Practise ahimsa, aparigraha and anekantavada to bring peace to the world, says SAMANI CHARITRA PRAJNA, vice chancellor, Jain Vishva Bharati Institute


Part 2 of 9
Practise ahimsa, aparigraha and anekantavada to bring peace to the world, says Everything is possible through self-effort. Here, Self means Atman — roughly translated as consciousness. Atman is a technical word. Consciousness means I’m alive; atman is deeper. Atman cannot be seen, but it can be felt. If we are aware of each and every moment of our life, it means we are one with our own Self. When we are not aware of our own Self, then we are not aware of our own consciousness. Inner awareness is experience of Self or realisation of atman. 
In Jain philosophy, it is said that each individual has an independent atman, and that there are billions of atmans. All life forms whether they have one sense or three or five senses have consciousness and have atman. Water, air, fire, earth, everything has life and they have the same kind of feelings that we have. Infinite knowledge,

infinite action, infinite energy and infinite bliss are the basic characteristics of a soul, but right now, because of our layers of karma, these qualities are not awake in us. Layers of karma cover our infinite knowledge, so we can see only through our senses. The word Jina means a qualitative person who has overcome his inner enemies, not of the outer world but of the inner world, in the form of anger, ego, pride, deceit and greed. These are the major enemies of our soul — the reason why the soul cannot realise its own nature. The ultimate aim of the soul is to come back to its own nature, and that happens only when bad qualities are annihilated. 
Mahavira realised that living a luxurious life will not give happiness, so he renounced and led a simple life. In Jainism, enlightenment means Kaivalya gyan meaning pure knowledge, which can be seen without the help of the senses or the intellect. It is pure knowledge that comes from atman. Mahavira practised for 12 years, ate and slept very little, and spent most of his time in meditation. Mahavira asked people to practise ahimsa. Jainism has three major principles: ahimsa, nonviolence; aparigraha, nonpossession and anekantavada, multiple perspectives.