“In a universe where every life depends on the expense of other, such a commitment would be futile”. (Oxtoby 151). According to Jainism their one of the most important teaching include non-violence, in thought, word and deed. They believe freed from karma; the way soul attains purity. (Oxtoby 148). This is a hard commitment. Adhering Ashima principles in my life would change my daily routines. As student it is imperative to work part time in order to spent expenses and finding a job that would comprise with the Jain beliefs will be difficult. Following Jain beliefs strictly means no work at places where there is selling of insecticides, pesticides and wood products (BBC). I work at a furniture retail store, where we sell pesticides, insecticide, harmful chemicals and different lumber products so for that reason I need to find some other job that follows the principles of ahimsa.
Lay Jains should be vegetarians: as their scripture forbids them to intentionally injure any form of life above the class of one-sensed beings, they can only eat vegetables. (BBC) Keeping a strict diet would become impossible for me as in our culture we celebrate our happiness by serving meat to guests and making something special courses including fish as for me it is an essential part of life.
Moreover, as a science student we work in laboratories where we are supposed to dissect animals who are killed and become our specimen for the next labs. So, for keeping up with the Jain traditions I will need to drop my entire course and pursue some other degree. This is one of the thing Jainism strictly follows and this is what they test people with, they say, “Conquering our attachment to the world is the most difficult of the battles but for Jains it is only battle worth engaging. (Oxtoby 151).
Walking to school would be difficult keeping the weather and distance in mind so car is necessary but while grabbing a quick snack from a nearby restaurant in plastics or Styrofoam is becoming the increasing cost of global warming. This is something we all need to stop in order to create a pollution free environment. For me if I were to stop this, I would try not to use harmful products that cause damage to the environment. In Jainism harm done to other beings is considered harm to oneself since it attracts much karma and thus hinders the soul’s journey to liberation.(BBC) This is what karma we all are getting skin cancer has become common, extreme global warming is causing severe disasters and loss of Habitat to millions of people around the world.
Jains believe that violence in thought and speech is as bad as physical violence, so they try to control things like anger, greed, pride and jealousy. (BBC). I also would want to avoid any kind of abusive language and aggressive behavior that can hurt anyone, this is what I think a good step to maintain a peaceful society with unity. Most Jains believe that ahimsa doesn’t just mean not doing harm – it also means working positively to promote tolerance, forgiveness and compassion, and to help those who are less fortunate. (BBC)
- W. G. Oxtoby, World Religions: Eastern Traditions. 2nd ed.