The traditions and teachings of Jainism have been around since the second century BCE. Although Jainism is close to Buddhism and Hinduism and all three religions mutual respect each other, Jainism is a religion who’s doctrines preach non-violence, looking at the world from many points of view, and non-attachment to worldly possessions. And although these ancient texts were written thousands of years ago, what they teach us about human nature and how to behave is enlightening especially in today’s society.
In Jainism, the first Tirthankara or spirit teacher Rishabhanatha believed that peace should be achieved through non-violence. In today’s world where this growing violence and hatred, there’s something to be gained attempting to achieve peace through non-violence. Similar tactics were used by Gandhi when Indian was trying to gain Independence from the United Kingdom. Violent crimes are not the answer to helping to achieve peace.
Another important Jain doctrine is the concept of the three jewels; Samyak Darshan (right perception), Samya Jnana (right knowledge) and Samya Acharan (right conduct). In today’s world, with some much hatred and violence that is being conducted in the name of religion, Jainism has the opposite approach. Jainism emphasizes compassion for all creatures (which is why most Jains are vegans).
Another principle “Ahimsa Paramodharma” which translates to non-violence is the highest moral value isn’t just about abstaining from violence but also indicates caring for human beings.
In regards to climate change, Jainism also has a principle that applies, “Aparigraha” which means not taking what is more than essential to live. With the overconsumption of food and energy, deforestation, and other exploitation of nature in today’s society, ancient principles of Jainism show an alternative way of living.