Jainism : Some Important Facts

 

 

By Gp. Capt. V. K. Jain

 

The Once Dominant Religion of Indian Sub-Continent
Today, Jains in India are a miniscule minority but at one time Jainism was the dominant religion in the Indian sub-continent. Some of the important kings/dynasties which patronised Jainism from about 4th Century BC to 13th Century AD were:

a. Nanda Kings of Magadh Bimbisar, Ajatshatru, Udayi & successors.
b. Maurya Kings Chandragupta, he later became a Jain Ascetic, Kunal S/o. Ashok The Great, Samprati S/o. Kunal.
c. Cheta Kings Most illustrious Cheta Kings was Kharvel of Kalinga (Modern Orissa)
d. Ganga & Kadamba Kings In South India
e. Pratiharas Norlh India
f. Chandellas In Central India
g. Hihayas/Pramars/Kachhapaghata/Gohadavalas In Malwa/GujaratiRajasthan
h. Rashtrakutas/Chalukyas South of Indo-gangetic plains

It is accepted by the historians that for about 1200 years Jainism was the Most Powerful Religion in south.

Shri T. N. Ramachandran. Dy. Director General. Archaeology. India in his Preface to "Shravanbelgola Aur Daksin-ke-Anya-JainTeertha".

"It is accepted by the historians that from the beginning of the Christian era down to the epoch-making conversion of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhan by Vaishanava Acharya Ramanuja in the 12th Century AD, Jainism was the Most Powerful religion in the south and the Most Attractive &Acceptable Too………………

………….But the real golden age of Jainism was under the Gangas and it was already remarked that it was Chamund Raya. the General of Narsimha III who gave us the immortal statue of Bahubali at Shravanbclgola. The Gangas, in short, were staunch Jains...

……The Rashtrakutas were great patrons of Jainism.

Independence & Antiquity of Jain Ism
Modem Historians have accepted the existence of Jainism as an independent religion from the very beginning of available historical evidence and also that Lord Parshvanalh, 23rd Teerlhankara preceding Lord Mahaveera was a historical entity (8th Century BC) it is known to be the oldes living religion of the world

Tirukkural - Written by Jaina Achary A
This most celebrated and revered Tamil Grantha, also known as the Tamil Veda, was written by a Jain Acharaya (Acharya Kund Kund probably) Ko-Nag-Subramanyam.

Scientific Basis of : Jainism
Jainism has a unique system of classification of various substances. Slowly, the scientific research is confirming the 'Shat Dravyas' into which all substances were classified by the Jains. These were Soul (Jiva), Matter (Pudgal), Space (Akaash), Dharma (the medium of motion), Adharma (the medium of rest) and Time (Kaal). It was Einstein who, for the first time, recognized the Time as .the 4th dimension. Scientists are still exploring the concept of 'Ether' as a medium of motion (Dharma) & rest (Adharma).

Note: Words 'Dharma & 'Adharm' have a totally different meaning than the common usage of these words.

a. Sub-Microscopic Jivas
Existence of sub-microscopic Jivas (living organisms) of extremely small dimensions were propounded by Jains. These included such organisms as those which are Water-borne, Earthlstone borne, Fire-borne etc. They devised a unit as small as the 'Uvasannasanna' (about 10-13 in) to convey the idea of size.

b. Anekanta : co-existence of the diverse
Modern Physics has proved the co-existence of the 'opposites' in stable entity; -ve and the +ve charges co-exist in an atom. "Anekanta Vaada" is a unique concept of Jain Philosophy with immense relevance in Modem Times, as it allows co-existence of diverse view points.

c. Eco-Friendly
Jain code of conduct (Aachaar, Aahaar, Vyavahar) are intrinsically eco-friendly and guarantee peaceful co-existence not only between man and man but the man and his entire environment of animal & plant kingdom.

d. Non-destructibility of matter
Jains propounded Matter's (Pudgal's) permanence (Dhrauvya). The non-destructibility of matter has long been accepted by Physicists.

e. Origin of Universe
The Jains also propounded the beginning-lessness (Anaadi) and end-lessness (Anant) of the Universe. So far, it has been the "Theory of Big Bang" which is supposed to have occun-ed 15 billion years ago. However the Anaadi/ Anant nature of the universe is the latest theory gaining ground with the Cosmological Theorists. Prof. Andre Linde of Stanford University told a conference of American association for Advancement of Science at Anaheim Cal (USA) that­

"If life in our part of the Universe were to disappear, it will appear again someplace else. So the Universe is IMMORTAL as a whole."

Linde does not believe that everything began 15 billion years ago but sees the Universe in which human life developed as just one of many inflating balls of space-time that in turn produce new balls and so on for ever.

f. The Two Suns
According to Jain Cosmography there are two suns in Jambudvipa revolving around mount Sumeru (Tattvarthasutra 4.13). Spacecraft Pioneer 10 launched in 1972, a few years later theory of Dr. E. M. Drobyshevski of Academy of Sciences USSR, studies of American Paleontologists in 1984 and now research work at Universities of Louisiana & California have all given compelling evidence that the sun has an invisible Twin.

Diet / Food System
A large number of researchers all over the globe have come to the following conclusions:

a. The general superiority of Vegetarian food and its beneficial effects on mind & body.

b. The beneficial effects of controlled abstention from food (Fasting). Experiments conducted on IGUANAS showed that the survival rate of Iguanas infected with fever was significantly higher when kept without food during the experiment

c. Beneficial effects of taking food well before sleeping time. (Eating before sunset as advocated by. the Jains has even greater benefits)

Extract from "The Encyclopedia of the Future" edited by George Thomas Kuriyan & Graham T.T. Molitor & published by World Future Society.

"Year 2030: Consumption of red meat vanishes. Vegetarianism allows millions of Tons of grain formerly fed to cattle, to be eaten by the humans".

 

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Author : Gp. Capt. V. K. Jain
572, Asiad Village, New Delhi-1100049, Tele : 26493538, Mobile : 9811449431, E-Mail : vkjbhabu@rediffmail.com
 

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