The way of life proposed in the beginning of social life in India, The Bharat Varsha was the foundation stone of Jainism. It shaped a community which bloomed into ‘Welfare of All’ cultures.
‘Community building’ has been thought in different manner in different times. Society is enlarged version of sense of living together.
Various thinkers tried to limit society in different sects and called it community. The limit may be religion oriented, power oriented, sex oriented or work oriented but it proved to be fetal to human society. The concept of society when it comes into existence was only one and it was ‘All living beings and all non living things on this earth are part of one society’.
There is nothing philosophical in this when some one takes birth there is mother, there is earth, there is sky with sun, moon stars, there is water, there is air, there is tree, there are other animals insects, and what not? Every thing that exists in this world. All are parts of society. It is what kulkars realized and Rishabh-deva also realized and they explained it to the people. We can take it to be the first effort to reply what society is?
Let me repeat the versions of these thinkers called kulkars. They said sun, moon and stars are your friends. They said cruel animals are not your enemies, you have to handle them. Trees have also to e arranged and managed so that they fulfill the needs of all human beings. Horses, elephants have to be domesticated and use as means of transport. The growth of living like environment and stability in life yielded in enlargement of family. This needed the safe technique of child birth which was also taught to the society by these Kulkars, These Kulkars or social thinkers and scientists united the world in one society (ref. Triloksar – 799,800,801).
The seeds of social living flourished in different sciences and different ways of living. If we analyze, all efforts were for living together. Human being may be in the center but existence of every unit of universe was there and they played there role and it was accepted. This is the first record of Jain way of living life. I will propose to see all these forms society in figurative forms so that they can be before us at a glance.
‘Jain way of living’ is very straight. The only thing required is one should have a belief on Jain code of conduct.
This code of conduct has taken a shape in thousands of years by experience, experiment and examination conducted by many prophets, kings, shravaks and layman.
No God, No Super power promoted and preached it. It evolved through the process of meditation. If we want peace, we shall have to peep into the way of living proposed by Jain code of conduct. It is very simple to think if we are thirsty we shall have go to the well not to the furnace. Jain code of conduct is a ‘well’ filled with clean water. In that water one can see till bottom of it. It is free and any body can drink its soothing water because no body is there to supervise it. No God, No representative of God will come and ask for entry pass – you and your soul id the only element to question because it needs control on worldly affairs.
Just and proper way of living – Designed in Doctrines of Jainism bur I feel doctrines become dogmatic and in Jain way of conduct nothing is Dogmatic. It us elastics, based on ones thinking.
As for human being is concerned conduct and thought are two equal strong sides of personality. Both are dependent on each other. On the basis of thought, conduct is designed and thoughts become stable, and conduct support the thoughts to be just.
Looking to this inters dependence of thought the conduct, the philosophy and religion has been defined together. Knowledge of elements is to establish philosophy takes birth and when he starts shaping the thoughts into act it becomes code of conduct and that is religion.
Conduct which is not jus samyak will force lives wondering in the dark lanes of good and bad on the other side, thought without just conduct are baseless and harmful and freedom from life cycle can be attained.
The foal of man is expressed when there is balance between both.Jain ways of life proposes anekant based thinking and ahinsa based conduct. What is anekant based thinking? Shortly
1. Things have many fold nature means the thing is the lump of different contradictory natures and qualities.
2. To understand it, view of relativity is must.
3. Anekant means to adopt the vision to realize the thing in its totality.
4. Things are not only as they appear before us. It possible to see them with different vision and innumerable angles.
5. This vision of anekant has made Jain philosophy Scientific and based on realities.
6. This vision has made Janis inward looking.
Now with the achievement of his multidimensional thinking it becomes apparent that
1. All living beings possess the same soul from one sense to five senses.
2. Every living being feels the pleasure and pains in the similar way.
3. Every living being experiences birth and death, hence, every life has a right to live. No body has a right to kill any body. No body has a right to destroy and disturb trees and plants, earth and mountains. No body has a right to pollute air and water. No body has a right to keep more things than what is required.
When this thought is practical it is called to follow. Ahinsa based conduct and it is Jainism.
It is not imaginary or is planned setting against the table. It is all what has been practiced by all tirthankars, all saints and sadhus, all sharavaks and all followers of Jainism. He or she may not be identified as Jain by birth but this code of conduct they are Janis. Jain is no community and no class but are the persons who believe on the identity of all lively beings and non living matters. Summarily I am Jain you are Jain if we do not try to disturb, destroy and deprive other elements from their natural right of existence.
I think nothing better can be driving force of world peace, and world society. No Christian no Buddha, no Hindu, no Jain only human beings working for humanity can be member of this society.
‘Religion’ is a simple thing it is redefining life.
‘Religion’ is questioning our way of living whether the way of life we are living is leading into some result?
Religion is the management guide for fearless life.
