Aspects of Social Work / Social Service in Jainism

Posted: 09.01.2009
Updated on: 30.07.2015

1.0 Preamble

Rahe bhāvanā esī merī sarala satya vyavahāra karūṅ
Bane jahā taka esa jīvana meṅ auro kā upakāra karūṅ            
Maitrī bhāva jagata meṅ merā saba jīvo se nitya rahe
Dīna dukhī jīvo para mere ura se Karūṇā stotra bahe

- extracted from stanzas 4 and 5 of Meri Bhāvanā by Pt. Jugal Kishore.

May my desire be ever for dealings fair and straight;
May my heart only delight in doing good to others to the best of my abilities in my life!
May I always entertain a feeling of friendliness for all living beings in the world;
May the spring of sympathy in my heart be ever bubbling for those in agony and affliction.

The above four lines have been extracted from the daily prayer of householder Jains which show their heart pouring for social engagements for the well being of the society.

Further even the three distinguishing characteristics of Jina (the perfect beings whose sermons Jains practice) include Hitopadeśa or delivering sermons for well being of the society.

The three attributes of Āpta (Jina) are free from all kinds of flaws (dośa), omniscient (sarvajña) and delivering sermons of universal beneficence (hitopadeśa).
Rattan Karanda śrāvkācāra by Samant Bhadra verse 5-8.

The above verses and statements show that Jains, though engaged in self-improvement and spiritual purity do so by keeping the welfare of the society in their mind uppermost.

2.0 Jain Doctrine

The word Jain is derived from Jina, a person who has attained supreme soul status by conquering his sensual inclinations/ tendencies so as to be able to meditate and enjoy his own nature of infinite knowledge and bliss. The followers of the path shown by Jinas are called Jains. Thus the entire doctrine of Jainism centers around self-improvement, with dew consideration to the well being of the society they live in, till the perfect state or nirvana /moksa is attained. The moksa marga, or the path to liberation propounded by Jinas, is said to be

samyak darsana-jnana-caritrani moksamarga[1]

the trinity of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct, which together are the path to attain liberation. Right belief and right knowledge are given highest importance, as without them the conduct cannot be termed as right.

On the social front, the impact of self-improvement on society is explained by 20th century Jain Acarya Tulsi, “If one improves himself, the family will improve; if the family improves, the society improves, if the society improves, the country will improve, and if the country improves, the world improves”. So the emphasis in Jainism is continuous self-improvement till the ultimate objective of attaining perfection, i.e. nirvana or moksa or liberation is attained.

The three pillars of Jain way of life are:

    • Ahinsā or non-violence in conduct
    • Aparigraha or non-possession in life style
    • Anekānta or pluralism /multiplicity of viewpoints in thoughts

The sermons of latest Tirthankara of Jains, Mahavira form the Jain doctrine today. Mahavira organized the Jain community in four fold sub-communities:

    • dhus or monks
    • dhvis or nuns
    • Śrāvakas or male householders
    • Śrāvikas or female householders

The first two live a totally detached life from worldly affairs practicing always mokṣa mārga, while the last two are leading the life of common citizens. They are practicing partially the same vows as the monks and are setting their own pace for spiritual purification. Thus they idolize and follow the monks and wish to become monks ultimately.

The path of spiritual purification for monks consists of completely observing five major vows called Mahāvratas (great vows):

    • Ahiṅsā i.e. non-violence or abstinence from violence
    • Satya i.e. abstinence from speaking the lie
    • Acaurya i.e. abstinence from stealing or taking others’ things without their permission
    • Aparigraha i.e. Non possession or abstinence from excessive possessions
    • Brahmacarya i.e. celibacy or staying absorbed in pure soul’s nature

These vows also are very important from the social point, as non observance of these is termed as sins (pāpa) causing miseries not only in this live, but also in future lives. It is an extremely important consideration to ensure adherence of the vows in the minds of the followers to make them abstain from committing these sins and making this as a basic requirement to progress on the path of liberation. The followers are required to perform six essential duties daily, called Āvaśyakas:

