Friday, September 13, 2013

Some theological and philosophical implications of Jainism

*Every living being has a soul: divine, with innate, though typically unrealized, potentially immense knowledge, perception, power, and bliss.
*Therefore, regard every living being as yourself, harm no one, and manifest benevolence for all living beings.
*Every soul is born as a sort of celestial, human or sub-human or hellish being according to its own karmas.
*Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter. (Yes, freedom exists!)
*When a soul is freed from karmas,2 it becomes free and god-conscious, experiencing infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss.
*Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct (triple gems of Jainism) provide the way to this realization.
*There is no supreme divine creator, owner, preserver or destroyer: The universe is self-regulated and every soul has the potential to achieve the status of god-consciousness (siddha) through one's own efforts.

*Non-violence (Ahimsa) is the foundation of right View, the existence of right Knowledge and the kernel of right Conduct. Non-violence is compassion and forgiveness in thoughts, words and actions toward all living beings. It includes respecting views of others (Non-absolutism). Is Ahimsa not a better face-to-face?
*Limit possessions and lead a pure life that is useful to yourself and others. Owning an object by itself is not possessiveness; however attachment to an object is. 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 those afflicted and tolerate the perversely inclined.
*Four things are difficult for a soul to attain: 1. human birth (the one you own), 2. true knowledge, 3. good faith, and 4. practicing the right path.
*It is 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.