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Questions On History And Beliefs

Good Essays
Midterm Lesson Plan #4
Reading:

History and Beliefs:
This religion dates back to more than 2500 year ago. The most recent spiritual leader was Mahavira. He has been given the title “ victor” because of his ability to conquer ignorance as well as achieve the “luminous perfect soul”(Pluralism Project p2) He then embarked on a preaching through all of India talking about the truth he had realized. He attracted people from all walks of life, whom he taught about the presence of soul in all beings and that karma is what ultimately binds us in the circle of suffering and that nonviolence towards all living things (ahimsa) would be the way to overcome this cycle.
At the core of beliefs and conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:
• Ahimsa -
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Two distinctive branches of Jainism exist with traditions and spiritual variations of their own. “Sky Clad” or Digambar monks divest themselves of clothing.They also hold that women need to be reborn a male in order to achieve liberation. Their only possessions would be a whiskbroom that they would use to sweep away any living animal before they walk or sit and a water-pot. The other branch is the Svetambar who believe in the idea that women can obtain enlightenment because of Tirthankara Malli who was a woman, and wear white clothes. They are allowed more possessions including the clothes. Puja in front of images is also allowed.

Ethics:
As well as the “three jewels” which constitute right faith, right knowledge and right conduct. In order to comply with this in an individual’s life the Jains live with the ideals of non-violence so they are vegetarian, they recognize that speech can cause great harm and even violence, they honor a commitment to justice between the rich and the poor, being faithful in marriage for the laity and chastity for the monastic, lastly balancing the needs to possess things for the laity so as not to replace spiritual love with the love of possessions. Ethical considerations abound for the Jain as to employment, education, and public policy.
• Education: will need to be considered for students in a traditional American schooling in order to preserve these beliefs. One would need to abstain from a animal
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