6 Āvaśyakas

Samayika

Practicing the state of equanimity with the soul

Caturvinsatistva

Reciting the virtues of the 24 tirthankaras

Vandanā

Veneration of the holy teachers

Pratikramana

Analysing the mistakes committed and seeking punishment or forgiveness

Kāyotsarga

Development of feeling the separateness of body and soul

Pratyākhyāna

Renunciation for gaining energy

The householders also observe the above vows but as Anuvratas (small vows) and Avasyakas but partially e.g. the last vow of brahmacarya for householders is called svadar patni santosa or contentment with one’s religiously married wife. Similarly we see charity or dana (sharing own life and wealth with society) as an essential duty for householders. To further emphasize social works or responsibilities in Jainism, one should read the daily prayer of Jains called ‘Meri Bhavana’, which promotes social interactions of Jains at different levels. Samyag Darshan or right belief, the first essential requirement to follow and practice the path of liberation has eight limbs. The first four are to enforce discipline on the practitioner himself, the last four emphasize his responsibilities towards society:

 

    • Protecting (Upgūhana)
    • Promoting stability (Sthithikarana)
    • Enhancing Jaina philosophy (Prabhāvanā)
    • Detached affection (Vātsalya).

Apollononius Tyaneaus, the Greek traveler of first century BC beautifully describes the Jains as follows:

“In India I found a race of mortals living upon the earth but not adhering to it, inhibiting cities but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing.”

Thus Jains are known for the generosity in sharing their wealth and not getting obsessed by it.

3.0 Mahavira’s social Engineering[2]

The present presiding deity of Jains is Mahavira, who attained Moksha some 2535 years ago. Even though he hailed from a rich family, he yet gave up all his worldly wealth to activate divine knowledge associated with his soul and to free himself from the cycle of birth-death-birth. We also see from his sermons and his life style that he was aware of the social ills prevailing and hence initiated steps to overcome these. Some of the examples of his actions /sermons with social overtones are discussed below.

3.1 Metaphysical

His definition of reality as endowed with permanence, origination and destruction, i.e. persistence with change or being and becoming was remarkable in bringing various monist thinkers together and eliminate or minimize the violence indulged by the followers of different faiths. He thus declared both, material and immaterial as everlasting existents.

3.2 Socio-Ethical Method

He affected tremendous social change through the promulgation of socio-ethical values as:

Ahinsa

In Ācāranga is said, “None of the living beings ought to be killed or deprived of life, ought to be ruled or enslaved or possessed or put to unrest.” Further in Praśnavyākaran social ahinsa is designated as kindness, compassion, security, fearlessness and so on. Social ahinsa of Mahavira begins with the awareness of the existence of others and their right to exist like one self: “All living beings, like you, neither wish to have pain nor to die.” In the current Jain slogan it is put, “Live and let live (Paraspargraho jivanama)[3].” - “Living beings cooperate with each other,” is another Jain slogan reflecting this doctrine of social ahinsa of Mahavira.

Aparigraha

Mahavira knew that the root cause of ills associated with economic inequalities is disproportionate possession of wealth by few individuals. Thus he gave religious cum social overtones to non-possession and asked his householder disciples to limit their possessions and share the rest (surplus) with others; while monks were asked to be free of any type of possessions (external or internal).

Anekānta

Mahavira realized that differences in opinions / viewpoints amongst different people emanate from their intellectual capabilities. These affect the social harmony more than economic or social inequalities. He thus said that differences in viewpoints emanate from the differences in the nature of things. These different aspects of things are to be understood as different aspects of the TRUTH giving rise to his doctrine of Nayavāda or Anekānta.

 

3.3 Uplift of Women / downtrodden Freedom for religious Pursuits

Mahavira’s acceptance of food from a slave and destitute woman and making her the head of his nun community plus creating a separate community of nuns to practice religious activities was revolutionary. Further in giving women the right to study and the freedom to practice religion, which was till then denied to them, greatly enhanced the prestige of women in the society and diverted oppressed widows from the ills like self burning (sati prathā) on husband’s pyre or leading an oppressed life.

Similarly, by declaring that all living beings are equal Mahavira rejected the prevailing thinking in four fold casts as Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors) Vaishas (farmers & traders) and śudras (serfs) by birth. He said, “One becomes great by acts and not by birth.” Further he opened his creed not only to all human beings, but to all living beings. Samantabhadra rightly described his doctrine as Sarvodaya,i.e. enlightenment of all.

3.4 Others

 

  • Doctrine of Karma

    Mahavira propagated the doctrine of Karma giving responsibility for their acts and the results thereof to the individuals rather than to someone else.

