Jainism shows the way

By- Aruna Vijay, INN/Chennai, @Infodeaofficial 

Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world. With 24 Tirthankars in the current time cycle, Lord Rishabnath as the first and Lord Mahaveera as the last.

I am a Jain by birth, but never practiced the religion or learned the religious scriptures. Honestly I was never interested, like it was not my cup of tea.
After I got married, I decided to do a diploma in Jainology. I joined the course purely to impress my “Over -Religious” Mother – in- law. That’s when i realized that Jainism is all about knowing your inner self.
What better way to impress!!
Jainism emphasizes non-violence against all beings not only in action but also in speech and in thought. It states that instead of hate or violence against anyone, “all living creatures must help each other”. Causing injury to any being in any form creates bad karma which affects one’s rebirth, future well being and suffering.
When I joined the course, was a bit sceptical about jumping into the unknown. As the course began, started to learn about the basics like Kal chakra, Names of the Tirthankars, their life stories and so on.
As days passed by I realized that the Jainism I have heard about is very different from what I was learning.

All I have heard from my Gurus, Parents and the people around is do one “SAMAY” itna punya milega (You will get saintly), ek “NAVKARSI” karo itne janam ka paap dul jayega (All your sin will go off ).
No one gave a clear picture as to why are we doing, what we do.
It was like a balance sheet for them, ek “FASTING” karo account mein itna punya credit ho jayega (You do fasting and you will get saintly).
Basically I am weak at Math, so I didn’t understand this theology !!
During the period of my course I realized that my perception all along was so wrong. Jainism is all about knowing your inner self. Who we are? What are we doing here? What is the purpose of our birth?
While learning the life stories of the Tirthankars, I read about the 22nd Tirthankar, Lord Aristanemi. He had stopped his wedding because animals and birds were being slaughtered for his wedding feast.
Can you imagine that in today’s scenario?
Stopping a wedding – God what will happen to my FB post? My Insta stories, the Pre-wedding photo shoot. All the money will go waste. Predominantly we are thinking only about ourselves. But Lord Aristanemi didn’t think that way. He put the life of other living beings before his. That is HUMANITY, that is Jainism, caring for the living being around us. Which we have completely forgotten in recent days.
Lord Mahaveera said in very simple words “Live and Let Live.’’ The course was an eye opener for me; it changed me as a person. So, for all you Jains out there, Jainism is more than NOT EATING ONION-GARLIC OR FASTING DURING THE PARYUSHAN. Jainism is about finding the purpose of your birth.

By Editor