HUMATA, HUKHTA, HUVARSHTA
I’m selfish, materialistic, imperfect, driven by human desires and eccentricities. I’m me and therefore I cannot be God. I am not conscious of my unconscious mind. The mind that is one with the self. I was created by a supreme being, I can only be a “copy” of itself. As long as I keep this empty vase, I would never reach the Brahman. When the samsara is over, I will be face to face with the supreme. Then, and only then I might be able to reach some level of divinity. Although, since the beginning of the course I had been questioning myself of the existence of a “God,” in the way my parents taught me, I think it is important to me to keep that idea, otherwise I will feel hopeless. The idea of not being able to “bring” to life and materialize his existence is too much for me, at this present time.Elena Murga.
Reaching perfection in ourselves means that if were living were giving many opportunists to achieve what see as perfection. And Jainism gives people like me steps that can help me become more of a divine person but at the same time, in reality my atman will cause me to make mistakes and sin just everyone as through out there life time. And the perfections that I may seem to think I reach will just end up being my Maya and cause myself to react maybe in a sinful way so I don’t believe we can reach perfection from Jainism itself but from realization.Mario Louissaint
The idea of ahimsa is beautiful, especially in the type of society we live in where respect is rarely seen for all beings. I am in awe of those that follow Jainism and have been able to restrict themselves from violent thoughts and violent actions. I like that there is no supreme being, no destroyer or creator in Jainism. No divine creator feels like a weight has been lifted. Despite my beliefs and my faith in a god, I also believe and know the universe has the power, or siddha to gives us all that we ask for. If we put in the effort and if we allow it to, the universe will guide us through.
Ian Deck Jainism acknowledges that non-living things, like rip currents, possess energies that are capable of interacting with our own energies and causing life altering events. Human souls are not the only ones that can be affected by these types of interactions. Jainas assert that all living things have souls, born in accordance with their karma, and are in charge of their own lives. Because of these beliefs Jainism asserts that we practice; the right knowledge, the right faith, and the right conduct. Once these practices are perfected one can fully realize themselves and achieve moksha. Again, this realization is not limited to souls that occupy human bodies. Any living thing is capable of moksha as long as it follows the three rules.
Jainism sounds like a beautiful way to live, I especially like the idea of Aparigraha non-possession. In a world where your judged more and more by what you have then what you don’t have, aparigraha is something I believe everyone of us should practice more often. Jainism is a beautiful way to live life but at the same time it couldn’t be more different from how we in the west have been taught to live life. We are surrounded by the opposite of every single one of the five basic principles, maybe this is the reason why most people in the west live such unfulfilling lives. Its some thing to really think about when trying to find fulfillment in our modern day life’s.
The way i see it is that Jainism was founded to truly help one realize that there is better. It states that it is there to help one find true and divine perfection. To the ear that sounds appealing and something people want to know more about and even be a part of. When one is able to perform Ahimsa they are truly being divine and not wanting to harm at all, and that is a step in the right direction. By being able to follow the procedures of understanding truly what you are willing to sacrifice, and change for. One has to then understand the faith and what Jainism is all about, and then want to be cultivated by it. I believe that i would want to live that way, i truly respect and admire having the knowledge of understanding something before becoming a part of it. Living in a world where one is not judged and understood by everyone would be realistic, and when i say understand i mean being more open minded.Carlota Sanchez
Non violence (ahimsa) is a law we should all follow but are all guilty of in one degree or another. It is easy to forget about the amount of resource we take from the earth and frankly don't realize the levels of violence we commit by just living. The truth (satya) is more often than not a painful note but it is rarely ever the wrong decision. Its hard to not lie because the human is really good at doing so and constantly lies to itself in order to ease the pain of the reality. Brahmacarya is something that we desperately need. There is a tremendous amount of gluttony and waste that goes into the pursuit of enjoyment, whether through sexually driven exercise or other dopamine releases like gambling or having a great meal. It is ludicrous to believe that we can be happy every minute of our lives and by accepting that we can move closer to slowing down our overindulgence. It is the curse of the male to constantly have an itch but it must never be the decision maker. A detachment to material (Aparigraha) is a hard concept for the westerner to understand, as it is in direct opposite to the consumer society we were molded by. Once we release ourselves from our material overlords we can truly exist as we should, free and with nothing to lose but our love and life.
