Jainism Facts

Jainism Facts
Jainism is a non-violent ancient Indian religion, also known as Jain dharma that began to emerge in India in the 6th century BC. Mahavira (599-527BC) is considered to be the founder of Jainism. The most well-known aspect of Jainism is its principle of non-violence that extends from thoughts, speech, and actions in everyday life. Because Jainism also includes animals, dairy products obtained through inhumane treatment of animals are not to be included in the diet. This non-violent belief includes all living things, and even some vegetables are not eaten if they are considered living beings (able to sprout). Jainism includes ten life principles and incorporates reincarnation and karma but does not follow the idea that there is a creator God.
Interesting Jainism Facts:
In Jainism all life has a soul, from bacteria to plants, to animals and to humans. Because they all have souls they all have the ability to reach nirvana.
Jains do not worship a god or saint, and instead work to attain nirvana as they believe other liberated souls have attained.
In Jainism the belief is that karma is actually matter that attaches to the soul as a result of thoughts, actions, and words, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.
In Jainism there is the belief that there are multiple universes. This is Bharat Kshetra, one of three universes that we may be reborn into.
In Jainism the swastika holds different meaning than what most associate it with (Nazis). The four sections each represent one of the four states of existence (hellish beings, plants/animals, heavenly beings, humans). From birth until death humans can pass through these temporary states of being.
Jains are vegetarians due to their non-violent beliefs. They may also become vegan to avoid the damage and destruction of modern farming.
Most Jains do not eat mushrooms, honey, or root vegetables. They also do not drink alcohol or take drugs that alter the mind.
Fasting is common in Jainism.
Some extreme Jains fast to death. These Jains prefer to die rather than cause any suffering to the plants that they would otherwise have to consume to survive.
Jains make up India's most educated religious group.
In America Jains make up some of the richest people in the country.
Jains make five vows of abstinence including Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (no stealing), Aparigraha (non-attachment), and Brahmacarya (chaste living).
In Jainism there are five kinds of knowledge including sensory knowledge, scriptural knowledge, clairvoyance, telepathy, and omniscience.
Jainism teaches that there are six simple substances including soul, matter, time, space, adharma, and dharma.
Jainism refers to the soul substance as Jiva. The other five substances are referred to as ajiva.
In August or September Jains hold their most important festival called Paryushana, or Daslakshana. During this 8-10 day festival Jains often fast, meditate, and emphasize the five main vows of abstinence.
Most Jains live in India where their population is believed to be between 4-6 million. Jain groups can be found in Europe, the United States, Kenya, and in Canada.

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