Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The Jain version of Violence

Non-Violence is the highest form of religious conduct.

To start with I am not defaming Jainism. I grew up as a Jain. I had many questions with regards to the rules and regulations of the religion. I am well versed with the theory behind the religion. So, if I am trying to convey my views, Don’t become Violent. I am not committing the mistake of interpreting Jainism through Jains. It’s the other way around. I am interpreting Jains through Jainism.

In Jainism, Ahimsa (Non-Violence) is considered to be the foremost among the five vows of Jainism. The practice of Ahimsa is the gist of Jainism. The term ahimsa means non-violence, non-injury or absence of desire to harm any life forms.

“Actions speak louder than words.” I’ve been living in a Jain society from the past four years. People call themselves as JAIN but their actions seem to portray a different image of them in front of me.

One morning, I went to our Jain temple. It was the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti. There were processions with pictures and images of Mahavir. The temples had varied pujas to honor the statue of Mahavir by flowers, rice, fruits. Several people were gathered and a man was doing all the rituals. He was narrating all the 5 vows of JainismAhimsa, Satya, Acharya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha. He was saying that the first major vow is to love and cause no harm to other living beings.

On the evening of the same day, an incident of unforgivable violence shook me from the core and it changed my views about such people who commit violent crimes and still call themselves as JAIN.

The same man was mercilessly beating a Dog. It appeared that he was upset when the “street Dog” urinated on the floor of his house. He got upset over that and proceeded to physically abuse the dog. I was quivering with fear as I saw him grabbing the dog by the throat and strangling it. He was repeatedly striking the dog. The dog was crying and making gurgling noises. He had bruising on his face and his neck.

I couldn’t take it. I took a step forward.

I asked him why he is doing such Violence and claiming to be a Jain, He said: The dog is urinating and spoiling my floor. If you have such empathy, you can take him home. I am not killing him. Violence is associated only with killing.

I said: Sure, why not. Those who don’t have any home to live deserves to be treated badly, deserves to die. Beating and torturing animals are considered to be as brutal as killing animals. The dog didn’t spoil anything. You have spoiled your entire religious practices you have done till date by this barbaric act. You should cultivate in yourself a feeling of kindness. If you can’t serve them, at least don’t hurt them.

It was pretty devastating.

I took the dog to a vet. He turned out to be such a warrior and is completely cured now. He is not a street dog anymore. He is my pet.

So, the Irony is – There are Jain monks, sweeping their temples with care so as to avoid accidentally crushing of tiny crawling insects and wearing white muslin cloths over their mouth in order to avoid accidentally swallowing of a fly, and then there are such people – cruel and barbaric.

According to such people, keeping fasts and providing food to Jain monks should be considered enough to Label them as “JAIN” as long as the benefit of such practices outweighs the cruelty imposed upon animals.

You can criticize me by saying that I am against Jainism. But the truth is such people do Exist. I am only against the people who are against the basic vow of Jainism – AHIMSA.

I believe that it is my job to be nice to creatures who cannot speak up for themselves. Taking a few minutes to support this worthy cause not only help animals, it also allows you to feel proud about standing up for something so important for the society.

Some people will say that just because I am an animal lover, I am supporting this. NO. I am a HUMAN first. Then I am a Jain. Humanity comes from unadulterated benevolence. Pardon me. I am not an opponent of Jainism.

I am just a HUMAN.

Written by Anmol Jain
I love to write unapologetically out of passion. I am a dreamer, animal lover and known for my lashing criticism.

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