-stravakachara' has defined Ahimsa Anuvrata in following terms:
"Refraining from injuring living beings, having two or more senses, with a deliberate act of the mind, speech or body, in any of the three ways, krita, karita and anumata, is called Ahimsa Anu-vrata by the wise."
Thus, in Ahimsa Anuvrata, a layman does not intentionally injure any form of life above the class of one-sensed beings (vegetables and the like), by an act of the mind, speech or body by krita (by himself), by karita (by inciting others to commit such an act), nor by anumodana (by approving of it subsequent to its commission by others).
Meditations for Ahimsa-vrata
With a view to strengthening the feelings of a person in relation to the observance of the Ahimsa-vrata, it has been laid down in "Tattvartha-sutra" that a person should try to practice the following five Bhavanas (Meditations):
- Vag-gupti (preservation of speech)
- Mano- gupti (preservation of mind)
- Irya (care in walking)
- Adana-nikshepana-samiti (care in lifting and laying down things)
- Alokitapana- bhojana (care in taking meals by thoroughly seeing to one's food and drink)
Obviously these Bhavanas (meditations) encourage cautiousness in the actual observance of Ahimsa-vrata.
Transgressions of Ahimsa-vrata
In addition to inculcating the above Bhavanas (meditations), a person is also advised to avoid the following five aticharas (defects or partial transgressions of Ahimsa-vrata):
- Bandha, i.e., keeping in captivity angrily or carelessly (animals or human beings)
- Vadha, i.e., beating angrily or carelessly (animals or human beings)
- Chheda, i.e., mutilating angrily or carelessly (animals or human beings)
- Ati-bharairopana, i.e., overloading angrily or carelessly (animals or human beings)
- Annapana-nirodha, i.e., withholding food or drink (from animals or human beings angrily or carelessly)
Naturally the avoidance of these Five aticharas, i.e., transgressions, would enable a person to practice ahimsavarata without committing many faults.
Renunciation of Drinking Liquor
For the observance of Ahimsa-Vrata it has been specifically laid down that a person should renounce drinking wine because, according to the sacred text of "Purushartha siddhiupaya", "wine stupefies the mind, one whose mind is stupefied forgets piety; and the person- who forgets piety commits Himsa without hesitation." Again, it is impressed that drinking liquor leads to the commitment of Himsa because wine is the repository of many lives which are generated in it. Similarly, it is brought home that many base passions like pride, fear, disgust, ridicule, grief, ennui, sex-passion, and anger arise due to drinking liquor and that these passions are nothing but the different aspects of Himsa.
Rejection of Eating Animal Food
The observance of Ahimsa-vrata invariably means the total rejection of the practice of meat-eating on various grounds. In the first place, flesh cannot be procured without causing destruction of life, which is nothing but clear Himsa.
Secondly, even if the flesh is procured from an animal which has met with a natural death, still Himsa is caused by due to the crushing of tiny creatures spontaneously born in that flesh.
Thirdly, the pieces of flesh which are raw, or cooked, or are in the process of being cooked, are found constantly generating spontaneously-born creatures of the same genus. Hence, for these valid reasons a person must completely renounce meat- eating which definitely involves Himsa.
Abandonment of use of Honey
Along with the renunciation of wine-drinking and meat-eating, the giving up of use of honey is also included in the observance of Ahimsa-vrata because the use of honey invariably entails the destruction of life as even the smallest drop of honey in the world represents the death of bees. It is also made clear that even if a person uses honey which has been obtained by some trick from honey comb, or which has itself dropped down from it, there is Himsa in that case also, because there is destruction to the lives spontaneously born therein.
Giving up eating of certain fruits
As a part of the observance of Ahimsa-vrata it is enjoined that a person should give up the use for diet and other purposes of five kinds of fruits known as Umara, Kathumara, Pakara, Bada and Pipala as they are the breeding grounds of various living organisms. Again, if these five fruits be dry and free from mobile beings on account of passage of time, their use will cause Himsa because of the existence of an excessive desire for them.
Avoidance of killing Animals
It is also specifically stressed that in the observance of the Ahimsa-vrata, killing of animals under various pretexts should be strictly avoided as it does involve destruction of living beings in one way or another. In the first place, a person should not sacrifice animals or birds or embodied beings with a view to please Gods by such offerings and to seek in return his desired objectives. It is emphatically stated that it is a perverse notion to think of himsa as having religious sanction and to consider that the Gods are pleased at sacrifices of living beings offered in their name. In fact it is asserted that religion is peace giving and can never encourage or sanction what gives pain to living beings.
