Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jainism and Ahimsa

The violence witnessed recently reminded me of the Jain temples we visited in Khajuraho in India.  

Jainism prescribes ahimsa (nonviolence) towards all creatures. Ahimsa leads naturally to vegetarianism.  Even insects should not be harmed, hence escorted out of the house instead of killed.  They would also brush the ground free of insects before they tread.  

The Swastika is an important symbol, where the 4 arms represents the 4 states of existence: heavenly, human, hellish, and subhuman (flora or fauna). 

Nakedness is an essential element on the road to liberation.  Hence the naked statues and many naked monks.  Perhaps it is related to the principle of non-attachment.

However, it does not sound very practical in many parts of the world.  

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