The Definition of Dharma from Jainism

Definition of Dharma from Jainism

The Definition of Dharma from Jainism

Traditionally called Jain Dharma, Jainism is one of the most ancient religions of the Indian subcontinent. In Jainism philosophy, Jain dharma describes the teachings of Jina (Tirthankara) and the body of doctrine related to the moral transformation and purification of an individual.

Dharma in Jainism

The word ‘Dharma’ in Jain religion has a circumstantial meaning that indicates countless ideas. Most of the Jains believe that doing worship or fast is dharma. But according to Jain scriptures, doing good deeds is dharma. Generally, it means the teachings of the Jinas or teachings of a supreme path, competing for spiritual school, socio-religious duty, and the highest Mangala (holy). In Jainism, dharma is often used to mention the following terms:

  • Religion
  • The actual nature of an object
  • Dharma as a dravya (the principle of motion)
  • Ten virtues of dharma including forgiveness, purity, humility, straightforwardness, penance, renunciation, celibacy, non-possessiveness, self-restraint, and truthfulness

Five Fundamentals of Jainism

Here are five step-by-step fundamentals from Jainism perspective for humans to live their life to achieve the state of bliss and peace.

1. Ahimsa (Non-violence)

As Lord Mahavira said, “Ahimsa Paramo Dharma;” Ahimsa is the basic living fundamental. Three vital ethics under non-violence are:

  • Non-hurting
  • Non-hating
  • Non-harming

2. Satya (Truthfulness)

The basic rule of truthfulness state is:

  • To go with the right, between wrong and right
  • To select eternal, between permanent and temporary

3. Achaurya (Non-stealing)

It means not to consider, take away, or steal things or possessions of other people.

4. Brahmacharya (Celibacy)

Brahmacharya means to stay in Brahma (soul). It is the outcome of a life lived by following the aforementioned 3 fundamentals that are Ahimsa, Satya, and Achaurya.

5. Aparigraha (Non-possessiveness)

It can be experienced as:

  • Non-possessiveness of people
  • Non-possessiveness of things
  • Non-possessiveness of thoughts

These five principles of Jainism can help in attaining liberation through human life if followed wisely.

Overall, Jain dharma is based on everlasting universal truths and an individual needs to follow dharma to seek spiritual elevation and self-realization.

Summary: In Jainism, most of the people believe doing worship or fast is dharma but as per Jain scriptures, dharma means doing good deeds. It is used to refer religion, the nature of an object, virtues, and dharma as dravya.