Secondly, a person should not kill animals for pleasing the guests in the belief that there is no harm in killing goats, etc., for the sake of persons deserving respect. Such a desire is obviously not good as it involves the abominable Himsa in the form of wanton destruction of living beings.
Thirdly, a person should not kill animals like snakes, scorpions, lions, tigers etc., on the ground that by so doing a large number of lives will be saved. Such a type of killing has to be avoided because it engenders the feelings of enemy, hostility and revenge which go against the principle of Ahimsa. Again, it is stated that as these animals always strike man in self-defense, they will not do harm to man if they are not attacked by man.
Fourthly, a person should not kill animals which are leading a severely painful life due to onslaught of certain incurable sufferings or disease on the ground that by the act of killing the animal would soon be relieved from its unbearable anguish and agony. But this kind of killing is considered not as an act of mercy but definitely as an act of Himsa.
Renouncement of Night-eating
With a view to making the observance of Ahimsa-vrata more complete a strict injection to restrict the eating activity during the day-time only is levied. It has been laid down in the sacred Jaina text of ''Purusharthasiddhi-upaya'; that "Those who take their meals at night cannot avoid Himsa. Hence, abstainers from Himsa should give up night eating also".
It is argued that day-time is the natural time for work and for taking food. Again, food is prepared more easily, with greater care and with less probability of injury to living beings during day than at night. Further, the light of the sun makes it easy to pick out, to separate unwholesome stuff, and to remove the worms and small insects which find place in the material for food. There are many insects which are not even visible in the strongest artificial light at night and there are also many small insects, which have a strong affinity for food stuffs, appear only during night-time.
That is why it is concluded in the same sacred text as follows that "It is established that he who has renounced night-eating, through mind, speech or body, always observes Ahimsa". As utmost importance is attached to the practice of eating during day-time from the point of view of observance of Ahimsa, certain sacred texts like "Charitrasara" consider "Ratri-bhukti-tyaga", i. e., giving up eating at night, as the sixth "Anuvrata", i.e., small vow, added to the prevalent set of five Anuvratas.
What is SATYA
Satya is a Sanskrit term meaning truth or correct. But in Jainism it has a more subtle meaning. Jainism defines Satya as harmless truth or we can say those words that are true or correct and importantly, do not harm or hurt any living being. So utmost care must be taken in speaking. The implication of this vow is extended to prohibition of following:
1. Spreading rumors and false doctrines.
- Betraying confidences.
- Gossip and backbiting.
- Falsifying documents.
- Breach of trust.
- Denial of the existence of the things, which do exist.
- Assertion of the existence of non-existent things.
- Giving false information about the position, time and nature of things.
One's speech should be pleasant, beneficial, true and unhurtful to others. It should aim at moderation rather than exaggeration, esteem rather than denigration, at distinction rather than vulgarity of expression, and should be thoughtful and expressive of sacred truths. All unthruths necessarily involve violence.
One should protect the vow of truthfulness by avoiding thoughtless speech, anger, greed, putting others in fear. The idea is to overcome greed, fear, anger, jealousy, ego, frivolity, etc., which are considered breeding grounds of falsehood. Only a person who has controlled these emotions and desires has the moral strength to speak the truth at all times. However, in keeping with the principle of non-violence in speech, if a truth is likely to cause pain, sadness, anger or the death of any living creature, then a Jain is advised to remain silent.
What is Achaurya
Achaurya is a Sanskrit word meaning "avoidance of stealing" or "non-stealing". A Jain must not take anything that does not belong to him without the prior permission of its owner. This includes even a blade of grass from another’s garden. The implication of this vow is extended to prohibition of following:
1. Taking another's property without his consent, or by unjust or immoral methods.
- Taking away a thing that may be lying unattended or unclaimed.
- When taking alms, taking more than what is minimum needed.
- Accepting things stolen by others.
- Asking/encouraging or approving others for any of the above mentioned prohibitions.
One should observe this vow very strictly, and should not touch even a worthless thing which does not belong to him. Jain monks and nuns who survive by begging for food from laypersons are advised not to acquire more than a few mouthfuls of food per family.
