Jainism Worldview Essay

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Jainism, one of the oldest religious practices being followed in India was founded by the reformer Nataputta Vardhamana, better known as Mahavira, who was raised in luxury. What does it mean to be human in the Jainism worldview? Jains believe every living being has a spiritual soul, which they used the term "jiva" to describe this soul. Jains believe all souls are equal and by nature, because they all possess the potential of being liberated; they are perfect, peaceful, all-knowing, timeless, and endless in number (Young 100). What is the basic human problem? A Jain would most likely answer by saying these spiritual souls, the jiva, are confined by karma in the cycle of rebirth (Young 100). Karma in Jainism refers not only to the actions that are part of the cause and effect mechanism that results in a cycle of re-births and re-incarnation, but also to the subtle karmic particles attached to the soul and hindering its natural strength and harmony. Another problem associated with Jainism’s view of humanity is of knowledge. When fastened to karma, even in their purest natural state, they are limited to knowledge in certain circumstances. So you may be wondering what causes the problem of karma. It is simply being attached to the material world and having desires. In today’s world, it seems as though the people we are surrounded by care much about materialistic things that please them. A Jain would tell you that all actions cause karmic matter to attach to the jiva (eternal soul), and the only way to stop build up of karmic matter is to be completely inactive, and put all concentration on freeing the jiva. The goal of Jainism is to free yourself of the worldly life and become liberated from the cycle of reincarnation so its true nature can be understood. When one develops attachment or passions, this obstructs the spiritual progress of their soul. Jains believe that

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