Jainism is a religion of self-help. Jainism is an ancient religion that believes in Liberation, humanity, harmlessness and unionization. Jains also believe in reincarnation, that is, Aatma never dies.. It lives for several years and takes many births until attainment of Moksh.
Liberation deals mainly with soul and to restrict the bad karmas of present and the past lives taken on this earth. Jainism also focuses to help the human beings and not on gods and any spiritual soul. The supreme principle of Jain living is non-violence and a right to live and let others to live.
Jainism do not have any single founder. The Agamas are told by the teerthankars. Teerthankars aare the 0teachers that shows the way to others. There are generally 24 teerthankars that are being praised by jains.
The first teerthankar name was Aadinath Bhagwan then many more teerthankars came Ajita, Sambhav, Abhinandan, Sumati, Suparsha, Padmaprabhu, Chanda Prabhu, Suvidh, Shital, Shreyansh, Vasupujya, Vimal, Anant, Dharma, Kuntu, Shantinath, Arah, Malli, Munisuvrata, Nami, Nemi, Parasnath and the last was Mahaveer Swami.
The Jainism became famous after the death of Mahaveer Bhagwan and was popular in the period of Chandragupta Maurya. Mahaveer Swami used to say, “Jiyo Aur Jeene Do” and there is one more popular slogan in Jainism that is “Ahinsa Parmo Dharam” and these teachings of Mahavira Swami are known as Agamas.
According to Census 2001, there are around 4.2 millions of jains in India.
Jainism is fully based on professional people like Monks and Nuns. These people take samathi that would not do marriage in their whole life and this vrath is known as “Brahmacharya Vrath”
There are many mantras used by Jain people to memorize the Agamas like the Navkaar Mantra which is considered as the strongest mantra in Jain community. Also the Bhaktambar Strotra is very popular in Jains and is available in two languages Hindi and Sanskrit.
Jainism is generally divided into two parts
- Digambars: These types of jains are more focused on simplicity and are having 108 male gurus (Sant) and 105 female guru (Mataji) Digambars male gurus do not wear clothes. It is said that you were born naked and so will die naked. Mataji’s were white sarees. Digambars are further divided into two parts, that is, Golapoorav and Parwar. Digambars generally arpan dravya in front of god and this dravya is made up eight elements, that is, jal (water), chandan (chandan water), akshat (white rice), pushp (yellow rice), Nevith (dry coconut pieces), Deep(yellow coloured coconut), Dhoop (cloves) and poorna aragha (mixture of the rest seven elements of dravya)
- Swehtambars: these types of jains are more in number than digambars and they too have sant and mataji and both the male and female gurus wear white clothes. They are having different perception in live about God. They believe that God used to wear gold and different items made up of gold and they arpan pushp in front of God. This pushp is generally the different color flowers.
Jainism basically works on three principles
- Right to Belief
- Right to gain Knowledge
- Right of code of conduct
There are some common Mantras in Jainism that are as follows
- Non attachment: there should be no attachment to family, friends and relatives in any manner. It is believed that you came alone in this world and will go alone from this world.
- Lying not allowed: telling lie to someone is considered as a bad deed and it is also said that for this bad deed you will be given a very extreme punishment for this bad deed in Narakh.
- No Possession: it is considered that to show a possession to something is a wrong deed like house, car, or any other luxury product.
- Stealing a bad deed: stealing goods of others is considered as an unlawful deed and the one who does so would have to pay a high cost in the Narakh.
- Sex Change: Jainism totally exploits the individual to change the sex. It is considered that your previous lives deeds gives you the present life birth and you should be happy eith whatever you have been provided.
- Dharma Change: Jainism also exploits to change sex. It focuses to be happy with what you have been born and should the same.
Jains believes that animals and birds are also having the living soul and should not be kept in caves and should be treated with respect.
Key points regarding Jainism:
- Believe in humanity.
- Nonviolence is a key essence.
- Religion of self-help.
Another very important thing about Jains is the fasting. It is very common in Jain spirituality. The monsoon season is considered as the time of Jain’s festival. This festival goes along with the Ganesh Chaturthi. Generally, fasting is done by women rather than men.it is assumed that fasting purifies the blood, mind and soul.
It is not only to fast and not to eat but if you are not eating and thinking about food than the fast is pointless and no need to do fasting. There are majorly four types of fasting in Jains
- Complete Fasting: where food and water are completely given up.
- Partial Fasting: where eating is limited up to one time eating just to avoid hunger.
- Vrutti Sankshepta: here, only limited food items are eaten and remaining items are not eaten like potato, onion, under-rooted fruits and vegetables.
- Ras Pratigya: here, your favorite food items are given up.
Fasting in Jains is the most common activity. Today many of the saints do fasting for more than a month. There is one position in Jains where Jains stop eating intentionally because they are preparing for death.
This is different from suicide as these steps are taken in anger but Jains do this type of fasting when the body is no longer capable to handle spirituality. This process of fasting is known as Sanlekhna and is commonly known as Santhara.
As the time passed away, many of the many of the Agamas of Mahaveera were forgotten and were misremembered by the people and the two groups were made of one religion. The two groups were the Digambers and Swehtambar and this difference is still there because there perceptions are changed.
Even though some steps were taken by Jains to preserve the text of the Agamas through religious books which are used by every Jain like Jinvani, Samaysaar, Padampuraan and many others to secure the belongings of the God.