Saturday, 22 April 2017

Jain Matrimonial Website and Matrimony App -

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Friday, 14 April 2017

Jain vegetarianism -

Jain vegetarianism

Jain vegetarian diet is practiced by the followers of Jain culture and philosophy. It is one of the most rigorous forms of spiritually motivated diet on the Indian subcontinent and beyond. The Jain cuisine is completely vegetarian and also excludes onions, potatoes, brinjals (eggplants) and garlic, similar to the shojin-ryori Buddhist cuisine of Japan.

The strictest forms of Jain diet is practiced by the ascetics; in addition to potatoes it may exclude other root vegetables. This food is called sattvic, which means that it is based on the qualities of goodness, lightness and happiness. On the other hand, onions, eggplant and garlic are considered "tamasic", as they are believed to have a quality of darkness, lethargy and a putrid smell.

Jain objections to the eating of meat, fish and eggs are based on the principle of non-violence (ahimsa, figuratively "non-injuring"). Every act by which a person directly or indirectly supports killing or injury is seen as act of violence (himsa), which creates harmful reaction karma. The aim of ahimsa is to prevent the accumulation of such karma.The extent to which this intention is put into effect varies greatly among Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Jains believe nonviolence is the most essential religious duty for everyone (ahinsā paramo dharmaḥ, a statement often inscribed on Jain temples). It is an indispensable condition for liberation from the cycle of reincarnation, which is the ultimate goal of all Jain activities. Jains share this goal with Hindus and Buddhists, but their approach is particularly rigorous and comprehensive. Their scrupulous and thorough way of applying nonviolence to everyday activities, and especially to food, shapes their entire lives and is the most significant hallmark of Jain identity. A side effect of this strict discipline is the exercise of asceticism, which is strongly encouraged in Jainism for lay people as well as for monks and nuns. Out of the five types of living beings, a householder is forbidden to kill, or destroy, intentionally, all except the lowest (the one sensed, such as vegetables, herbs, cereals, etc., which are endowed with only the sense of touch).

    For Jains, lacto-vegetarianism is mandatory. Food that contains even the smallest particles of the bodies of dead animals or eggs is unacceptable. Some Jain scholars and activists support veganism, as the production of dairy products is perceived to involve violence against cows. According to Jain texts, a śrāvaka (householder) shouldn't consume the four maha-vigai - wine, flesh, butter and honey; and the five udumbara fruits (the five udumbara trees are Gular, Anjeera, Banyan, Peepal, and Pakar, all belonging to the fig class).
    Jains go out of their way so as not to hurt even small insects and other tiny animals, because they believe that harm caused by carelessness is as reprehensible as harm caused by deliberate action. Hence they take great pains to make sure that no minuscule animals are injured by the preparation of their meals and in the process of eating and drinking.
    Traditionally Jains have been prohibited from drinking unfiltered water. In the past, when stepwells were used for the water source, the cloth used for filtering was reversed, and some filtered water poured over it to return the organisms to the original body of water. This practice of jivani or bilchavani is no longer possible because of the use of pipes for water supply. Modern Jains may also filter tap water in the traditional fashion and a few continue to follow the filtering process even with commercial mineral or bottled drinking water.
    Jains make considerable efforts not to injure plants in everyday life as far as possible. Jains only accept such violence inasmuch as it is indispensable for human survival, and there are special instructions for preventing unnecessary violence against plants. Strict Jains don’t eat root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, roots and tubers, because such root vegetables are considered ananthkay. Ananthkay means one body, but containing countless lives. A regular vegetable such as cabbage has number of leaves and lives as could be counted by a layman. However, a root vegetable such as potato, though from the looks of it is one article, is said to contain multiple lives ('ekindriya') in it. Also, tiny life forms are injured when the plant is pulled up and because the bulb is seen as a living being, as it is able to sprout. Also, consumption of most root vegetables involves uprooting and killing the entire plant, whereas consumption of most terrestrial vegetables doesn't kill the plant (it lives on after plucking the vegetables or it was seasonally supposed to wither away anyway).
    Mushrooms, fungus and yeasts are forbidden because they grow in non-hygienic environments and may harbour other life forms.
    Honey is forbidden, as its collection would amount to violence against the bees.
    Jain texts declare that a śrāvaka (householder) shouldn't cook or eat at night. According to Acharya Amritchandra's Purushartha Siddhyupaya:
    And, how can one who eats food without the light of the sun, albeit a lamp may have been lighted, avoid hiṃsā of minute beings which get into food?
    — Puruşārthasiddhyupāya
    Strict Jains do not consume food that has been stored overnight, as it possesses a higher concentration of micro-organisms (for example, bacteria, yeast etc.) as compared to food prepared and consumed the same day. Hence, they do not consume yoghurt or dhokla and idli batter unless they have been freshly set on the same day.
    Jains do not consume fermented foods (beer, wine and other alcohols) to avoid killing of a large number of microorganisms associated with the fermenting process.

