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An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four)

August 1, 2016

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 11.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Seven)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2016

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2016

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,414

ISSN 2369-6885

Anand Jain.jpg

Abstract

An interview with Anand Jain. He discusses: elaboration on the About (2015); gods in an eternal universe (with souls) subject to the law of Karma; human beings able to reincarnate as gods themselves; an atheistic element to Jainism; purpose of prayer; uniting part of Jainism among Jains; Jain view of wellbeing; and long-term plans of the Jain Center of British Columbia.

Keywords: Anand Jain, British Columbia, Founder, Jain, Preserver, Sustainer.

An Interview with Anand Jain: Founder, and “Preserver and Sustainer,” Jain Centre of British Columbia (Part Four)[1],[2],[3]

*Footnotes throughout the interview and citation style listing after the interview.*

27. About (2015) concludes:

The main order of Dharma was initially established by the 14th Manu, namely Lord Rishabhdev millennium years ago. One can find ample of literature on Lord Rishabhdev in Vedas and Bhagvatam. Jainism has 24 Thirthankars who are ford makers, starting from Lord Rishabhdev being the first and Lord Mahavir, who was born 2,612 years ago, being the last.[4]

Please elaborate, what does this mean in full?[5]

Under this question, it says that before the 14th Manu, there was a different order of subsistence in the subcontinent and 14th Manu taught the masses how to fill the land for food and other needs of subsistence.

Most importantly, in the new Era, Rishabdev emphasized the need of good Karmas to attain Salvation and therefore, he taught the basic ethics of non-violence and mutual co-existence with one’s neighbour, i.e., called Parasper Upagraho Jivanam meaning that we all can exist side by side and are interdependent on each other in a society. Therefore, peaceful co-existence was the primary teaching along with non-violence.

Later on, all remaining 23 Tirthankars followed the same path and depth and attained salvation. This ethical teaching became a religion which was only a religion (Duty) and when the other religions floated, the word JAIN was coined; meaning who are victorious on one-self; or meaning who have won over one’s desires and follow the ethical path of non-violence in all walks of life.

28. In the foundational metaphysics of Jainism, five ideas form its base, namely: “souls (jiva), matter (pudgala), motion (dharma), rest (adharma), space (akasa), and time (kala).”[6] Matter and souls separate in a dualistic philosophy, complete division between them, and a total denial of one God sovereign over all in the operations of the world: its creation, operation, or dissolution. Finite gods exist with subjection to the law of Karma.[7] The universe, or the world, remains eternal too.[8] How are gods in an eternal universe (with souls) subject to the law of Karma?[9]

The foundational metaphysics of Jainism simply states how the universe works and there is no creator, sustainer and destroyer. The natural forces enumerated here propel the world, there is no other force behind it. Even present day modern science concurs with Jainism’s contentions. Hence, we call Jainism a Scientific Religion.

Since Jainism has no notion of God, the word God does not come into question; therefore, there is no question of human beings incarnating as Gods.

29. Does this leave the possibility for human beings to reincarnate as gods themselves?

Good question, actually, Alexander the Great came to India he saw some of the Jain monks sitting on dried bark, and basking in the Sun. And they were naked. He went to the emissaries and said, “Go to them and tell them I will give them lots of wealth.” The monks said to the emissaries, “Go to your leader and tell them, it’s okay, go back and say we don’t need it.” Alexander the Great was surprised thinking, “Who are these people?”

He came and had an audience with the head man, and the mans aid, “Look, you have done a lot of cruel things. You have looted and killed a lot of people. Your end is near. I can see it on your forehead.” Alexander said, “I beg you to give us one of your saints that I can bring t Athens.” He brought one of the saints, and he passed away, and the saint told his minister, “Take his hands outside of the coffin so that people can see and that you cannot take anything with you. You go empty-handed. His footprints were still there.”

They learn from India.

In Jainism, there is no such word as INCARNATION. Yes, there is a word called transmigration; and once a soul is born as human, he has to work hard on the Jain ethics to attain Godhood.

Again, this entity is not the creator, sustainer and destroyer; but simply attainer of Salvation, thus ceasing the cycle of birth, old-age and death.

30. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in Language and Testimony in Classical Indian Philosophy: General philosophical approaches to the status of Vedic scriptures (2014), Jainism rejects the notion of God, where it states:

The Buddhist and the Jain traditions also rejected the notion of God, and hence any claim that the Vedas were words of God, and hence authoritative, was not acceptable to them. On the other hand, the Jain and the Buddhist traditions claimed that their leading spiritual teachers like Mahāvīra and Buddha were omniscient (sarvajña) and were compassionate toward humanity at large, and hence their words were claimed to be authoritative… The Mīmāṃsakas accepted the arguments of the Buddhists and the Jains that one need not accept the notion of a creator-controller God…The Mīmāṃsā conceives of an unbroken and beginningless Vedic tradition. No man or God can be considered to be the very first teacher of the Veda or the first receiver of it, because the world is beginningless. It is conceivable that, just as at present, there have always been teachers teaching and students studying the Veda. For the Mīmāṃsakas, the Vedas are not words of God. In this view, they seem to accept the Buddhist and the Jain critique of the notion of God. There is no need to assume God. Not only is there no need to assume that God was the author of the Vedas, there is no need to assume a God at all. God is not required as a Creator, for the universe was never created. Nor is God required as the Dispenser of Justice, for karman brings its own fruits. And one does not need God as the author of the Vedas, since they are eternal and uncreated to begin with.[10]

Mark Owen Webb notes the same.[11] When individuals outside, or even inside, of Jainism perceive an “atheistic” element to its conceptualization of the universe, what does this mean in precise terms?[12],[13]

All that is mentioned in your other question is true and repeats what Jainism says.

In Jainism, the followers give the highest respect to all Tirthankars only for their highest ethical teachings and sometimes call them Bhagavan or God in name only. A learned Jain would only call them Tirthankar, meaning (A teacher who teachers the art of crossing the worldly ocean to attain salvation to the masses and also crosses himself and attain salvation).

31. What purpose does prayer serve to individuals and groups of Jains in their community?[14]

The prayers remind us and inculcate the finest qualities possessed by Tirthankars while they were on the path of austerity. One must bear in mind that Jainism, Tirthankars have attained salvation and therefore, are detached from the worldly affairs. Thus, they are unable to shower any gifts or curse us.

32. With respect to orthodox and non-orthodox divisions and sects, what component of the complete Jain philosophy and life practice produces the greatest division among Jains?[15],[16],[17],[18],[19]

The practice of rituals and limits of possessions by Monks and laymen. Also, the degree of severity in following daily life of Monks; namely, Skyclad’s highest monk will sleep on the floor, takes a vow, if certain conditions occur, only then he will accept food from the household that practice the cooking of food according to strict Jain principles and cleanliness. He takes his food in forming a bowl with his two hands, once only in 24 hours, that also goes for water. If and when his vow does not match, he goes without food until the next day.

Secondly, Skyclads still fully believe in the scriptures and practices laid down by all Tirthankars, and have not added or subtracted any new ideas.

33. What most unites Jains?[20]

The vegetarianism, worship of the Tirthankars, reverence for all kinds of lives and a sernee, peaceful, honest, and sincere life style in daily business life.

34. Jains believe in concern for the health and welfare, or the wellbeing, of the universe, have emphasis on “three jewels”: right belief, right knowledge, and right conduct, have belief in reincarnation, ground themselves in self-help or destitution of assistance from the gods – or God – for human beings, believe in souls for animals, plants, and human beings, believe in the need for consideration of equal compassion, respect, and value for these souls, and aim for the elimination of Karma.[21],[22] How does wellbeing of the universe, self-help devoid of the gods’ or God’s assistance, existence of the soul in everything, its reincarnation in novel forms, and ethical requisite for compassion, respect, and value for the souls themselves, interrelate in this Jain conception of the biosphere, human beings, and their mutual interrelationship with the universe?[23]

All that said points to respect for the environment. Jainism has taught to be frugal in using water; carefully and cautiously excavating and tilling land; not even moving your body in the air without any reason. All it means limiting harm to the environment.

