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Simplified Jainism (Path of Spiritual Upliftment)

    Compiled by Pankaz Hingarh
    India Committee Member : Jaina,VRG committee

    The Jain religion, according to the Jain scriptures is eternal, revealed in every cyclic period of the universe. The time is divided into 2equal half cycles namely Utsarpini (ascending) Kal & Avasarpini (descending) Kal. Each cycle is again divided into six divisions known as aras. The aras of Avasarpini are in reverse than in Utsarpini. There are 24 tirthankars in each half cycle. There has been infinite number of half cycles in past and there will be infinite number of half cycles in future. Jainism is based on laws of nature and truths of the universe. Therefore, Jainism has been in existence since the laws of nature have been in existence. Therefore, Jains believe that the Jain religion has been in existence since the time without beginning and will have no end.

    Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Jainism  teaches basic layman path to salvation. And any person from any caste, creed, and sex can follow same whose final objective is spiritual enlightenment. To start same one has to start to practice minimization of Himsa (practicing non-violence) towards all living beings and environment . Jainism views every soul as worthy of respect because it has the potential to become siddha(Liberated) / paramatma. Jainism aims at taking the soul to status of complete freedom from bondages.

    One is supposed to practice 5 principles in life which accelerates one’s spiritual growth , providing help in clearing karmic bondage .
    1. Ahimsa (Non-Violence) , 2. Satya (truth) , 3. Non-stealing , 4. Bhramacharya (Chastity) , 5 Aparigraha (Non-Attachment)”

    One need to  practice external austerity additional to strict jain vegetarian diet  to keep the demands of the body under check and assists in the focus on the upliftment of the soul and at same time one should make sure that their lifestyle does not harm to anyone i.e All living beings , environment, ecology . Hence  consuming any genetic engineered is also prohibited as it damages ecology  eg. Soy Crops, corn , sugar beet, etc . Jainism conveys  one is supposed not to indulge in obnoxious habits (Vyasanas), which make life & ecology disastrous. Jainism lays down social and religious obligations for excess use and damage of basic elements of environment like earth, water, air, fire, greenery.

    One should practice Preksha Meditation – Jain Meditation , Pranayam  and try to avoid following things for practicing spiritual upliftment :

    1. Potatos
    2. Onions
    3. Garlic
    4. Any root vegetables
    5.  Any Vigai or any taste tiggering food example: Oil, honey , Cow’s Milk , Buffalo’s Milk , Soy Milk, fortified Soy milk  , fortified Almonds Milk , fortified Coconut Milk, Sheep’s milk , Goats Milk , ghee , butter, cheese or  any dairy products etc.

    When we eat Orange, we do not destroy whole tree, but for root vegetable ( potato , Carrot , Onion , Garlic , Ginger etc) , whole plant is uprooted killing plant & multi-organic (Plants which have infinite souls) creatures living in soil / on that plant. Garlic and onions are avoided as they promote anger, hatred, jealousy , arouses sex , unstable mind resulting difficulty to Meditate and finally blocks spiritual growth. Hence Jainism teaches to skip root vegetables those who are thriving for spiritual growth , positive attitude & who want to increase their Concentration power

    Potato depletes ones energy & for same reason its advised to avoid in Jainism.

    Any vigai or taste triggering new milk products are avoided to achieve victory over taste , which further helps to control our vivering mind.

    As once said by Great Historian from  Italy , Shri L.P.Tessetori “Jainism is of a very high order. Its important teachings are based upon science. The more the scientific knowledge advances the more that Jain teachings will be proven.”

    Many enlightened Indian saints advise not to take any genetically engineered food cultivated through making artificial changes in the genes of the DNA of grown crop , which involves the insertion of genes from plants, bacteria which inherently could be unpredictable and dangerous for DNA of humans , ecology . The global ecological crisis cannot be solved until spiritual relationship is established between humanity as the whole and its natural environment. Jainism advocates one is supposed not to indulge in obnoxious habits (Vyasanas), which make life & ecology disastrous.

    Jainism is about minimizing hinsa. And in its various teachings it has various options for a basic lay man to follow austerity for same as per one’s  own capacity. eg. Chauvihar , Tivihar , Biasana ,eksana and Upwas. Chavihar is normally recommended fast for basic all jain laymen where they cant consume any food after sunset , in which modern jains have taken liberty due to busy urban lifestyle.

    One who wants to reach different levels in spiritualization is advised to practice Jain fast called as Ayambil . In aymbil one does not take food containing or prepared with ghee, oil, milk, curds, jaggery, sweets, sugar, dairy product , any milk product, spices, vegetables, fruits etc. Food is taken only once in a day time and at other times only boiled water has to be taken. After sunset, water should not be taken. In this penance an important principle is conveyed through this message, “Life is not for eating, but food is taken to maintain the life. This fast is observed to achieve victory over taste.” As per Jain holy scriptures One ayambil may result in 10 billion years of karma nirjara. In the Jain Dharma, the austerity called Ayambil is considered very auspicious and efficacious.
    So in a way Veganism can be called a small part of Jain Ayambil from point of avoiding few vigai’s. In Veganism , vegetarian meal is consumed and  dairy product is replaced with Soya Milk . And sincerely appreciate vegans for their compassion for all living beings which has been founding principle of Jainism . If one practices Ayambil one can really minimize hinsa within one’s reach and same can help one spiritually.  It should be followed by Jain Meditation , Pratikraman (Self repentance – introspection) and samayaik (one of the most important ritual practice of Jainism during which we try to come closer to our soul)  .One’s aura scanning can be done after ayambil is done as mentioned in jain scriptures and person can see the difference in one’s aura.

    Many in India perform Ayambil Fast also  to pray for animals who will be sacrificed in Muslims bakri id day feast and one perform’s same as part of compassion for all living beings and at same time prays for well being of everyone.

    Its interesting to note that regular Jain austerity, Jain Meditation , Pratikraman , Samayik as per jain science can overcome many physical deficiencies if one follows same with faith .
    Jainism advocates drinking  only boiled & filtered water daily before sunset , and advises no water or food after sunset. The unboiled water called sachet (meaning, full of life) is turned achet (meaning devoid of life) on boiling. The boiled water remains achet for only five hours. In unboiled water every moment countless creatures are born and they die. So if once the water is boiled further violence is avoided as per principle of minimization of Himsa .  Many Jains observe complete chauvihar upwas , one of the toughest austerity where one can eat & drink nothing . In Chauvihar Upwas austerity one’s intention is not to harm any creatures in process of boiling water also and one drinks nothing in same as compassion for all living beings.

    Scientifically boiled water tones your digestive system and cold water cools down the digestive fire.

    Preksha Meditation is the lost meditation technique of Jainism  which guides you on spirituality (Most Recommended):


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