Historical background

When Mahavira revived and reorganized the Jain community in the 6th century BCE, ahimsa was already an established, strictly observed rule. Parshvanatha, a tirthankara whom modern Western historians consider a historical figure, lived in about the 8th century BCE and founded a community to which Mahavira’s parents belonged. Parshvanatha’s followers vowed to observe ahimsa; this obligation was part of their caujjama dhamma (Fourfold Restraint).
In the times of Mahavira and in the following centuries, Jains criticized Buddhists and followers of the Vedic religion or Hindus for negligence and inconsistency in the implementation of ahimsa. In particular, they strongly objected to the Vedic tradition of animal sacrifice with subsequent meat-eating, and to hunting.
According to the famous Tamil classic, Tirukkuṛaḷ, which is also considered a Jain work by some scholars:   256. If the world did not purchase and consume meat, no one would slaughter and offer meat for sale.
Some Brahmins –- Kashmiri Pandits, Bengali Brahmins and Saraswat Brahmins –- have traditionally eaten meat (primarily seafood). However, in regions with strong Jain influence such as Rajasthan and Gujarat, or strong Jain influence in the past such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Brahmins are strict vegetarians. Bal Gangadhar Tilak has described Jainism as the originator of Ahimsa. He wrote in a letter:
    In ancient times, innumerable animals were butchered in sacrifices. Evidence in support of this is found in various poetic compositions such as the Meghaduta. But the credit for the disappearance of this terrible massacre from the Brahminical religion goes to Jainism.
Some scholars state that ancient Jain ascetics accepted meat as alms if the animal had not been specifically killed for them. If this is correct, then they applied the same standard as early Buddhists. Some passages in two of the earliest Śwētāmbara texts, the Acaranga Sutra and the Dasaveyaliya, have been interpreted as regulations for specific types of meat and bones which were considered acceptable alms. This can also be interpreted as references to fruits and seeds. Medieval Jain commentators on these passages interpreted them in the literal sense, but also mentioned the opinion that the offensive words had different meanings, some of which did not refer to animals and hence were compatible with vegetarianism. Modern Jains, who are strict vegetarians, prefer the latter interpretation of these scholars on this matter.

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Friday, 7 April 2017

Mahavir Jayanti and its significance -

Like many religious festivals celebrated with fervour in India, Mahavir Jayanti is one among them and is observed with utmost zeal by Jains.

This festival carries great significance for the Jain community as it marks the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira. Mahavira is the founder and last Tirthankar of Jainism. He was born as the prince to King Siddartha and Queen Trisala in Vaishali, Bihar (either in 599 BC or 615 BC), but towards his later years he renounced all his material possessions including his family in pursuit of spiritual freedom or ultimate happiness.

Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated not only in India but also in other parts of the world where there is a presence of the Jain community. On this significant day, devotees or followers of Jainism decorate the Jain temples with colourful flags and other fancy materials in a grand way and carry out peaceful processions to commemorate the birth and teaching of Mahavira. Pilgrims throng the shrines and temples to celebrate this auspicious day. In the morning, devotees offer a ritual bath to the idol of Lord Mahavira called 'abhishek' and offer prayers. Sermons are imparted and lectures are held for followers to preach the philosophy of Mahavira.