What is Aprigraha
Aparigraha is the concept of non-possessiveness. The term usually means to limit possessions to what is necessary or important, which changes with the time period, though sadhus would not have any possessions. This is based on the belief that desire for material wealth can lead a person to commit sin by giving rise to negative emotions like greed, anger and jealousy. Desires are ever-growing and they form a never-ending cycle. A person who wishes to achieve liberation from the cycle of life and death must acquire control over his senses and avoid attachment to material things, places or persons.
Monks and nuns are required to give up attachment to the following:
1. Material things such as wealth, property, house, books, clothes, etc.
- Relationships such as father, mother, spouse, children, friends, enemies, other monks, disciples, etc.
- Feelings such as pleasure and pain, feelings towards touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. They have the equanimity towards music and noise, good and bad smells, soft and hard objects for touch, beautiful and dirty sights, etc.
They do not eat food for taste but for survival with the intention to destroy his karma with the help of this body. Non-possession and non-attachment are to be observed in speech, mind, and deed. One should not possess, ask others to do so, or approve of such activities.
What is Brahmcharya
Total abstinence from sensual pleasure is called celibacy. Sensual pleasure is an infatuating force which sets aside all virtues and reason at the time of indulgence. This vow of controlling sensuality is very difficult to observe in its subtle form. One may refrain from physical indulgence but may still think of the pleasures of sensualism, which is prohibited in Jainism.
Monks are required to observe this vow strictly and completely. They should not enjoy sensual pleasures, ask others to do the same, nor approve of it. For laypersons, brahmacharya means either confining sex to marriage or complete celibacy and they are required to be chaste in their deeds and thoughts. There are several rules laid down for observing this vow for householders.
जैन धर्म भारत का एक प्राचीन धर्म है। 'जैन धर्म' का अर्थ है - 'जिन द्वारा प्रवर्तित धर्म'। 'जैन' कहते हैं उन्हें, जो 'जिन' के अनुयायी हों। 'जिन' शब्द बना है 'जि' धातु से। 'जि' माने-जीतना। 'जिन' माने जीतने वाला। जिन्होंने अपने मन को जीत लिया, अपनी वाणी को जीत लिया और अपनी काया को जीत लिया और विशिष्ट ज्ञान को पाकर सर्वज्ञ या पूर्णज्ञान प्राप्त किया उन आप्त पुरुष को जिनेश्वर या 'जिन' कहा जाता है'। जैन धर्म अर्थात 'जिन' भगवान् का धर्म। अहिंसा जैन धर्म का मूल सिद्धान्त है। जैन दर्शन में सृष्टिकर्ता इश्वर को स्थान नहीं दिया गया है।
जैन ग्रंथों के अनुसार इस काल के प्रथम तीर्थंकर ऋषभदेव द्वारा जैन धर्म का प्रादुर्भाव हुआ था। जैन धर्म की अत्यंत प्राचीनता करने वाले अनेक उल्लेख अजैन साहित्य और खासकर वैदिक साहित्य में प्रचुर मात्रा में हैं।
जैन धर्म में श्रावक और मुनि दोनों के लिए पाँच व्रत बताए गए है। तीर्थंकर आदि महापुरुष जिनका पालन करते है, वह महाव्रत कहलाते है
अहिंसा - किसी भी जीव को मन, वचन, काय से पीड़ा नहीं पहुँचाना। किसी जीव के प्राणों का घात नहीं करना।
