Following the saying that ‘The barometer of any peace loving Religion can be best gauged by the way it treats those whom it is in a position to harm, and the by the way it treats its animals’, It has being said that out of the available religious and spiritual options in our current world, that Jainism – a religion that started around 550 B.C.E. in Eastern India – stands on top.
Are you familiar with the religion? If you are not, sit back and relax let me take on a journey.
Jainism is an ancient religion, a religion of self help from India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a live of harmlessness and renunciation.
People who practice this religion are referred to as Jains, and tgey are guided by three principles, also referred to as the ‘three jewels’,
- Right belief
- Right knowledge and
- Right conduct.
Jainism’s main essence is concern for the welfare of every being in the universe and for the health of the universe itself.
Below are some things you might want to know about jainism.
1. Jains believe any life form whether it Is the smallest of bacteria to the largest of animals in the universe contains living souls and should be treated with respect and compassion. In lieu of this, their monks walk around with their mouth covered -so as to prevent any insect from meeting its untely death by flying in- And a walking stick for removing creatures along the way so that I do not cause harm.
2. Jains are strict vegetarians and live in a way that minimises their use of the world’s resources.
3. Jains believe in reincarnation and seek to attain ultimate liberation – which means escaping the continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth so that the immortal soul lives for ever in a state of bliss.
4. The religion has no priests. Its professional religious people are monks and nuns, who lead strict and ascetic lives.
5. Jains are divided into two major sects ; the Digambara (meaning “sky clad”) sect and the Svetambara (meaning “white clad”) sect.
6. There are no gods or spiritual beings that will help human beings.
7. The supreme principle of Jain living is non violence (ahimsa). This is one of the 5 mahavratas (the 5 great vows). The other mahavratas are
- Non-attachment to possessions
- not lying
- not stealing
- Sexual restraint.
8. The texts containing the teachings of Mahavira are called the Agamas.
9. Apart from Buddhism, jainism is the only religion that does not invoke the fear of God as a reason for moral behavior.
10. Most Jains live in India, and according to the 2001 Census of India there are around 4.2 million living there. And around 25,000 Jains in Britain.
Do you think Jainism deserves to be labelled as the most peaceful religion in the world? Ahead of Christianity, Islam and the rest of the thousands of religions that are out there?