Over these years, wherever I have gone and met people from different societies and cultures, half of them know I am Jain and I follow Jain Parampara (tradition) or I believe in the Jain faith because of my food habits. Oh, you don't have onions? No potatoes? No garlic? How can you live life? What? No Eggs? Amazing, Man! Then to some, Jain philosophy was still a novel concept. I was shocked to understand that most of my non-Indian friends knew about Jainism. Of course, for them it was all about Moksha, no eating after sunset, drinking boiled water, no killings of animals, and somewhat limited understanding of our daily activities. I am neither complaining nor, irritated by the limited understanding of Jain culture and philosophy.
In fact, I am thankful to all these people that have met me over the years and kept questioning. Their questions created the curiosity in my mind and I kept asking myself, is our religion, faith, or belief (whatever one wishes to call it) limited to food habits and sacrifice of daily happiness in the real worIn fact, I am thankful to all these people that have met me over the years and kept questioning. Their questions created the curiosity in my mind and I kept asking myself, is our religion, faith, or belief (whatever one wishes to call it) limited to food habits and sacrifice of daily happiness in the real world? This past decade, after attending lectures, reading books and research papers by scholars, visiting museums in India and overseas, understanding from Sadhus and Sadhvis, listening to their Vyakhyans, analyzing experiences from respected Shravaks and Shravikas, visiting various Tirth’s and Derasar’s and long introspection sessions, my curiosity finally is at peace. At least, I would like to believe that. Though not 100% successful but for now I am satisfied to have started my journey in exploring what Jain philosophy and parampara is all about.
Understanding Jain Parampara 1. Genesis 2. The Core 3. Tradition. Not Religion 4. Democratic Approach 5. Main Principles Genesis All of us are busy claiming how one’s religion is older than the other. Does that matter? Instead of proving it, let the scientific and historical evidence speak for itself. In the era, when content is the king, I believe my generation and the next generations to come would be more interested in understanding what kind of ideology and philosophy their or the other religion teaches and how it will impact their life and happiness. Ancient names of Jainism were Nirgrantha (name of the parampara in the time of Mahavir Swami. It meant to not have preconceptions about anything), Arhat (The path shown by Arihant) and Shraman Parampara (The one who follows Jina Bhagwan). Shraman parampara was the original name of Jain Philosophy. It was only after the 6th-century people started calling it Jain Dharma or Jainism.
Since the time of Shraman parampara, the philosophy of this tradition was of Tyag (renunciation. In simpler terms, giving up of all activities that lead to bad karma). A way of living to attain moksha through spiritualism. Though the name has changed over the era’s, the core still remains the same. The Core DIY - ‘Do it Yourself’ videos are in trend these days. These videos teach us how to build or repair things on our own with the direct help of experts or professionals. As democratic and liberal a philosophy can be, Jain parampara encourages the soul to know itself - of the self, by the self, for the self. The very core of Jain philosophy is to do good things that are best for one’s soul (the most expensive thing a human being possesses) on your own. You don’t need an expert or supreme being to build or repair your ATMA.
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