The Guide To Understanding Anekantavada

The principle of Syadvada, or Anekantavada, is one of the most valuable contributions in Jainism to global thought. Also referred to as the Philosophy of Non-absolutism or the theory of Relatively, this doctrine proves to show us how to realize the many aspects of the truth.

Every Substance Has Many Distinct Aspects

Bhagavan Mahavira stated that every substance on Earth has an infinite number of qualities or attributes, and these qualities can be seen from many different angles. Similar to the many sides of a prism, or the two unique sides of a coin, a similar situation can be viewed differently depending on the viewpoint.

For example, a woman can be a mother of a daughter and a daughter of a mom. She can also be someone’s niece, sister, aunt, grandmother, sister-in-law, etc.

Another example is location. You may live in a state that is considered southern by those who live in the north, or the state could be considered west for those who live east.

As a result, every substance or situation should be viewed from different sides so the underlying truth can be realized in all of its aspects. This doctrine aims to help people understand things from a viewpoint of others. When a person ignores other angles of a situation or substance, he or she will never fully realize the truth in its many aspects.

How To Reach The Kingdom Of Truth

Anekantavada teaches that through diverse ways, the truth can be found. The doctrine also teaches that humans should never impose their thoughts, opinions or views on someone else. Instead, we should try to reconcile with these thoughts and views. Therefore, if this principle is practiced in earnest, we will be able to remove our selfish, biased and short-sighted viewpoint.

We should remove disharmony and discord from our lives and replace them with harmony and concord by tolerant not only in our lives, but also how we treat those around us.

Can Be Applied To All Parts Of Life

Through this principle, we can be shown how to respect differing opinions of everyone in the world. As free thinkers, we can appreciate this principle for being the cornerstone of many democracies around the globe without using drugs. Unity can be established during diversity. This Jainism principle also promises there will the reconciliation of conflicting thoughts, systems, religions and ideologies.

Therefore, it is considered a powerful instrument for peace around the world.

Anekantavada has considered every possible situation in life. It has analyzed these situations and has guided people towards the correct path.

If you would like to learn more, please watch the following video:

What Is Ahisma And How To Apply It In Your Life

What is Ahimsa and how can you practice it in your daily life? Read on to learn more about Ahimsa. We will also explain how to practice it.

What Is Ahimsa
In short, it is the practice of not harming anything living, and this goes for lifeless objects too. The practice is more about intent instead of committing action. For example, it doesn’t necessarily mean to not harm or kill because this is inevitable if you eat meat or plants or if you accidentally step on insects. What it really is all about is being non-violent and having a benevolence attitude.

Furthermore, Ahimsa is a major component of yoga. If you want to live a yogic life and a more fulfilling one, then you should practice it. Below are a few ways you can do it.

Don’t be violent towards living things is how you can apply Ahimsa to your daily life. This can be interpreted different ways, but generally speaking you want to do your best to not lose your temper and lay hands on another person or anything living. If possible, you should try to go vegan or eat foods that do the least amount of damage to the environment.

Another thing you want to do is be as friendly to the earth as you possibly can be. Recycle whenever you have the opportunity to do so and do don’t litter. Instead of getting around via car, you should walk and take bike rides. Not only that, but support local farmers markets and local businesses because they don’t rely on transportation as much as larger companies.

A good way to practice Ahimsa is to get out of a negative mindset and keep your mind and body healthy. Don’t do drugs or take part in self-harm, and be compassionate towards others. You can do small things such as give people compliments, smile at them because they will smile back and this will make you feel good. Every time you get up in the morning, think of the things you are the most grateful for and then say thank you for those things before you head to bed in the evening.

There are many benefits of practicing Ahimsa. Now that you know how to implement it into your daily life, you should definitely do it. As time goes by, you will start to notice the benefits and you will feel better and more empowered and at ease with yourself and the world.

Who Is Mahavira?

The religion of Jainism has millions of followers on the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. However, it is not well-known in the Western World. Immigration of some citizens, the Internet, universal laws, and globalization of mass media and culture are changing that though. If you’re curious about this faith, you’ll come across a certain name quite often, leading to the inevitable question, just who is Mahavira?

In short, Mahavira is the man who is widely regarded as being the individual that gave the religion of Jainism it’s modern-day form. It should be noted that the recognition he gets for doing this is done so rather broadly. He’s actually sometimes called the founder of the faith, which he is not.

Mahavira is the most recent tirthankara of this world, and the last one of the current age. It’s actually a little more accurate to consider him as a reformer that popularized an ancient lifestyle instead of someone that founded a religion.

Mahavira was born in Vardhmana, which is in the northeastern region of India. Traditionally, his birthdate is listed as 599 BCE, although a number of contemporary scholars list it as 540 BCE and even later.