 

  • Prakrit language

    For his sermons he used Prakrit language, the language of commoners and women. His intention was to make them accessible to the masses and not just to a few learned scholars.

 

  • Brahmacarya

    He extended the four fold vows (i.e. Ahinsa, satya, acaurya and aparigraha) to five fold i.e. bifurcate aparigraha into aparigraha and brahmacharya. He realized the importance of stressing celibacy as men and women were becoming more prone to sexual attractions and indulgences.

 

  • Food & environment

    He prescribed vegetarian and recommended simple food in minimal quantities for sustenance as essential for spiritual and social uplift. Thus he rejected animal sacrifice or wanton killing of animals and deterioration of environment for physical pleasures or likes.

 

4.0 Jain Statistics and Demography

There are less than 5 millions Jains in India and another 200,000 or so overseas. So Jains form a miniscule of Indian population and yet they manage and contribute tremendously to the economic, social, cultural, educational and professional activities of the country. They are mostly concentrated in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and national capital territory, even though Parsvanath and Mahavira hailed from eastern UP and Bihar. The last census of India showed that the literacy rate amongst Jains is almost 100% while more than fifty percent have undergraduate or higher university degrees. They believe in self-effort; are religious, peace-loving, philanthropic, non-violent and generally support the rulers of the day (e.g. Chamunda Rai in 10th century AD in Karnataka and Bhama Shah in 16th century in Rajasthan and ministers of Jaipur from 15th century till 19th century AD). They follow the opportunities for worldly and spiritual uplift. In a way Jain community can be considered as a social model for enhancing economic and social well-being of all, based on irrefutable moral and ethical values.

5.0 Social Engagements of Jains

The basic constituent of Jain society is community. We find small communities of Jains, each centered on a specific temple that serves as a hub for people of same lineage or following (teacher & sect). Such people visit temple daily for religious duties (one of the essential duties of the householder) as well as building social network (e.g. there are over 500 Jain temples and sthanakas in Delhi and over 300 in Jaipur). The temple provides the catalyst for building small communities, primarily by women, for religious social and family development. The men folk generally build specialized trade bodies for supporting each other and external interface with other societies and the government. Then the institution of monks and nuns (over 10000 in India) play an important part to ensure that the followers are aware of their religious and social duties and learn more about them along with the doctrine. Thus the temple and the monks/nuns form the basic components of Jain community development or social work for Jains primarily. One will therefore find special institutions, side by side with major temples, like upasharayas for monks and nuns, dharmashalas for travelers, poor and destitute, orphanages, women’s homes, libraries, schools and at times dispensaries, specialized small hospitals like bird’s hospital at Lal Mandir Delhi.

Pilgrim places like Nakoda (Rajasthan), Palitana (Gujarat), Parasnath (Jharkhand), ShriMahavirji (Rajasthan) Sravanbelgola (Karnataka) and Hastinapur (UP) and hundreds of others also play an important role in enhancing social and religious duties of Jains.

Special mention is to be made of pilgrim towns like Shri Mahavirji (Rajasthan) and Sravanbelgola (Karnataka) where besides the holy temples and dharmashalas, facilities for education, health services, homes for destitute and unemployed are being provided for local people in particular.

 

5.1 Jain Organizations engaged in social Works

Education

Statistics reveal that there are over 4400 schools all over India established by and / or managed by Jains catering to 10 - 15 million students of all age groups. Some are located as follows: Andaman & Nicobar 418; Lakshadweep 1; Andhra Pradesh 49; Madhya Pradesh 302; Arunachal Pradesh 16; Maharashtra 437; Assam 28; Manipur 10; Bihar 51; Meghalaya 7; Chandigarh 2; Mizoram 8; Chhattisgarh 90; Nagaland 13; Dadra & Nagar Haveli 1; Orissa 32; Daman & Diu 2; Pondicherry 4; Delhi 47; Punjab 70; Goa 1791; Rajasthan 248; Gujarat 192; Sikkim 4; Haryana 82; Tamil Nadu 60; Himachal Pradesh 12; Tripura 4; Jammu & Kashmir 16; Uttar Pradesh 181; Jharkhand 33; Uttaranchal 14; Karnataka 194; West Bengal 31; Kerala 14. Total No. of Institutes in India: 4465

The schools range from top of the line (Pathways, Modern, Heritage in Delhi, DPS Aligarh, Mahavira in Jaipur to name a few) to very good (Mahavira, HLJain, Mrgavati in Delhi) schools catering primarily to non-Jain students.