Religion promotes social consciousness. The worst thing in so called religion is when it starts by saying – don’t do this, leave it, forget it. But religion is when this started by saying do, do that which is called purushartha- let us enlarge it. It starts with –
1. This is precious and other life is equally precious. Accept its existence, honor it, and love it.
2. Accept to others opinion. Possibility is the word rightly coined and practiced in Jain way of life. Don’t be rigid, think and think on other opinion, there is possibility of correctness in different way. Jain doctrines- philosophy defines this under the head anekant.
3. Remember is the word which is the essence of all principles of Jainism. When soul and rebirth is considered it is nothing bur remembering and accepting the past and acting to enlighten the present and future. This leads living being to judicious seeing, jus full learning and it results in just full acting. In Jainism this process is known as samyak darshan, samyakgnan and samyak charitra.
4. Solution is the code of conduct for all worldly affairs. There is no sense of conflict in Jainism.
In society conflicts are man made or the creation of selfish, power desiring people. It is not the natural creation of human beings.
By creating imbalance in Tatvas we create conflicts amongst them and ultimately we destroy the existence of man it self.
Conflicts are not only due to different way of thinking but mostlywhen thinking are manipulated conflicts come into existence. The difference in thinking can be mitigated by sitting together and understanding others opinion but when we manipulate and give priority to our physical needs and our control over the natural resources conflicts become incurable. This results in destroying others opinion and existence. Ultimate result is that social and community is lost. Here comes Jain Doctrines to the rescue of human beings.
For example if we destroy animal creed, if we pollute air the ultimate effect is that human society is affected. Jainism says it creates imbalance in Talavas. Jain social consciousness is not only harmonious behaviors amongst the human being but it is harmony amongst all tatavas.
To accept Jain code of conduct means to accept 7 Tatvas (Elements)
Including living (jeeva) and Non-living (Ajeeva) there are 7elements. They are
(1) Living (2) Non-living (3) Inflow of karmas (Ashrava) (4) Binding of karmas with soul (bandh) (5) Stopping of karmas (sanwar) (6) The process of freedom from karma (Nirjara) (7)Release of rebirth (Moksha- The ultimate peace)
Worldly Living beings are:
With five sense touch, taste, smell, seeing and hearing as men, animals birds etc.
With four senses touch, taste, smell and seeing as butterfly, fly etc.
With three senses-touch, taste, smell as ant, bed bugs, lour, centipede etc.
With two senses touch and taste, as worm, conch shell and small shell mother of pearl etc.
With one sense- touch as tree plants etc.
Life is existing on the basis of body power, senses, respiration and age free for lives. In freed soul there is only life in the form of consciousness.
Botanical Body: Those lives whose body is vegetable as trees, creepers, flowers, fruits, grass etc.
Fire Body: Those lives whose body is fire as all types of fire, flames etc.
Air body : Those lives whose body is air as all types of airs etc
Earth Body: Those live whose body is earth as clay, sand, gold, silver, and all other geological products.
Water Body: Those lives whose body is water as water, frog, dew, hail stone etc.
Ajeeva (Non-Living): Which continues, mixes, melts forms and deforms (Non sentiment tangible matter).
Dharma (Medium of motion)
– It is not in the meaning of virtues or sin
– It us invisible, undivided and disguised in the whole universe.
– This is active and helps in movement of life and matter.
– This does not compellany one to move but helps life and matter in moving.
– This is without form, invisible and diffused every where.
– This fives place to all matters and it self stays in it.
– In the part of space the life id found, is known space (lokakash) and rest countless space is unknown space (alokakash).
Adharma (Medium of rest or gravity)
– This is invisible and diffused in universe
This is helpful to matter and life in staying
This does not compel one to stay but if matter wants to stay it helps them.
– This is the cause of change in every matter, for whose reason matter leave its old form and acquires the new forms.
– This is invisible, inactive and innumerable
– Change is its definition.
Jain history is also a document of social consciousness. Right from the beginning when the culture was taking its form we have a reference of Bharat and Bahubali’s- Difference of opinion. Both were sons of Rishabh Dev and they were given separate territories to rule. Bharat the eldest brother wanted to organize Bharatvarsha under one rule and asked Bahubali to surrender which Bahubali denied and battle between two armies was fixed. If this battle would have taken place lots of shoulders would have died. Here Jain social consciousness comes forward and ministers of both the parties agreed not to involve army into war, but issues shall be shuttled by testing the individual strength and body power. In the social interest both kings agreed and the existing battle was organized. Here the important point is that in the social interest army oriented was was denied.
Jain history has a record of 64 shalakas purush (the key persons) and numerable saints who leaded the society and they were all full of social consciousness. Amongst them Elkharwel are history proved.
If activities of all these historical entities are analyzed they are guided by social consciousness.
I would like to point out that difference in the Jain society exists but for all matters which effect social consciousness they are one. It will not be out of way to stay that social consciousness is the result of Jain philosophy and Jain philosophy is the result of social consciousness.