By Paul Dundas
The Indian faith of Jainism, whose significant guideline consists of non-violence to all creatures, is without doubt one of the world's oldest and least-understood faiths. Dundas appears to be like at Jainism in its social and doctrinal context, explaining its historical past, sects, scriptures and formality, and describing how the Jains have, over 2500 years, outlined themselves as a distinct spiritual group. This revised and extended version takes account of latest learn into Jainism.
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Additional info for The Jains (The Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices)
The primary deﬁnition … (svarūpalakṣaṇa), is given in terms of the essential description. The secondary deﬁnition … (taṭasthalakṣaṇa) is given in terms of the modal or “conventional” (accidental) description’ (Bilimoria, 1989, p. 164). What is important, according to Śaṅkara, is that the essential deﬁnition is one that does not predicate any properties of the thing being deﬁned. So, when later Advaitins deﬁne brahman in the positive, as undiﬀerentiated, pure consciousness or Being-Consciousness-Bliss (sat-citānanda)22 they are following Śaṅkara’s essential description of brahman in not taking sat-cit-ānanda ‘to be three diﬀerent descriptions or three properties predicated of brahman, but rather as the unitary essence of the undiﬀerentiated absolute’ (Bilimoria, 1989, p.
Answers are not set lectures or explanations but immediate and direct responses or demonstrations as to how the student should proceed. Richard Baker notes that working with Suzuki-rōshi was ‘a study in how to ask questions’ and Ramana would ‘correct the questioner even in the manner of the questioning’ indicating that both traditions have little or no use for explicating abstract philosophical points in the practice situation, but seek rather to push the student to ‘question the question’ itself and orientate him or her towards the necessary inner inquiry in which the ‘answer’ is revealed or where the question itself dissolves.
R]: Without knowing the Self why do you seek to know Brahman? [S]: The sastras [scriptures] say Brahman pervades all and me too. [R]: Find the ‘I’ in me and then there will be no time to think of Brahman. [S]: Why was I born? [R]: Who was born? The answer is the same for all of your questions. [S]: Who am I then? [R]: (smiling) Have you come to examine me and ask me? You must say who you are. (Maharshi, 1984, pp. ’ What is not known? Who is the ‘I’? Here, a tension is produced by the injunction ‘Find out’ which can trigger a round of circular reasoning along the lines of: How can I not know who I am and when I look, why can’t I immediately ﬁnd out?
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