Friday, May 2, 2008

Namaskar Mantra

• Namo Arihantanam: - I bow to the arithantas - the ever-perfect spiritual victors
• Namo Siddhanam: - I bow to the siddhas - the liberated souls
• Namo Ayariyanam: - I bow to acharyas - the leaders of the jain order
• Namo Uvajjayanam: - I bow to upadhyayas - the learned preceptors
• Namo Loe Savva Sahunam: - I bow to all saints and sages everywhere in the world
• Eso Panch Namukkaro: - These five obeisances
• Savva PavapPanasano: - Erase all Sins
• Mangalancha Savvesin : - Amongst all that is auspicious
• Padhamam Havai Mangalam: - This is the foremost

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Concept of god

Jainism believes that universe and all its substances or entities are eternal. It has no beginning or end with respect to time. Universe runs own its own accord by its own cosmic laws. All the substances change or modify their forms continuously. Nothing can be destroyed or created in the universe. There is no need of some one to create or manage the affairs of the universe. Hence Jainism does not believe in God as a creator, survivor, and destroyer of the universe.
However Jainism does believe in God, not as a creator, but as a perfect being. When a person destroys all his karmas, he becomes a liberated soul. He lives in a perfect blissful state in Moksha forever. The liberated soul possesses infinite knowledge, infinite vision, infinite power, and infinite bliss. This living being is a God of Jain religion.
Every living being has a potential to become God. Hence Jains do not have one God, but Jain Gods are innumerable and their number is continuously increasing as more living beings attain liberation.
Jains believe that since the beginning of the time every living being (soul) is attached with karma and also it is in delusion (ignorant) state of its true nature. The main purpose of the religion is to remove this delusion through self-knowledge and self-effort. This knowledge will remove karma which are associated with it from the beginning of time. When all karma get removed, the soul becomes liberated soul.There are many types of karma. However they are broadly classified into the following eight categories:

• Mohniya karmaIt generates delusion in the soul in regard to its own true nature, and makes it identify itself with other external substances.
• Jnana varaniya karmaIt covers the soul's power of perfect knowledge.
• Darasna varaniya karmaIt covers the soul's power of perfect visions.
• Antaraya karmaIt obstructs the natural quality or energy of the soul such as charity and will power. This prevents the soul from attaining liberation. It also prevents a living being from doing something good and enjoyable.
• Vedniya karmaIt obscures the blissful nature of the soul, and thereby produces pleasure and pain.
• Nama karmaIt obscures the non corporeal existence of the soul, and produces the body with its limitations, qualities, faculties, etc.
• Gotra karmaIt obscures the soul's characteristics of equanimity, and determines the family, social standing, and personality.
• Ayu karmaIt determines the span of life in one birth, thus obscuring soul's nature of eternal existence.While travelling on the path of spiritual progress, a person destroys all eight types of his karmas in the following sequence:First Mohaniya (delusion), then Jnana varaniya (knowledge), Darasna varaniya (vision), and Antaraya (natural qualities) all three together. At this time, he attains keval_jnan and he is known as Arihant, which is also known as Tirthankara, Jina, Arhat, Kevali, or Nirgantha.
Lastly the remaining four karmas namely Vedniya (pleasure and pain of the body), Nama (body), Gotra (social standing), and Ayu (life span) are destroyed. At this time, he attains total liberation and he is known as Siddha.The first four karmas are called Ghati karmas because they obscure the natural qualities of the soul. The last four karmas are known as Aghati karmas because they do not affect the qualities of the soul, but they are associated to the physical body of the soul. Once a person destroys all his Ghati karmas, he will definitely destroy all of his Aghati karmas before his death. No fall back can occur after the destruction of Ghati karmas.ArihantWhen a person destroys his four Ghati karmas, he attains keval jnana. He has regained the original attributes of his soul, which are perfect knowledge, vision, power, and bliss. He is omniscient of the past, present and future forms of all entities (living and nonliving beings) of the universe. He is still a human being. He remains in the state of blissful condition for the rest of his life. Arihants are classified into two categories:
• Tirthankar