People send Mahavir Jayanti messages and greetings to their friends and relatives to mark the significance of this day. Novel Mahavir Jayanti greetings and Mahavir Jayanti SMS are popular way of sending wishes among people because they are easily available online and reaches it destination within the shortest time. Mahavir Jayanti SMS is very popular among people because it is a cost-effective way of communication and guaranteed message delivery.With recent trend of whatsapp people use it to send greetings.

Jains relive the preaching and philosophy of Lord Mahavira on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti. He taught people to renounce the earthly pleasure and search for ultimate happiness or moksha. At the age of 30, Lord Mahavira relinquished material possessions and spent twelve years in rigorous abstinence which earned him the title as Mahavira.

According to the Hindu calendar, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated on the 13th day of the month of Chaitra. Jain religious leaders depict important passage from the life of Lord Mahavira including his teachings of repudiation and austerity.

In India, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with great pomp and zing in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi as these states comprise a sizeable Jain population. And at the end of the celebration, people meditate and offer silent prayers.

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Article Courtesy of TOI

Saturday, 1 April 2017

6 Core Beliefs Of Jain Dharma -

6 Core Beliefs Of Jain Dharma

One of the oldest Indian religions, the history of Jainism dates back to more than 3000 years. Like Hinduism and Buddhism, Jain Dharma also stemmed in the Indian Continent and has several similarities with the two traditions. Mahavira was the founders/preachers who brought this religion to the world. And despite being established by as many as 24 teachers, this ancient-world tradition is based on and strictly abides by a set of specific ideas!

1. Soul Is Unborn and Eternal

As per Jainism, souls are uncreated, eternal and equal, and reside in animate and inanimate objects both. They all have the ability to free themselves and attain Moksha (salvation) by virtue of their sincere efforts.

2. Karma

Jain Dharma is the biggest religion in the world to lay emphasis on Karma. Karma is based on the belief that all living beings reap what they sow, and all happy or miserable existences are influenced by actions of the previous life.
What we sow may not be restricted to physical actions only, but include all verbal and mental activities too. Along with Jain Dharma, Karma is an essential aspect of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

3. The concept of Tirthankaras and Ahimsa

The concept of Tirthankaras is one of the most distinguishing features of Jain Dharma. Tirthankaras are not Gods, but pure souls who have successfully crossed worldly bondages to reach the other side of everlasting freedom. Mahavira comes last in the sequential order of the 24 Tirthankaras in Jainism.
Another unique and great feature of Jain Dharma is Ahimsa, that is, compassion to all living beings. This belief makes Jainism the only religion on earth wherein all monks and followers need to be vegetarians, regardless of which tradition they come from. In India, the population influenced by Jain Dharma is strictly vegetarian. There are many animal shelters in many towns, including a bird hospital in Delhi that is run by a Jain temple!

4. The Idea of Existential Suffering

Jains believe that this world is full of sorrow and miseries, and one must go beyond the cycle of transmigration in order to attain eternal bliss. If not, we will have to remain ceaselessly caught up in this immeasurable cycle of transmigration.
The religion maintains that practicing detachment with help of rational perception, knowledge and conduct is the only way out when it comes to breaking out this cycle.

5. Worship and Religious Rituals

Bowing and chanting their universal prayer is an everyday activity for most Jains. Images of Tirthankaras are kept and worshiped in Jain temples or Derasar. Since Tirthankaras are praised in songs and symbolic objects offered, most Jain rituals may be detailed.
Opposite to that, many Jain sects refuse to go to temples and worship images. Every Jain, however, accepts that Tirthankaras and their images are religious symbols that remind them of the path shown and teachings given by them. They consider attaining salvation as the ultimate purpose of life and detaching from the world is one of the ways to successfully achieve it.

6. Fasting

Fasting is a very common part of Jain life, including festivals and special occasions and holidays. One of their prominent festivals is Pajushan that lasts eight and ten days in Svetambara Jain tradition and Digambar Jain traditions, respectively. Though the Jains may fast at any point of time, the monsoon is the best fasting time for them. Fasting is also one of the ways of compensating for a sin in Jain Dharma. There are variations in fasts, so that complete self-control can be attained without any problem.

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