Jain Philosophy

Posted: 28.09.2010
Updated on: 24.01.2012

Alias

Jain darsana

Jain philosophy (Sanskrit: Jain darsana; जैन दर्शन)

deals extensively with the problems of metaphysics, reality, cosmology, ontology, epistemology and divinity. Jainism is essentially a transtheistic religion of ancient India.

It is a continuation of the ancient Śramana (self effort) tradition which co-existed with the Vedic tradition since ancient times.

The distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are its belief on independent existence of soul and matter, deninal of supreme divine creator, owner, preserver or destroyer, potency of karma, eternal and uncreated universe, a strong emphasis on non-violence, accent on relativity and multiple facets of truth, and morality and ethics based on liberation of soul. Jain philosophy attempts to explain the rationale of being and existence, the nature of the Universe and its constituents, the nature of bondage and the means to achieve liberation.

It has often been described as an ascetic movement for its strong emphasis on self-control, austerities and renunciation. It has also been called a model of philosophical liberalism for its insistence that truth is relative and multifaceted and for its willingness to accommodate all possible view-points of the rival philosophies.

Jainism strongly upholds the individualistic nature of soul and personal responsibility for one's decisions; and that self-reliance and individual efforts alone are responsible for one's liberation.

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