Doctrines of Jainism

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Doctrines of Jainism

Triratna i.e. Three Gems of Jainism

The aim of existence is to attain through the triratna of :
1. Samyak Shradha/ Viswas (Right faith): It is the belief in Thirathankaras.
2. Samyak Jnan (Right knowledge): It is the knowledge of the Jain creed.
3. Samyak Karma / Acharana (Right action/conduct): It is the practice of the 5 vows of Jainism.

Pancha Mahavaratas i.e. Five Vows of Jainism

Five vows of Jainism are:
1. Ahimsa (non-injury)
2. Satya (non-lying)
3. Asteya (non-stealing)
4. Aparigraha (non-possession)
5. Brahmacharya (chastity)
The first four vows were laid down by Parshwanath. The fifth one was added by Mahavira.

Types of Knowledge

There are 5 types of knowledge :
1. Mati jnana - Perception through activity of sense organs, including the mind
2. Shruta jnana - Knowledge revealed by scriptures
3. Avadhi jnana - Clairvoyant perception
4. Manahparyaya jnana - Telepathic knowledge
5. Keval jnana - Temporal knowledge or Omniscience

The Principles of Jainism as Preached by Mahavira

1. Rejected the authority of the Vedas and vedic rituals
2. Did not believe in the existence of God
3. Believed in Karma and the transmigration of soul
4. Laid great emphasis on equality

Jain Literature

The sacred literature of the Svetambaras is written in a type of Prakrit called Ardhamagadhi Prakrit, and may be classified as follows :
1. 12 Angan
2. 12 Upangas
3. 10 Parikarnas
4. 6 Chhedasutras
5. 4 Mulasutras
6. 2 Sutra-Granthas

Besides this, the important jain texts are :
1. Kalpasutra (in Sanskrit)—Bhadrabahu
2. Bhadrabahu Charita
3. Parishishta Parvan (an appendix of Trisbashthishalaka Purush)-Hemchandra.

Sects of Jainism

» In 298 BC, there was a serious famine in Magadha (South Bihar) leading to a great exodus of many Jain monks to the Deccan and South India (Shravanbelgola) along with Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya. They returned back after 12 years. The leader of the group, which stayed back at Magadha was Sthulabhadra. When the Jains (Bhadrabahu and others) returned from South India, they held that complete nudity be an essential part of the teachings of Mahavira, while the monks in Magadha began to put on white clothes.
» Thus arose the two sects Shvetambaras (white clad) and Digambaras (sky-clad).
1. Shvetambaras (i.e. those who put on white robes)— Sthulabhadra
2. Digambaras (i.e. those who were stark naked)— Bhadrabahu.

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