सत्य - हित, मित, प्रिय वचन बोलना।
अस्तेय - बिना दी हुई वस्तु को ग्रहण नहीं करना।
ब्रह्मचर्य - मन, वचन, काय से मैथुन कर्म का त्याग करना।
अपरिग्रह- पदार्थों के प्रति ममत्वरूप परिणमन का बुद्धिपूर्वक त्याग।
मुनि इन व्रतों का सूक्ष्म रूप से पालन करते है, वही श्रावक स्थूल रूप से करते है।
मुख्य लेख : जैन धर्म में भगवान
जैन ईश्वर को मानते हैं जो सर्व शक्तिशाली त्रिलोक का ज्ञाता द्रष्टा है पर त्रिलोक का कर्ता नही | जैन धर्म में जिन या अरिहन्त और सिद्ध को ईश्वर मानते हैं। अरिहंतो और केवलज्ञानी की आयुष्य पूर्ण होने पर जब वे जन्ममरण से मुक्त होकर निर्वाण को प्राप्त करते है तब उन्हें सिद्ध कहा जाता है। उन्हीं की आराधना करते हैं और उन्हीं के निमित्त मंदिर आदि बनवाते हैं। जैन ग्रन्थों के अनुसार अर्हत् देव ने संसार को द्रव्यार्थिक नय की अपेक्षा से अनादि बताया है। जगत् का न तो कोई कर्ता है और न जीवों को कोई सुख दुःख देनेवाला है। अपने अपने कर्मों के अनुसार जीव सुख दुःख पाते हैं। जीव या आत्मा का मूल स्वभान शुद्ध, बुद्ध, सच्चिदानंदमय है, केवल पुदगल या कर्म के आवरण से उसका मूल स्वरुप आच्छादित हो जाता है। जिस समय यह पौद्गलिक भार हट जाता है उस समय आत्मा परमात्मा की उच्च दशा को प्राप्त होता है। जैन मत 'स्याद्वाद' के नाम से भी प्रसिद्ध है। स्याद्वाद का अर्थ है अनेकांतवाद अर्थात् एक ही पदार्थ में नित्यत्व और अनित्यत्व, सादृश्य और विरुपत्व, सत्व और असत्व, अभिलाष्यत्व और अनभिलाष्यत्व आदि परस्पर भिन्न धर्मों का सापेक्ष स्वीकार। इस मत के अनुसार आकाश से लेकर दीपक पर्यंत समस्त पदार्थ नित्यत्व और अनित्यत्व आदि उभय धर्म युक्त है।
जैन धर्म मे 24 तीर्थंकरों को माना जाता है। तीर्थंकर धर्म तीर्थ का प्रवर्तन करते है। इस काल के २४ तीर्थंकर है-
1 ऋषभदेव- इन्हें 'आदिनाथ' भी कहा जाता है
4 अभिनंदन जी
5 सुमतिनाथ जी
6 पद्ममप्रभु जी
7 सुपार्श्वनाथ जी
8 चंदाप्रभु जी
9 सुविधिनाथ- इन्हें 'पुष्पदन्त' भी कहा जाता है
10 शीतलनाथ जी
12 वासुपूज्य जी
13 विमलनाथ जी
14 अनंतनाथ जी
15 धर्मनाथ जी
18 अरनाथ जी
19 मल्लिनाथ जी
20 मुनिसुव्रत जी
21 नमिनाथ जी
22 अरिष्टनेमि जी - इन्हें 'नेमिनाथ' भी कहा जाता है। जैन मान्यता में ये नारायण श्रीकृष्ण के चचेरे भाई थे।
24 वर्धमान महावीर - इन्हें वर्धमान, सन्मति, वीर, अतिवीर भी कहा जाता है।
ऋषभदेव, अरिष्टनेमि आदि तीर्थंकरों का उल्लेख ऋग्वेदादि में बहुलता से मिलता है, जिससे यह स्वतः सिद्ध होता है कि वेदों की रचना के पहले जैन-धर्म का अस्तित्व भारत में था। विष्णु पुराण में श्री ऋषभदेव, मनुस्मृति में प्रथम जिन (यानी ऋषभदेव) स्कंदपुराण, लिंगपुराण आदि में बाईसवें तीर्थंकर अरिष्टनेमि का उल्लेख आया है। दीक्षा मूर्ति-सहस्रनाम, वैशम्पायन सहस्रनाम महिम्न स्तोत्र में भगवान जिनेश्वर व अरहंत कह के स्तुति की गई है। योग वाशिष्ठ में श्रीराम ‘जिन’ भगवान की तरह शांति की कामना करते हैं। इसी तरह रुद्रयामलतंत्र में भवानी को जिनेश्वरी, जिनमाता, जिनेन्द्रा कहकर संबोधन किया है। नगर पुराण में कलयुग में एक जैन मुनि को भोजन कराने का फल कृतयुग में दस ब्राह्मणों को भोजन कराने के बराबर कहा गया है। अंतिम दो तीर्थंकर, पार्श्वनाथ और महावीर स्वामी ऐतिहासिक पुरुष है। महावीर का जन्म ईसा से ५९९ वर्ष पहले होना ग्रंथों से पाया जाया है। शेष के विषय में अनेक प्रकार की अलौकीक और प्रकृतिविरुद्ध कथाएँ हैं। ऋषभदेव की कथा भागवत आदि कई पुराणों में आई है और उनकी गणना हिंदुओं के २४ अवतारों में है। महाभारत अनुशासन पर्व,महाभारत शांतिपर्व, स्कन्ध पुराण,प्रभास पुराण,लंकावतार आदि अनेक ग्रंथो में अरिष्टनेमि का उल्लेख है !