Similarly there are 100s of colleges in professions like engineering, medicine, management etc. established and run by Jains. S. P. Jain school of management in Mumbai is considered to be one of the finest management schools of India. Lately there is a rush to establish Jain universities (Mangalayatan Prakrit at Sravanbelgola; JVBU in Rajasthan since 1991) as well as a premier management institute like Indian school of Business (Hyderabad) in Mumbai also.

Hundreds of Jain social organizations also offer scholarships to meritorious students for studying in schools and professional colleges (Sahu Jain trust, Mangalayatan, KundKund Kahan Trust at Sonagir and many more) along with prizes to meritorious students.

Perhaps one of the biggest contributors to the education field is Federation of Jain Educational Institutes in Pune, undertaking extensive projects to enhance the quality of education in schools. They have improved the quality in the entire islands of Andaman and are now being solicited by states and overseas education systems.

Health including Food

Health services are another thrust area of social works undertaken by Jains. There are over 100 medium sized hospitals run by Jains, notable being Mahavira Cancer Hospital Jaipur, Durlabhji’s hospital Jaipur and Sunder Lal Jains charitable hospital in North Delhi known for their health services. Jain hospitals are characterized as small ones, being run primarily by individuals or a private trust. Almost every Jain social organization holds annual special health check up and treatment camps (eyes particularly) in remote areas for weaker sections of the society. Jain doctors themselves around the world (especially from North America) hold many charitable medical camps (example Bidada Trust), Acharya Chandana Hospital systems, Leprosy center in Mysore etc.

Almost all big temples and Jain pilgrimage places have outpatient-consulting services (more than 1000) with greater emphasis on alternative medicine systems (homeopathy, ayurveda, naturopathy, reiki etc.).

Mahavira Vikanka Jaipur popularly known as Jaipur Foot is doing a tremendous job of providing almost free artificial legs to amputees. They have crossed a million recipient marks already and are now extending their services in many countries overseas also. Please see case study or details.

Preksha Meditation, a type of yoga cum meditation system promoted by Acarya Mahaprajna is becoming very popular as an alternate system of treating cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, stress, etc to enhance the concentration of people in their profession & their life. Jain Vishva Bharati has set up extensive network of centers in India and abroad to offer treatment cum training for this. JVBU even offers post graduate degrees in Jeevan Vigyan (Science of Living), Preksha Meditation and others related to over 400 students every year.

Jains being practitioners of non-violence are primarily vegetarians and hence preach benefits of vegetarian diet through lectures, seminars and media. A number of animal shelters and hospitals (Panjrapura) like at Lal Mandir Delhi, Pavagiri (Distt Sirohi) in Rajasthan are shining examples of such Jain initiatives.

Weaker Section of Society

There are a number of institutes all over India, run primarily by individuals or religious bodies, to provide training for women in crafts to become economically independents, for orphanages to provide monthly rations for sustenance of poor families and old age homes. Jain orphanage and Mahila ashrams in Darya Ganj Delhi, Adinath Mahila Samiti Jaipur are some of the examples of such organizations. Then there are organizations like Phoolwati Trust in Delhi who run a school for women particularly in Madangir Delhi and distribute food rations for poor people.

Ecology, Disaster Management

Bhartiya Jain Sangathana of Pune undertakes extensive disaster rehabilitation program on a professional cum charitable basis. Other Jain organizations like Veerayatan have executed extensive projects in Gujarat to completely rehabilitate a large section of people after the earthquake in the Kutch area in 2001. Almost all Jains and Jain organizations singly come forward whenever there is a need for assistance on such occasions. Concerning ecology, Jains preach their doctrine of Ahiṅsā as given by Mahavira wherein he talks of air, water, earth, fire and plants as one-sensed living beings and need to be protected to be fully ahiṅsaka.

Research in Art, Philosophy and Religion, Art Literature

Contribution of Jain in arts (Dilwara, Bahubali idol in Karnataka, Ellora caves in Maharashtra, Udaygiri-Khandgiri caves in Orissa, Gopachal and Dev Garh in Madhya Pradesh, Jaisalmer temples in Rajasthan etc) are shining examples of Jain contribution to Indian art heritage. Almost all museums of India are incomplete without having some relics of Jain heritage.