The man was royalty, a prince whose parents were King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. They were members of the kshatriya, or warrior, caste. They followed the teachings of Parshva.

Around the age of 30, Mahavira’s parents both died, and he fled the royal palace so he could live in the lifestyle of a sadhana, or ascetic, renouncing all worldly comforts and pleasures. Over the following decade, he went through serious bouts of meditation and fasting. In this period, he allegedly attained a form of enlightenment, leading to his name of Mahavira.

He added studied and preached Parshva’s four Jain principles of no possessions, no lying, no stealing, and no violence, but added chastity to the mix as well. Tradition holds that his community of Jainism followers included 14,000 monks on top of 36,000 nuns at the time of his death.

Jainism continued to grow, eventually spreading into central and even western India before being challenged by the growth of Hinduism before starting to bounce back in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Jainism is considered one of the four primary Indian religions, also sometimes coupled together as the Dharmic faiths. On top of geographic proximity, there are many common historical roots and common beliefs between Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism.

Attached below is a video about Mahavira. Watch it now to learn even more about this interesting aspect of Jain Culture!

Who is Shalivahana?

Many of the legends that are passed down from antiquity are based on a small kernel of truth, even though they are greatly distorted over centuries or millennia. Shalivahana was supposedly an emperor who ruled over parts of ancient India, and we believe this contemporary legend was based on a real man (or men). His seat of power, according to the stories, was located in Pratishthana, or today’s Paithan, Maharashtra. We’ll never know for sure, but we can discuss what we hear from the stories as they were passed down.

Part of the reason we’ll never know for sure how accurate the stories about Shalivahana really are is that many of them contradict one another. Another legendary emperor, Vikramaditya of Ujjain, is often intertwined in stories about Shalivahana. In some, Shalivahana has a familial relation with Vikramaditya, while in others the two are enemies. Then again, who is to say both stories cannot be true to some extent? These stories often present the two rivals as promoters of different types of language, with Vikramaditya promoting Sanskrit and Shalivahana promoting Prakrit.

We know that some of the later stories about Shalivahana as they developed were based on mistakes or a desire for historical parallels to other events. For example, the historian Dineshchandra Sircar wrote that some legends may have arisen because of the oft-told association between the aforementioned Vikramaditya and the Vikrama era he began in order to commemorate his successful invasion of Ujjain. It is surmised that either the natives wished to create their own distinguished history by eliminating foreign name association or that scholars of the time merely wished to adopt their own versions of already existing legends. Either way, we know they aren’t entirely accurate, and it casts doubt on the earliest representations of Shalivahana that we do have.

Many present-day scholars have a different working theory that pieces together bits of ancient history using law firm case management. It is thought that perhaps stories of Shalivahana were adopted by weaving together the exploits of more than one Satavahana king. The assumption is that Shalivahana is no different than the term Satavahana, which is used as a family name for the line of kings of the same name. In similar fashion, Vikramaditya was a legend that stole stories from multiple real-world kings after their individual exploits were lost to the ages. Legends are often formed in this way.

Believers in Jainism believe that Shalivahana was a Jain, but historians believe this to be false based on a connection with Shiva. Some believe that around 400,000 Gathas, or poems, were written by Shalivahana or the figures whom his legend represents. Will we ever know the truth behind Shalivahana for certain? Probably not, but his legend remains a part of ancient Indian history.

Who is Chandragupta Maurya?

When we discuss ancient history, parts of the world often get overlooked in favor of those which we’re more familiar with here in the west. The Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya was the first to rule the Mauryan Empire from 322 BCE until 298 BCE. At its peak, the Mauryan Empire was the largest to ever grace Indian lands and rivaled the other largest empires of the time period. This empire was important for the region because smaller states ruled independently prior to Chandragupta, who helped unify them into what could be considered a more cohesive country with an organized government and prosperous economy.

The road to success was a difficult one, and while on it Chandragupta crossed paths with one of history’s better-known figures–Alexander the Great.

Only four years before Chandragupta put together his empire, Alexander the Great fought with King Porus, a ruler of one of India’s local states located in Paurava (what we know today as Punjab). Alexander eventually managed to defeat this new rival king, and in doing so created a powerful new ally. He made King Porus ruler of those regions of India that had already been conquered and were thus under Macedonian rule.

Chandragupta was in exile while these events played out, and happened to be living his life as a fugitive within one of Alexander’s camps. His opposition to Macedonian influence was clear, and he eventually put together an army. Although his forces were small in comparison to those he fought, he managed to overcome the odds through careful manipulation of other factors. He manufactured the conditions necessary to throw the Magadha kingdom into civil war and then swept in with his own forces to seize power.