• Simple kevalin
• TirthankarImmediately after attaining keval jnana,
if a person establishes the four fold religious order of monks, nuns, sravaks (male householder), and sravikas (female householder) is known as Tirthankar. He preaches the Jain philosophy, religion, ethics, conducts to his followers.Jainism believe that Twenty four Tirthankars are born during each descending and ascending part of the time cycle in this region (known as Bharat Kshetra) of the universe. No two Tirthankaras exist at the same time. Generally a Tirthankara is born when the religion is at its depression state. The new Tirthankar revives the same Jain philosophy. He gives a different form to the religion practice, which depends upon the time, place, and the social behavior of the human society of that time.Example:Lord Mahavir preached five great vows for ascetics, while Lord Parshva preached four great vows. The vow of celibacy was included in the non possession category by Lord Parshav.
• Simple_kevaliThe only difference between Tirthankara and simple kevali is that the latter does not establish the religious order. He remains in the state of perfect blissful condition for the rest of his life after attaining keval_jnan.In the religious scriptures, the name Arihantas and Tirthankaras are interchangeably used because simple_kevalis do not play any active roles in the religious order. Tirthankar is also known as Jina, Arihant, Arhat, Arhant, or Nirgrantha. Tirthankara:Founder of four-fold order of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.Jina:One who has conquered his, inner passions such as desire and hatred.Arihant:One who has destroyed his inner enemies such as greed, anger, desire, and hatred.Arhat:One to whom nothing can be secret.Arhant:A spiritual acquirement leading a man to the state of an Arihant.Nirgrantha:A religion of One who has gotten rid of all knots or attachments.Both Tirthankars and Simple_kevalis (all Arihants) become Siddha after nirvan (death). All Siddhas are equal in qualities.SiddhaBoth the Tirthankaras and simple kevalis (all Arihants) destroy the remaining four Aghati karmas at the end of their present life. After their nirvan (death) all of them are known as Siddhas. They are totally free and liberated. They are free from the birth and death cycle. They do not possess body. They do not feel pleasure and pain, or joy and sorrow. They live as a pure soul in an ever-lasting blissful condition at the top of the universe (Lokakas) known as Moksha.
The quality and attributes of all Siddhas are same. However, they still maintain their unique identity and form.Example:Lord Mahavir's soul as a siddha possesses the same qualities as of Shri Gautam Swami or Shri Bahubali's soul. However their souls remain unique individual and have different forms. Jain GodsBoth Arihants and Siddhas are considered Gods of Jain religion. Arihats are perfect human beings and preach the Jain religion to the people after attaining keval_jnan. After death they become Siddhas. All Siddhas are perfected souls, living forever in a blissful state in Moksha.

• Question In the Namokar Mantra we pray to the Arihants (Tirthankara) first and the Siddhas second. Even though the Siddhas are perfected souls, have destroyed all (both Ghati and Aghati) Karmas, and are at the highest spiritual stage. While the Arihantas have destroyed only four Ghati Karmas and are at a lower (thirteen gunasthan) spiritual stage.
• Answer Arihants (Tirthnkaras) after attaining keval jnana (after destroying four ghati karmas), establish the four fold order of Jain religion. They preach the Jain philosophy, ethics and conduct. They explain the path of liberation and the qualities of the perfected soul or Siddhas. Without the teachings of Arihantas we would not have known Siddhas or liberation. For this reason we pray Arihantas first and Siddhas second.The Four Fold orderMonks and Nuns (ascetics):They practice self control and have given up all desires and earthly possessions become the spiritual practicer and teachers. They follow strictly five great vows (maha vrats).Sravaks and Sravikas (lay followers):They are not required to renounce the world, but are expected to discharge household duties by honest means and live a progressive pure life. They follow the twelve vows of lay people.


According to the Jain Philosophy pudgal i.e. matter exists in two forms:
Matter possessing mass
Massless matter
The unique concept of massless matter has been elaborately analysed in Jain literature. The massless matter is so subtle that it is unobservable even by the meticulous scientific instruments so far as known to us. The massless matter is fully filled or rather packed in the universe. There is an interchange ability relationship between mass form and massless form. Hence the mass content at a particular point at any moment does not remain the same in the universe. However, the sum total of the different forms of pudgal - matter remains unaltered within the confines of the universe. The interchange, taking place within two forms of matter as mentioned above, may be represented as under:
Massless Matter <=> Mass Matter
The shift of equilibrium on either side will change the mass density. Therefore, the Jains have not recognised the mass as a fundamental property of the reality of the universe. There is great support of modern science to the Jain cosmologist regarding the existence of the massless matter. The 'quark-soup' that constituted the universe at the early times on the cosmic clock is an ultimate testing ground for the theories of particle physics.
The discovery of massless particles, viz. gluons with different form of quarks has given sanction to the Jain observations on massless matter. Therefore, the future researches in particle physics, particularly the gluons and quarks would help in understanding the true nature of massless matter. It is highly commendable that the Jains have observed the massless matter in nature two thousand year ago. Their observations on massless matter may give suggestive lead to modern cosmology.
Modern cosmologists have observed and confirmed the peculiar feature in galaxies that new galaxies are forming i.e. new matter is in the process of creation. Such observations have lent support to the continuous creation hypothesis. But this goes against the law of conservation of mass and conservation of energy. If this disputable issue is examined in the light of the Jain cosmology, it may be suggested that when an equilibrium shift takes place from massless form to mass form of matter, it is felt as if new matter has been created. However, the pudgal i.e. both the forms of matter their total plus remains the same. We have to keep our discussion restricted to theoretical assumptions because of the non­-availability of its mathematical calculation. The old writings of Jain literature are in the Prakrit language and out of respect for the rules of grammar the calculation part seems to have been omitted.

