The Principles Of Jainism Have Influenced Much Of The Middle East

898 Words Sep 29th, 2014 4 Pages
For more than two thousand years, the ascetic principles of Jainism have influenced much of the Middle East, primarily in the Ganges River Basin region of India, where about four million of the devout remain. A predominant principle of Jainism is the concept of sallekhana. According to Justic T. K. Tukol of Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute, sallekhana is “embracing death voluntarily when both householders and ascetics foresee that the end of the life is very near either due to the old age, incurable disease, severe famine, attack from the enemy or wild animal”. The concept of sallekhana has received much criticism due to the fine line between its practice and suicide. I believe the concept of sallekhana and the background of its practice voids its similarity to suicide. Sallekhana also known as amnyas-marana, santhara and samadhi-marana has been a part the Jainism culture for centuries. The vow of sallekhana is usually taken when one feels like they have lived their life to its entirety or to aid an elder in the dying process. A person who chooses to accept the sallekhana vow must come in with a pure and calm mind and leave behind their friends and possessions. While under this vow, one must forgive those who have done them wrong as well as ask for forgiveness from those they have harmed. All negative emotions such as grief, regret, fear, and hatred must be eliminated from the ascetic’s mind. When first starting sallekhana all solid foods are gradually given up and replaced…

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