There are a number of institutes like Bharatiya Gyanpeeth in Delhi, which not only publish literary works, but also grant recognized annual awards to outstanding literary works. Similarly Ahinsa award by Mahavira Foundation (Shri Sugalchand) in Chennai and a host of other individuals and organizations are given.

Jain’s contribution to the literary world of India is tremendous. We find tremendous literature (philosophy, stories, poems, hymns, pujas etc) compiled by Jain monks and lay followers. Kural and Kannada literature in south India consist mostly of Jain contributions. Similarly the other regional languages such as Maharashtri, Gujarati, Magadhi and Shaurseni and even Sanskrit have a vast repertoire of Jain literature. This is also borne by the fact that today over 50 small and medium sized Jain research and publication institutions exist in India.

Social engineering

Jains have become aware of the necessity to be united and to initiate steps to maintain their identity and to further enhance their own well being and the society’s they live in. JAINA (Federation of Jain associations in North America) and JITO (Jain Trade and Industries Organizations in India) are such initiatives of Jains to achieve these and other social obligations; as well as Young Jains of America and Young Jains of India, Federation of Jain Social Groups in India, Jain Milan, professional forums like Federation of Jain doctors, Jain Professionals etc. They are coming up to support fellow Jains by sharing knowledge and experience and further to contribute to the local community’s social development.

 

6.0 Social works in specialized areas like HIV/ Aids

Social work concerning HIV/AIDS I feel can be categorized as follows:

  • Preventive
    • Abstinence
    • Indulgence with caution
  • Curative

Preventive works are sub-classified as abstinence and observing precautions while indulging. The abstinence and to some extent the precautionary measures are faith based and hence become the major thrust area for such social organizations. Here we take up briefly the burning social issues connected with sexually transmitted diseases.

Jains give very high importance to being celibate. The fifth Anuvrat, called Brahmacarya or svadar santośa vrata for the householders, is defined as follows: [4]

 To limit one’s sexual activities to the married partner of opposite sex only. All other women are called as those who are married to others or are not married /owned by anybody else (e.g. unmarried women and prostitutes etc). The five flaws (or abstinences)of this vow are further given as follows:

    • Indulgence in arranging marriage of others (other than own children or dependent brothers and sisters),
    • to have sex by organs not meant for sexual activities (e.g. masturbation, homosexuality or oral sex etc),
    • to make bodily or vocal gestures which provoke sex,
    • to be mentally engaged profusely in sex and
    • to deal or socialize with prostitutes or women with loose character.

To observe celibacy Tattvarthasutra advices us to abstain from listening to stories arousing sex (or watching movies these days), to look or observe the sex arousing body parts of women, to reminiscence past activities, to give up eating aphrodisiac foods and to abstain from decorating own body.

Besides the above, Jain texts talk of sexual interactions primarily for pro-creation and ask its followers to avoid sexual activities on special and holy days and places (e.g. 8th and 14th of each fortnight, religious holy days and festivals and at pilgrim or religious places). Such descriptions and importance assigned to celibacy exert special caution on Jains to abstain from sexual interactions. Thus Jains normally practice and preach (through educating and self examples) the preventive measures to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and evils.

For curing such diseases, Jains do set up hospitals and dispensaries but not specifically for such diseases. To provide social acceptance to patients, Jains have the six essential duties which include Pratikramana (recalling mistakes and seek punishment and promise not to repeat them in future) and its sarvodaya doctrine.

 

7.0 Some brief case studies

ISSJS Delhi

International School for Jain Studies, ISJS, is a non profit non government organization founded in 2005 by Dr Shugan Chand Jain in India and Dr. Sulekh Jain and Prof Cromwell Crawford in USA. The main objective of ISSJS is to impart academic studies of Jainism to university professors and research scholars from North America for preparing teachers and researchers in the west for further studies and teaching of Jainism for the well being of the societies there. Emphasis of studies is to analyze the doctrine to resolve present day issues affecting life style and resolution of social problems etc. So far over 80 scholars have attended the two-month residential program conducted every year in summer for the last four years. Special interests and discussions focus on Jain response to vegetarianism, non-violence, and resolution of issues like terrorism, abortion, business and bio ethics, sexually transmitted diseases, euthanasia etc.