Sociology of science

Recent discussions about the sociology of science centre around a new image of science which we now term as a critical science, a third image, that contrasts with two earlier images of science viz., the Heroic image of science as the product of individual creativity and the Organisational image of science as a product of a technocratic order. As against these images of science we will have to develop a new perspective of critical science, which would place science in its ecological context of human adaptation. This new perspective would require a re-thinking about the moral and cultural preconditions of scientific activity.
The idea of the ecology of science is firmly grounded into a moral perspective and the Jain moral tradition of the respect for life and its sanctity may have high potentials of relevance. Jains believe that immobile living beings earth water, fire, wind and plants have life (soul). It is stressed that souls influence each other and save each other, so global thinking is essential to save the earth from ecological disasters.The Jain doctrine proposes that souls exit in organic dead masses in stones, in lumps of earth, in drops of water, the flame of fire and in wind and in vegetation. It maintains that these five kinds of immobile beings have a sense of touch and they experience any violence caused to them just as experienced by a human being. Therefore, Jain doctrine strongly advocates that people belonging to all nationalities must refrain from destroying them. Over the millennia, Jain philosophy has been invoking such a commitment as an integral part of society so that human beings do not tinker with the semblance of nature. The Jains have cultivated the practice to live non-violently with nature.

Philosophy of science

The second area of relevance is more at formal and methodological level of philosophy of science. The logical analysis and techniques of the Jain philosophical tradition i.e. Anekant may have important bearing that leads to the formal studies of the conceptual and methodological framework of science. Syadvad that have given significantly palpable logic's may be compared to the law of probability. It may have an important impact on natural sciences. A similar relevance for the conceptional foundations of the social science could be seen in Jain Action Theory. The concept of action has proved to be a foundational concept in the philosophy of social science and hence there is possibility of fruitful exploration.

Philosopy of Nature

One area of relevance would be the philosophy of nature. Concepts of matter, of life and of mind developed in Jainism may suggest fruitful analogies and resemblances with scientific concepts and theories in these fields.
The present discoveries on the massless particles (e.g. Photon, graviton, gluon) are along the lines of the karmic particles as described in Jain literature. Up to Einstein period the popular concept was that the mass is matter and matter is mass, but the discovery of massless matter seems to be revolutionary. The Jains have plenty of literature describing the massless matter and how the massless matter converts itself into mass and vice-versa.
Once the concept of massless matter is fully established by scientists, the theories on life proposed by Jains will become worth comprehending since the soul and the massless karmic matter in Jain philosophy co-exist from the beginning of time. Besides the micro and macro forms of matter there is profound knowledge available on the space-time relationship, movement of massless matter and on the finite universe with infinite space.


Jain Philosophy is rooted in the doctrine of non-absolutism i.e. Anekant which implies that real truth is complex and may be explained and examined from divergent viewpoints. Each point of view gives a picture of the real, which is true, but only partially true. Jains give respect to all aspects and views as equally true. Therefore, Jains exhibit tolerance to other faiths to the extent that even Non-Jains can liberate the soul from karma by practising righteousness proper. Any person irrespective of language religion or physical attributes can follow the path of righteousness proper to find peace and happiness and in doing so contribute to the well being of all life in the world.
The concepts of Einstein's theory of relativity and Heisenberg’s theory of uncertainty are in tune with the Jain doctrine of Anekant. In reality non-absolutism strengthens the freedom of thought of every individual. It presents a viewpoint of intellectual understanding and tolerance. Jain Ethics does not allow killing any other creature, deliberately. The Jains sacred duty is to generate compassion for other human beings. The principles of good conduct make the Jains ideal citizens in a troubled world. The Jains give a lot of emphasis to non-possession of things i.e. unwanted and unnecessary hoarding of things to avoid the rivalry between have-not's and have's.
The late Acharya Shri Tulsi propagated the Anuvrat movement, which discourages the aggressive and possessive urge in man. Basically the concept of Anuvrat implies the minimization of violence by way of inculcating right thought and practicing right action. An Anuvrati therefore keeps control over these two unpardonable sins i.e. violent nature and hoarding nature.