ABC Of Jainism ► 08 Three Jewels Of Jainism

Posted: 31.10.2010

LESSON 8

Three Jewels Of Jainism

 

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Daughter

Ma, what are the three jewels of Jainism?

Mother

Three Jewels of Jainism are Right Faith (Samyak Darśana), Right Knowledge (Samyak Jñāna) and Right Conduct (Samyak caritra). These are called Ratnatraya. We Jainas are expected to have right faith, right knowledge and right conduct because these together constitute the path of salvation.

Daughter

Ma, please explain to me the Right Faith.

Mother

Belief in the seven aspects of Reality (Tattvas) as described by Jina or Arihanta is right faith. So, we Jainas believe in Supreme Soul-Arihanta and Siddha (Deva), in their teachings (Śāstras) and towards those Munīs who practice the teachings of Jaina religion (Gurus) as a cause of right faith. In simple words, right faith is a spiritual awakening of one's self.
If we attain right faith, abstain from misconception and refrain from pride, quality of our lives would improve con­siderably. The main cause of a soul wandering in this world is the lack of right faith. So, the right faith is the first step on the path of salvation.
Right faith gives us a proper attitude by which our knowledge and conduct (life style) acquire the quality of righteousness.

Son

Ma, please give me some information about Right Knowl­edge.

Mother

In Jainism, the Right Knowledge is one by which the person becomes free from attachment and his soul is purified. We can achieve the Right Knowledge by strong faith in the teachings of Arihantas and through the study of their scriptures.

Daughter

I have now understood the Right Faith and Knowledge.
But how do we practice the Right Conduct?

Mother

We Jainas believe that withdrawal from the immoral conduct and devoting one's self to the moral conduct is the Right Faith. Without moral observance, the spiritual practices can not be sustained. The practice of right conduct has been described as of two kinds-the partial and the complete. House-holders (Śrāvakās) start practicing the right conduct partially and in due course of time when they become monks, they practice it completely. The right conduct is based on the practice of Ahimsa, Satya, Acaurya, Brahmācārya and Aparigraha. It should be emphasized that the Right Conduct also includes all religious and spiritual practices like worship, prayer, charity and so on.
Thus, we can achieve salvation only through the three jewels of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct.

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