35. What are the long-term plans of the Jain Center of British Columbia?[24]

Long-term plan for the Jain Centre of BC is to provide a conducive, friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all; visiting Monks and scholars; a school for the youngsters.

Jains do not believe in proselytizing, yet anyone willing to learn and practice Jain philosophy is warmly welcome. Jainism is not a caste-based religion. It is a practice-based religion.

Thank you for your time, Mr. Jain.

I feel you are a professional, doing your duty very well, have taken your time to read all of the scriptures, and were so brave to form these questions for me, and you spent your time. I am retired. I am happy. I don’t worry about going to the office or money. God has given me more than enough. So I thank you very much because that way through your hard work and publishing people will have ideas about Jainism. And, hopefully, they like it, and it makes their lives better. Thank you very much.

Bibliography

  1. BBC UK. (2014). Jainism at a Glance. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/jainism/ataglance/glance.shtml.
  2. Deshpande, M. (2014). Language and Testimony in Classical Indian Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2014/entries/language-india/.
  3. Encyclopedia Britannica. (2016). InEncyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com.
  4. Gandhi, M. (2013, April 30). Let us Celebrate Mahavir Jayanti on April 23, 2013. Retrieved from http://jaincenterbc.org/documents/Article%20by%20Mrs.%20Maneka%20Gandhi.pdf.
  5. JAINS: Federation of Jain Associations in North America. (2015). JAINS: Federation of Jain Associations in North America. Retrieved from http://www.jaina.org/.
  6. Jain, V. (n.d.). President’s Message. Retrieved from http://jaincenterbc.org/president-message/.
  7. Jain Center of British Columbia. (2015). Jain Center of British Columbia. Retrieved from http://jaincenterbc.org/.
  8. Jain Library. (2015). Jain eLibrary. Retrieved from http://www.jainlibrary.org/.
  9. Statistics Canada. (2005, January 25). Population by religion, by province and territory (2001 Census)
    (Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon). Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/demo30c-eng.htm.
  10. Webb, M.O. (n.d.). Jain Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/jain/.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, and “Preserver and Sustainer.” Jain Centre of British Columbia.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2016 at www.in-sightjournal.com; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2016 at https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Photograph courtesy of Anand Jain.

[4] Jain Center of British Columbia. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://jaincenterbc.org/about/.

[5] Jain Center of British Columbia. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://jaincenterbc.org/about/.

[6] Webb, M.O. (n.d.). Jain Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/jain/.

[7] Webb, M.O. (n.d.). Jain Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/jain/.

[8] Webb, M.O. (n.d.). Jain Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/jain/.

[9] Webb, M.O. (n.d.). Jain Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/jain/.

[10] Deshpande, M. (2014). Language and Testimony in Classical Indian Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2014/entries/language-india/.

[11] Webb, M.O. (n.d.). Jain Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/jain/.

[12] Deshpande, M. (2014). Language and Testimony in Classical Indian Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2014/entries/language-india/.

[13] Webb, M.O. (n.d.). Jain Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/jain/.

[14] Jainism. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/Jainism.

[15] Indian philosophy. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/Indian-philosophy.

[16] Jainism. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/Jainism.

[17] Jain Center of British Columbia. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://jaincenterbc.org/about/.

[18] Deshpande, M. (2014). Language and Testimony in Classical Indian Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2014/entries/language-india/.

[19] Webb, M.O. (n.d.). Jain Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/jain/.

[20] Jainism. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/Jainism.

[21] BBC UK. (2014). Jainism at a Glance. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/jainism/ataglance/glance.shtml.

[22] karma. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/karma.

[23] karma. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/karma.

[24] Jain Center of British Columbia. (2015). Jain Center of British Columbia. Retrieved from http://jaincenterbc.org/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four) [Online].August 2016; 11(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2016, August 1). An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 11.A, August. 2016. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2016. “An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 11.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 11.A (August 2016). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2016, ‘An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2016, ‘An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11.A (2016):August. 2016. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Anand Jain (Part Four) [Internet]. (2016, August); 11(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-anand-jain-part-four.

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