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December 10, 2016: Jainism is a rational, ethical religion with an independent philosophy. The religion has a rich ritual system, a well-developed cult and beautiful temples.
Jainism does not believe in a divine creative spirit. Instead, they pay homage to Tirthankaras- the ford-makers. It believes that God is a spiritual being. It believes that the attainment of perfection and purity in the soul leads to Godhood.
The divinity is achieved through the path of salvation or the Moksha Marga. ‘Aptha’ is the lord who reveals the path of salvation to the mankind out of his love and mercy for the humans suffering in the samsara. The Idea of God is illegitimate in Jainism. The soul is responsible for moral life and religious experience.
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Jainism has its own sole idea of divinity. Philosophy is the supreme soul. There is no difference between ‘Aatman’ and ‘Paramatman’. The Universe is governed by the laws of nature. God is nothing but an omniscient soul which teaches reality as it is and is free from all forms of defilements. It is the foundation of the beliefs of Jainism. God is not the architect of the Universe. The assumption of God as a creator is logically inconsistent. The Universe is eternal. So, the concept of God as the creator of the universe is irrelevant. However, it does not deny the existence of a supreme soul which is the state of divinity i.e., Paramatman.
The Jain writings are very contemptuous of the idea of God as the creator of the universe.
Where was God before the creation of the Universe? Where is he now? How can an immaterial God create something that is material? If God is perfect and complete, how did the will to create the universe arise in him? No single being had the potential to build the entire universe. No form of God is essential to keep the universe in existence.
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Jains believe in the attendant deities of Tirthankaras who help humans with their power. There is Goddess of wisdom and knowledge and also other guardian deities. There are Gods in heaven and in hell. There are kings and Gods in heaven. However, the Kings of heaven are still subject to reincarnation and karma. Gods of Tirthankaras are free from attachment and hatred. They are just pure souls living in paradise. They don’t grant wishes.
Basically, it has the following forms of divinity:
- Paramatman: The pure and perfect soul
- Demi Gods, Yaksa and Yaksis
- Arihantas- Tirthankaras
The philosophy of Jainism is based on the spiritual consciousness and not on any form of external revelation or any particular writing. The concept of God in Jainism subscribes to the opinion that omniscience is possible when the soul has reached the pinnacle of purity and perfection. The concept of divinity is viewed in the state of pure consciousness and perfect soul. Jains do not believe in a God who must be obeyed. There is not a god for judgment. The quality of a human’s life is determined by his karma. Karma has nothing to do with spiritual beings; it is a physical process.
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Every soul can be a perfect soul. These perfect souls do not have any interest in human beings. They don’t have a desire for anything. Thus, these Gods don’t demand any worship. They can’t intervene in the human world.
In many ways, the Jain attitude to perfect beings is both intelligible and satisfying, and sufficient to demolish the claim that Jainism is an atheistic religion. If one wants to argue that Jainism is atheistic then one must do so from a specific, limited, idea of what it means to be divine.
The beliefs of Jainism regarding the perfect souls are satisfying and comprehensible. Only a person with a limited idea of the meaning of divinity will disagree with the beliefs of Jainism.
– by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.
OṀ KALMASHARAHITABHŨMYAI NAMAH:
OṀ (AUM) -KAL-MA-SHA-RA-HI-TA-BHOO-MYAI— NA-MA-HA
ॐ कल्मषरहितभूम्यै नमः
(Kalmasham: Tainted, blemish, dirty, sinful, wicked, foul, dosha, opprobrium, stigma; Rahita: Absent, devoid of)
Kalmasham is the opposite of purity; it means impure, contaminated and defective. The word is used in several senses such as: defective, fault, sin, dosham, tainted, vice, crime, disrespect, abuse, evil and contamination. However, it is also used in a technical sense in certain fields of knowledge. In Vedic literature we see words like pavitram, and pavitrata in the opposite sense of kalmasham. We, as Hindus, see everything as pure and equitable with God in an implied meaning that every atom at the microscopic level is part of the Supreme Power (Bhagavān). Having this knowledge and understanding, Hindus see the presence of God in living as well as non-living objects and have a pavitra meaning- kalmasharahita bandham.
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In Vedas and Purāṇās, Lord Shri Ramachandra Murty is portrayed without any defects and His marriage with Sīta was described as kalmasharahitam. He was glorified as the one who strictly observed the 'ekapatnī vratam' meaning-'one wife as a life partner'. Even when Sīta was abducted by the demon- Rāvaṇa and he kept her in his palace for a year, Rama did not look at another woman. The same credit goes to His consort and wife Sīta, who came out of Agni (pyre of fire) as a shining diamond proving her chastity and kalmasharahitam to the world. Our sacred literature is full of these incidents. Our dharmaśhāstrās explain that what is kalmasham is that which brings defection to one's purity. They advise purity in our thought, speech and actions.
God Ram and Goddess SitaGetty Pictures
There are many relationships we have as an individual. Some are pure and kalmasharahitam, as opposed to other relationships, like extramarital affairs. The relationship between husband and wife; brother and sister; father and daughter; parents and children; between siblings; teacher and student; among friends; and last but not least, between a devotee and his desired, beloved and personal god are considered kalmasharahitam.
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As a country, we have never waged war against another country with the intention of occupancy and robbing their wealth, or to convert them to our religion. We do not have that kalmasham on our hands or in our hearts.
Our land is 'Kalmasharahita Bhūmi'.