The five basic principles are not unfamiliar to most of us, but it is interesting how regardless of religion or belief, these principles seem to be universal. Ahimsa meaning (non-harming living things) is including our day to day manners such as things we eat that are "violent" for the steak we may be eating could have come from a poorly treated animal and by consuming it we then give more incentive for this cruel practice to go on, thus we are violating the principle of ahimsa. To always speak the satya (truth) is a principle taught to us since we are very young, thus we see that failing to be honest is looked down on even in foreign beliefs, same goes for the serious offense of corrupting the principle of asteya (non-stealing), also taught to us at a young age. Celibacy (Brahmacarya) brings to mind the concept of marriage under Christianity, where one may not indulge in sexual pleasure before marriage, or commit to their carnal desires, whether in jainins it is said that one should not seek pleasure for the sake of pleasure as you are wrongfully breaking the principle of Brahmacarya. From all these religions and different beliefs, it is interesting to see that somethings remain the same.
I struggle with Satya every single day. Not because I am a compulsive liar or because I enjoy steering from my truth, but because I am guilty of losing myself in other people’s opinions or judgements. No society is responsible for this, although a huge influence to the root of it, I am solely responsible for being a product of my surroundings. In a way, we all are. I believe that self-awareness is the only cure to such pandemic. Only when we realize our truth and embrace it, can we truly be free. This means letting go of the illusion that other people’s realities run parallel to our own. In a world where the soul is constantly being manipulated, choose to embrace your truth and let go of the anxiety that comes with being something you are not. Gayle Budow
After reading the Upanishads I feel differently about what can be understood by the term Brahman. Brahman is the perfect symphony of everything that is happening simultaneously since all is always as it should be. It is the sense of absolute awe we get when contemplating a beautiful landscape; it’s that ephemeral moment of sudden inner peace that hits us with no apparent reason. More unknowingly than not, we are all connected to a source bigger than ourselves (call it God, Allah, Krishna, the universe, or any term which best fits your beliefs).It is a source which holds wisdom, peace, and love. We have all felt it at some point in our lives, but we have all become blinded to it while pursuing power, wealth, and looks.
The concept of Jainism is an interesting one. The way it looks at things is interesting, especially how it divides things into two categories, both living and non living and how the interaction between these two things is what causes life, death and other life experiences. The structure of Jainism and how it emphasizes that non-violent action is important, but non-violent thoughts are just as important is really powerful because it means we have to strive to be truly pure in order to do good. The three laws and how they each lead to one another is really cool, especially since they pretty much bridge into the 5 basic principles.The non-possession principle is really cool one as it says you have to be able to detach yourself from others and other things in order to truly find yourself.
"Strangers passing in the street by chance two separate glances meet and now I am you and what I see is me"-Pink Floyd "Echoes" Meddle 1971- From another point of view, if we are to narrow down ourselves, we will realize that we are pretty much like a "connect the dots" kind of thing. whenever anyone asks anyone who they are, the answer is always a recollection of data that comes from outside. "my name is Felipe I am a human male, I am 34 years old I am a school teacher, I study philosophy..." All of these aspects, are external things we accept for ourselves. we as individuals are a collection of the things external to us. If even the slightest part of the universe goes missing (clearly an impossibility since matter doesn't create or destroy itself) then everything else would be never be the same again and go missing as well. We are all connected in all the possible ways we could be connected. The same way spooky actions occur at the quantum level must therefore happen at the social and or spiritual level... Jainism would display a proper way to behave that although might deny some pleasures would "imply" others
Jainism provides very clear building blocks on how to live a peaceful and beautiful life. Its tenets are rooted in self-reflection and help us to enlighten ourselves by realizing the influence each of our lives has upon other people and the world. Ahimsa teaches us non-violence including abstaining from violent thought which not only hurts others but also ourselves. Satya relieves the burden of betraying ourselves while still being polite and respectful. Asteya teaches us not to impede on the lives of others through theft, which hurts all of those who are involved. Brahmacarya teaches us how to seek out and achieve holiness without trapping ourselves in a cycle of self-indulgence which we may lose ourselves in. And finally Aparigraha allows us to detach ourselves from the world for a while and we lose much of our fear and anxiety. Although the steps of Jainism are very clearly presented to us it is not easy to live in such a way but the more we begin to lead our lives in such a way, we stop pursuing temporary happiness and achieve lasting peace.
TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD really fascinated me because it talks about Brahman and how Brahaman is OM. the text states that Om indicates compliance. Compliance relates to a certain wish or command and ways on how to fulfill that. So in a sense, Brahman pertains to doing certain wishes for the person. In previous classes, we spoke on how our Atman must be fully understood to reach our Brahman. The text also stated that the world is OM. "The Self is a source of abiding joy. Our hearts are filled with joy in seeing him. " "Brahman is OM, the whole world is OM. When one says OM, it indicates compliance." the text also makes it clear that truth is complete reality; and what I got from that is that things that are not the lies of this earth are the things that are not truly present.
The five principals of Jainism are the right track to reach perfectionism or self-realization. Although it’s a beautiful idea, most people cannot reach these principals. It’s difficult and hard. It seems to me like you have to become a monk, in order to attain these principles. It looks like the only principle “easy” to attained is asteya (non-stealing), but ahisma? How do you attain this principle when the simple fact of telling your child what to do, goes against this principle. Sathya (truth), what if you have to “lie” in order to not hurt other people’s feelings? If I say the truth, and hurt another person, am I failing to attain the Ahisma principle? Brahmacarya (celibacy)? No way, we are humans! Aparigraha (non-possession), yes, the Neanderthals lived with extremely limited possessions, but they are extinct. Technology is evolving every day, why should we limit ourselves? If memory isn’t real, if the soul is controlled by the brain, if karma dictate the flow of your life, then what are we? what kind of humans are we? What is the purpose of a limited existence, where humans must attain the perfection of the soul?Elena Murga.
"Knowledge without faith and conduct is futile"That's powerful. It's more of like "if you don't use it, you lose it" kind of ring to it. To some, Jainism not only challenges our brains but also our bodies in an intense discipline. Conducting in a Right Conduct that is spontaneous but not a forced mechanical quality is almost impossible. In a world where materials and desires ruled over our hearts, how can one shed off what we find in comfort to almost do nothing? Coca Cola would be pissed if that's the idea of "Living". It is extremely difficult. Personally, I do find Jainism to be a profound thesis. It is beautiful and full of humility that is of Ahimsa, a cardinal value that all must practices as children of mother nature. We must admit that, yeah, this is the ONLY way that we can all be happy under one sun.Question is though. How can one practices Jainism's five-basic principles when not living for yourselves, but for the sake of others?
The purpose of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul. Jainism is an ancient religious that paves the path of ahisma which is non violence towards mankind and nature.Jains believe in reincarnation.They have this idea that they will take different living forms in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. A cycle which goes on forever. They believe that the universe has no beginning or end, it has always been and always will be.Like Hinduism, Jainism is a avid believer of the dharma/kharma principle. They believe the most effective way to get rid of one's karma is to follow certain rules of doing good somewhat similar to the ten commandments. These include the principles of:1. Ahimsa - To protect all life (non-violence)2. Satya - To speak truth3. Asteya - To not steal4. Brahmacharya - To not commit adultery5. Aparigraha - To limit one's possessions
The Upanishads are super deep. I mean they really open up your mind to some crazy concepts. I think Jainism is pretty interesting even though it’s very similar to Hinduism in general, or at least what we’ve learned about Hinduism. The concept of Ahimsa, or non-violence, helps me understand why most Hindus don’t eat meat. Satya is funny because “the truth in a harmless manner” isn’t always so harmless. Sometimes the truth is brought out of us harmfully. Asteya isn’t only the theft of material things but it can be the theft of people’s autonomy which we do so often but never actually realize it. Brahmacarya is something I don’t understand too much because I don’t know in what sense it is meant. Like is it overindulging in material things or can it be emotion or something like that? Lastly, Aparigraha is a good feeling and it may be kin to meditation or maybe it is meditation. But either way, it is great and it’s like a natural high.
As we discussed in class Ahimsa is non violence which is so don't like much to do with violence not even their meals are violence because they want everything pure in their body. They also practice telling the truth which is good and bad thing because some people cant handle the truth when it is brought to it. I know I wouldn't make in their culture because sometimes I stretch the truth more than I should and I can't help that which is a problem in the long haul. So I really respect their culture even more for them being to tell the truth whether you like or not. I'm going try and eat less violence because I really like their views on.
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