7 Jainism Principles You Can Use for a Better Life
One of the most read posts on this blog is 7 Health Benefits of Chauvihar. Since the day it was posted in Feb 2018, it has more than 1100 views.
This statistic inspired me to write about the other principles of Jainism which could be of interest and benefit to the readers.
Here I present 7 Principles of Jainism. I am sure the readers will benefit from practicing these.
Not eating or drinking anything between sunset and sunrise the next day. This is having a great health benefit now accepted by science.
However, for Jains, this is not for the health benefits but to practice nonviolence. It is observed that after the sunset. There are infinite micro living being appear in the atmosphere.
If one eats during this period, these micro orgasms also would be consumed with the food. This is the reason eating or drinking is not recommended during this period and the practice of Chauvihar is advised.
This is the unique perspective given to the world by Lord Mahavira.
Unfortunately, religions, we human beings have ‘invented’ have become points of discontent and a great reason for dividing people rather than uniting them.
Every religion has a point of view and understanding of the truth. However, unless the thing is examined from all possible angles, view of the truth is either conditioned or partial.
Jain philosophy is very eloquent and elaborate on the subject of logic, metaphysics and life science. One of the fundamental principles of Jain philosophy is the principle of Anekantavada. Anekantavada is defined as ;
It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth.
The literal meaning of the word is:
anekānta (“manifoldness”) and vāda (“school of thought”)
The guiding principle behind the concept of Anekantavada is; that objects are infinite in their qualities and modes of existence so they cannot be completely grasped in all aspects and manifestations by finite human perception. Every human expresses his views as per circumstances, in relation to his mental condition and experience.
Anekantavada means Non-Absolutism which gives space for accommodating other contradictory views. Anekantavada helps us in understanding others’ point of view with a broad mind. The whole truth, complete in all aspect is only known by Omniscient i.e. Kevali, known in Jain terminology. Rest all can view the things or situation in seven different ways (Neither six nor eight).
Non-hoarding or Minimalism as it is practiced in the western world today.
Aparigraha is one of the 5 Yamas described in Patanjali Yoga Sutras. The other 4 Yamas are Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, and Continence.
Most of us know and try to practice the last four Yamas but Aparigraha has mostly escaped our attention.
According to Patanjali Yogasutras, ” With constancy of aparigraha, a spiritual illumination of the how and why of motives and birth emerges.”
This is a period of practice to remain in the equanimous state for 48 minutes. When equanimity is important for the shedding of Karma, its daily or regular practice is critical.
During Samayik not only practitioner give up all the worldly affairs, but she also stays away from attachment and aversion. This activity helps her to pacify passions and desires.
The practitioner put on simple, clean white clothes, and occupy a quiet place. While in the Samayik, she recites the Navkar Mantra, read scriptures, performs meditation, etc.
The Samayik gives a glimpse of the life of the sadhus who live in Samayik throughout their whole life. It directly encourages the practitioner to lead to the life of a sadhu (monk) or sadhvi (nun).
Handpicked related post: The Science behind Jain way of Life
The critical review of one’s own acts in order to not to repeat the mistakes.
Pratikraman is the combination of two words, Pra meaning return, and Atikraman meaning violation. Literally, it means returning from violations.
Pratikraman is usually done twice a day: once in the morning, Raisi (morning) Pratikraman, to repent for the things we might have done during the night time and once in the late evening Devasi (evening) Pratikraman to repent for the things we might have done during the day time.
Those who are unable to perform daily Pratikraman should do a Pakshik (fortnightly) Pratikraman, which is done once every fifteen days.
There are some that cannot find even time for that; they should do a Choumasi (quarterly) Pratikraman, once every four months.
However, if someone cannot find time for that, then they should do Samvatsari (yearly) Pratikraman, once a year which is considered a must for every Jain.
By repenting during the Pratikraman, we lessen the bondage of karma to our soul and avoid committing the same sins in the future.
The crux is, one should perform Pratikraman as soon as one realizes she has committed something which has attracted a new bad Karma to the Soul.
Handpicked related post: 27 questions Gandhiji’s asked to his Spiritual Guru
(This is another popular post)
- Michhami Dukkadam
Seeking forgiveness from others about our own mistakes/ harm we might have done through our words, deed or action. This is also about forgiving others for their mistakes.
Here is a link to the detailed post on Michhami Dukkadam: How Forgiving Can Uplift Your Spirit and Makes You Healthy?
The ultimate objective of every soul is achieving Moksha. Moksha is not possible without shedding all the Karmas attached to the Soul.
Nirjara is shedding Karmas from the Soul. In simple terms, this can be done by accepting everything without attachment (Raga) or hatred (Dwesha). Not responding to anything with attachment or hatred.
Equanimous response to everything is the way to shed Karma i.e. Nirjara. This is a basic concept. Here is a link to a detailed post: Shedding of Karma — Nirjara
Handpicked related post: The Real Maths of Body & Soul
In conclusion, apart from the spiritual benefits, the following 6 principles help in;
- Chauvihar — Good for health.
- Anekantavada — Accepting others’ views make our lives peaceful.
- Aparigraha — Ease the tension and stress of accumulation of material things.
- Samayik — Daily practice of equanimity is useful in real life situations.
- Pratikaman — Lightens us from the baggage of wrongdoings.
- Nirjara — Makes our Soul lighter and advances our spiritual journey.
Share your thoughts.
You may also like to read: “Mind-blowing” Book, “Deep dive” in Jainism