The Mauryan Dynasty that Chandragupta created lasted through 185 BCE and India prospered during this time. He was an efficient ruler, and his empire saw the building of roads, mines, irrigation canals, and temples, all of which led to a robust economy.

Religious diversity also prospered under his rule. Buddhism, Ajivika, and Jainism all gained traction in the decades that followed. Chandragupta himself became a Jainist monk. In doing so, he should have forsaken wealth and power–which he obviously did after his rule had ended. Jains were known to be vegetarians because they believe in all living creatures striving to help one another as part of an ancient dharma. Today, there are still millions of Jains who practice in similar ways to the ancient religion, and most still live in India.

Chandragupta passed the throne to his son Bindusara in 298 BCE and perhaps died of self-starvation in a cave around 297 BCE. No one knows for sure, but that’s where his story ends.

Who Is Rishabhanatha?

This word Rishabhanatha in Jainism means bull, but it is also referential of a mystical leader, one that is thought to have lived eons ago. It is thought that he was one of 24 teachers, those that are part of Jain cosmology, specifically this first half of the cycle. He is often referenced as the Ford maker, a person that has helped uncountable people escape the Wheel of Samsara. By helping them avoid this cycle of rebirth, he has reached a level of reverence that is very high. According to traditional accounts, he was initially born to a queen and king located in North India, and later married to have 99 sons and one daughter call Brahmi. At a later time he began to wander, abstaining from food for an entire year. It is from there, these humble beginnings, that he went on to live millions of purva years and was described as being 1200 feet tall. His teachings were then disseminated, many of which are still taught today.

Temples Dedicated To Rishabhanatha

There are many temples that are dedicated to Rishabhanatha including those that stand as high as 108 feet tall. He is thought to be the avatar of Vishnu, and is discussed in many parts of Buddhist literature. His statues are often sitting in the lotus position, or they can be standing, and there are also paintings. He is a very important in Hindu mythology, and was thought to have practiced asceticism for millions of years. It was only after he returned to Ashtapada that he finally died from his fasting. These temples, therefore, depict some of the stories and try to represent him in a physical manner that can be understood.

This basic overview of what Rishabhanatha is is just a cursory explanation of this very popular deity in Jainism. He is just one of 24 Tirthankaras, a Savior who was named by his mother after she had 14 auspicious dreams. These saviors are able to cross over, not being affected by the stream of life, death and rebirth. He is a symbol of freedom that many people look to as they are trying to improve their chances of not having to reincarnate again. What is so important about this figure is that he is a representation of what all of us are able to do. He is simply representative of someone that used asceticism to purify himself in order to escape the possibility of reincarnation.

Who Are The Tirthankaras?

This is a group of people that are part of Jainism, a part of the ancient Indian religions. The followers are called Jains, a word that translates to Victor, representative of people that are victorious in regard to our life streams that each of us has that pertain to rebirth. Tirthankaras are specifically called arihants, individuals that have been successful at conquering inner passions. They are able to avoid thoughts of anger, attachment, greed and pride. These are emotions that adhere us to returning time and time again. The Tirthankaras have been able to attain what they call pure infinite knowledge, and they spend their time discussing and preaching about what is called Dharma.

What Is Dharma?

In some translations, this is simply a word for religion. In one context, this could refer to Jainism, the ancient Indian religion which preaches nonviolence, nonattachment, and truth. There are subsets of this religion, each of which has its own interpretation of what Jainism is, a religion that today has about 5 million followers. Dharma refers to the principles that they follow which include 10 virtues. These virtues include humility, celibacy, renunciation, and forgiveness to name a few. Therefore, Tirthankaras are those that follow the Dharma as presented by Jains, allowing them to access what are called siddhis.

What Are Siddhis?

When you are able to adhere to a life that is free from attachment, and negative emotions, you have access to these siddhis or powers. These are spiritual powers, those that are only available to those who have become more enlightened, allowing them to connect more fully with what some call the righteous path. The goal in Hinduism has always been to escape the Wheel of Samsara, the never ending cycle of death and rebirth. Those that follow these religions believe that life represents suffering, and it is through Dharma that Tirthankaras can escape this never ending cycle and interact directly with that from which we come.

Tirthankaras are simply people that follow the teachings of Jainism, hoping to conquer the cycle of death and rebirth. By following the many virtues, which can only happen through avoidance of worldly temptations like alcohol or cars, they can hopefully prevent their rebirth after they die. Although this is very similar to many of the other Hindu teachings, it has its own unique take on life and life’s purpose. If followed properly, they will eventually be able to remain in the realm where their soul dwells throughout eternity finally obtaining spiritual purity.

If you would like to learn more about this subject, please watch the following video:

Why Would Loving Parents Renounce Their 3 Year Old?