Bharatiya Jain Sangathan Pune

A non-profit, non-political, Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) working towards Social Enlightenment, BJS has been in the forefront of doing exemplary work in the field of Social Service, Disaster Management and Education. Founded as Akhil Maharashtra Jain Sanghatana by Shri Shantilal Muttha in 1985, it got its present name Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS) in 1993 in the wake of the Latur earthquake and was registered as BJS on 18th October 1993.

After the Latur earthquake BJS got involved in Disaster Management for the first time. While executing the project Mutthaji realized that orphans would become vagabonds when left alone and subsequently a liability to society. He therefore decided to move 1,200 orphan boys to Pune and take the entire responsibility of educating them. This is how the organization entered into the field of Disaster Management and Education. BJS is professionally managed and has established a well-knit nationwide network of volunteers from the Jain community willing to devote their time for the welfare of society. BJS s extensively developed in the States of Maharashtra & Chattisgarh and has state-level organizations in the states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. All projects are taken up only after a thorough research and are conceptualized and designed by professionals. www.bjsindia.org

Shri Mahavirji Rajasthan

Situated in district Karauli, this luminary pilgrim place with a host of Jain temples and the luminary idol of Mahavira, pilgrim rest houses are fast becoming the largest Jain center in north India. The society called Digambar Jain Atishay kshera Shri Mahaviraji runs a number of other social institutions like Jain Vidhya Sansthan (education and research centre for Jain studies), naturopathy hospital, ayurvedic dispensary and an allopathic hospital providing free health services to local residents. They have also adopted districts Savai Madhopur and Karauli to provide artificial limbs and rehabilitation support to needy people. There are full fledges schools for girls (Adarsh Mahila Vidhylaya) and support to destitute and meritorious students. On the cultural front, they hold annual fair for all communities along with regular celebrations for holy days for Jains. Contact persons: Naresh K. Sethi Chairman, Digambar Jain Bhattarakaji ki Nasia. Savai Ram Singh Road Jaipur.

Mahavir Vikanaka Jaipur

Run by Mahavira Vikalanka Samiti Jaipur, this is a complete organization to design, build and fit artificial legs (specifically prepared for each amputee). These legs provide almost complete mobility to the recipients at almost no cost. Besides they also provide means like cycles, sewing machines and other accessories to make some severely handicapped cases to enable them earn their livelihood. To date more than 1 million amputees have benefited by the program. They are now establishing their operations globally with notable achievements in Pakistan, Afghanistan). They are now establishing joint research in artificial limbs with Stanford University USA as well as extending their support in other areas such as hearing aids etc. Today they are the largest such organization in the world. Contact person: Padma Vibhushan D.R. Mehta Mahavira Vikalanka Samiti Malviya Nagar Jaipur.

Sravanbelgola Karnataka

Situated 140 Km from Bangalore, this holy temple town with oldest and largest number Jain arts and artifacts, tallest single stone rock cut idol in the world is known for its religious and now social activities. The Mahamastakabhisheka of Monolith idol of Bahubali held every twelve years has become an international festival and celebration of Jain rituals and philosophy of renunciation. The overall development of this town by SJDMI with Swami Charu Kirti Bhattarak as its chairman has seen development of a host of educational institutions from pre-primary to school, professional colleges (nursing, engineering etc, research institutes and now a university in and around Sravanbelgola). There is a community kitchen run by the institute, which provides free food to all visiting the place. Besides SJDMI also provides support to other religious cum education institutions in Karnataka.

 

8.0 Conclusions

Uniqueness of Jains is to understand and develop firm belief in the sermons of Jinas, and then use them for taking preventive measures (both abstinence and cautious indulgence) in making their present lives free from economical, health and social problems. Simultaneously they use their resources to serve the community they live and share their wealth (time, knowledge and money) to help others be better educated and live a happier, healthier and prosperous life. Important principle underlying Jain psyche is the equating of our bad habits as laziness, not working hard, accumulation of wealth etc and wrong immoral activities, e.g. stealing, killing or torturing others, telling lies and adultery in our relationships or causing hurt through sexual actions to others as sins (papa); encouraging Jains not to indulge in them. If one has to indulge then review and accept that as a mistake and take corrective action (Pratikraman), minimize indulgence and with caution.

Further most of the efforts on the social front and elsewhere are individual initiatives, backed by others from the community as and when needed and proved successful. Involvement of the state in such efforts is kept to the minimal unless required by the law of the land.

Footnotes:
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