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Jainism


The hero should conquer wrath and pride.
-- Akaranga Sutra

Jain Texts:
Holy Akaranga Sutra
The Akaranga Sutra, or, as it is sometimes called, the Samayika, is the first of the eleven Angas. It treats of the akara, or conduct, which falls under the last of the four heads, or anuyogas, into which the sacred lore is divided, viz. Dharmakatha, Ganita, Dravya, and Karanakarana. The Akaranga Sūtra contains two books, or Srutaskandhas, very different from each other in style and in the manner in which the subject is treated.
Intro taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/jai/sbe22/sbe2202.htm
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Holy Kalpa Sutra
The Kalpa sutra contains a biography of the founder of Jainism, Mahavira, as well as other founders of the religion, and a list of the successive Jain leaders.
Intro taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/jai/sbe22/index.htm
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About Jainism:

Religion of India established in the 6th century BC by Vardhamana, who was called Mahavira.

Jainism's core belief is ahimsa, or noninjury to all living things. It was founded as a reaction against the Vedic religion, which required animal sacrifices. Jainism has no belief in a creator god, though there are a number of lesser deities for various aspects of life. Jains believe their religion is eternal and hold that it was revealed in stages by a number of Conquerors, of whom Mahavira was the 24th.

Living as an ascetic, Mahavira preached the need for rigorous penance and self-denial as the means of perfecting human nature, escaping the cycle of rebirth, and attaining moksha, or liberation. Jains view karma as an invisible material substance that interferes with liberation and can only be dissolved through asceticism.

By the end of the 1st century AD the Jains had split into two sects, each of which later developed its own canon of sacred writings: the Digambaras, who held that an adherent should own nothing, not even clothes, and that women must be reborn as men before they can attain moksha; and the more moderate Svetambaras.

In keeping with their principle of reverence for life, Jains are known for their charitable works, including building shelters for animals. Jainism preaches universal tolerance and does not seek to make converts.
Taken from http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?p=jainism
Important Persons:

Mahavira

Mahavira or Mahavir (the "Great Hero" -- Also, Vardhamana (increasing) or Niggantha Nathaputta -- 599 BC-527 BC, though possibly 549 BC-477 BC) was the 24th, and last, Jainist Tirthankara.

Mahavira established what are today considered to be the central tenents of Jainism and was a contemporary of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.

After he renounced his princehood, he spent the next twelve and half years in deep silence and meditation and took on the discipline of conquering his desires, feelings, and attachments. He carefully avoided harming or annoying other living beings including animals, birds, and plants. He also went without food for long periods. His enduring calm and peaceful character against all unbearable hardships presence the influence of his title, Mahavir (a Sanskrit word, meaning very brave and courageous), given to him by his peers.

During this period, Jains believe his that he attained keval-jnana, or perfect enlightenement, in which spiritual powers fully become developed and perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss are realized.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahavira
Jainism Symbol:

The raised hand means stop. The word in the center of the wheel is "Ahimsa". Ahimsa means non-violence. Between these two, they remind us to stop for a minute and think twice before doing anything. This gives us a chance to scrutinize our activities to be sure that they will not hurt anyone by our words, thoughts, or actions. We are also not supposed to ask or encourage others to take part in any harmful activity.

The wheel in the hand shows that if we are not careful and ignore these warnings and carry on violent activities, then just as the wheel goes round and round, we will go round and round through the cycles of birth and death.
Taken from http://www.jainworld.com/education/jainsymbol.htm




 
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