In Madhya Pradesh, a couple has renounced their three-year-old girl and all of their property that is worth Rs 100 crore in order to be Jain Monks. This has prompted social activists to appeal to the National Human Rights.

The couple, Sumit and Anamika chose to become monks when their daughter was just a mere 8 months old. They prepared for the change by beginning to live separately. Married 4 years ago, they have taken a vow of silence.

As a teen, Varshil Shah San Antonio scored 99.9 in Class 12 and later announced that he would renounce the world to become a Jain Monk. In order to “attain and maintain peace,” he believed that this was the only way.

His family also follows the Jain principles of Jivdaya or “compassion for all who are living”. They restrict the use of electricity in the house and they believe that too many aquatic animals are killed by processing power generation. This is against their beliefs of non-violence.

Jainism Monkhood is perhaps one of the oldest religions in India and it’s followed by less than one percent of their population. They must rise above their corporeal existence.

While they worship deities, they don’t believe God as the creator, the protector, or the destroyer. Per the book, ‘Faith and Philosophy’ authored by Arun Kumar, the preachers are only those who have managed to attain the ideal knowledge and mastered self-control. In short, they have achieved moksha which is considered to be the “ideal state of being”.

It is the belief of Jains that each and every living being has a soul and this is why their devotees are all vegetarians. They also won’t eat root vegetables like onions or carrots. Many also believe that animals that are in dairies are subjected to cruelty.

Prior to becoming a monk, they must go through a Diksha ceremony. This is the last rites in which they can indulge in any worldly possessions and they must devote themselves to a life of spiritual fulfillment that will include celibacy.

Many will take out an oath of varghodas and mark the ceremony by throwing out all of their money, their utensils, their clothes and anything else to the general public.

They must repent each morning and decide how to eat their meals and drink water.

Becoming a monk means that they must follow the principles of non-violence and tolerance. They will cover their mouths with a bit of cloth after the ceremony in order to assure that they aren’t swallowing any living creature when they speak. If they accidentally sit on an ant, touch a flower or a person that is of the opposite sex, they’ve committed a grave sin.

What Really Are The Jain Caves?

Jain caves or Naina Gullu (local name) are located on the bank of river Manair in Malharao Mandal (Karimnagar District). These caves have been craving for attention from ancient times. Even though the caves were discovered a long time ago in history, neither the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) nor the State Archaeology Department was interested in preserving these historical monuments for the future generations. In fact, the exact period of the creation of these amazing caves is not exactly known. But it is believed to be created during the peak of the spreading of Jainism in India. The Jain monks have been using these caves during the 7th and 8th centuries since Jainism flourished for more than 2,000 years in Telangana. This article provides information on what really are the Jain caves.

These caves are sculpted out of single sandstone and converted into shrines of Shiva with a Lingam inside one of these chambers. These caves are situated about two kilometers away from the right bank of River Maneru – which is near the Adavi Somanapalle village. In fact, these caves are quite similar to the famous Undavalli caves – that are located on the banks of the Krishna in Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. These caves consist of open-pillared mantapas, including shrine chambers inside. The Jain Caves are surrounded by the forest and could be reached by the Tadicherla crossroads – the area where the popular temple Nagulamma is situated.

There are rock paintings that have been found in these caves. There is also a pool constructed near the Manair river, adjoining the caves, which holds water throughout the year. The authorities are keen on developing these sites as a tourist hub to attract tourists from across the globe. In fact, the district Collector A Murali, as well as DFO or District Forest Officer T Ravi Kiran, confirmed this when contacted. There are proposals to construct a path to the caves from the Adavi Somanapally bridge across the Manair. This move will do well to promote the Jain Caves as a tourist hub in the long run. But the Jain Cave site should be brought under the protection of the ASI in order to preserve it for the future generations.

In conclusion, the Jain caves have been craving for attention from ancient times. This article provides information on what really are the Jain Caves.

What Is Jainism

Jainism is a religion whose origins are unknown. Scholars believe that originated in Ancient India around the same time as Buddhism. Currently, there are approximately 5 million “Jains” or followers of Jainism. This religion does not believe in creators but rather believes in the Universe and Scientific Laws. The first person who practiced Jainism was Mahavira, a prince who gave up everything to find spiritual understanding.

The main goal of Jainism is to reach what is called Moksha – the end of the birth – death – rebirth cycle – by achieving enlightenment. Ones who have achieved Moksha is called Tirthankaras. Jains believe that ALL souls including plants and animals can achieve Moksha. They believe in non-violence, conquering all temptations such as anger, greed pride and believe in non-attachment to the material world.

It is one of the only religions that vegetarianism is required. It also excludes root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and garlic because eating these foods kill the plant.