Beautiful Jain


Jahanshah Javid
by Jahanshah Javid

A few things yesterday made me think about life. First I saw a video of a man giving a baby donkey a massage. It was pretty funny, but not entirely. The man also stepped on the poor animal's face, making me feel sorry for the korreh khar. Then a friend forwarded humorous artwork by someone bored at work. They were dead flies in different poses: lining up to jump into a pool, sun-bathing, horseback riding... wickedly funny. But the act of killing living things to make a joke bugged me. And then late at night came the awful news: two men executed for their alleged role in election disturbances. Innocents robbed of sweet life. Just like that.


There is an image that has stayed with me for years. I don't remember the source. Was it a story, a film? It is of a man in India walking. He steps to one side, moves forward and gets back on his original course and continues walking. There's no obvious reason why. Upon closer look, he was trying to avoid stepping on an insect. He is a Jain, follower of a religion that respects all living things. I was touched but never made any attempt to learn about Jainism. Until yesterday.


In the summer of 1979, I was a 17-year-old empty vessel swimming in a sea of ideas unleashed by the revolution, from revolutionary Shiism to Marxism. I went to a meeting of leftist Iranians at the University of California, Los Angeles. A bearded young man sat in front of a group of curious Iranians discussing philosophical ideas from ancient Greece. I was so intrigued, I asked to borrow a book he was reading from. It was a summary of the ideas of all the great philosophers published in Persian by the University of Tehran. Each chapter was about a different philosopher and at the end of every one, I'd say to myself, "this one is the greatest of all, it explains everything."

I had a flashback to those days when I looked up Jainism in Wikipedia. I'm almost 48; I'm no longer an empty vessel. But I must admit I have not seen a school of thought so beautiful.

Here are some of Jainism's main points:

* Every living being has a soul.

* Every soul is potentially divine, with innate qualities of infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss (masked by its karmas).

* Therefore, regard every living being as yourself, harming no one and be kind to all living beings.

* Every soul is born as a celestial, human, sub-human or hellish being according to its own karmas.

* Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter.

* When a soul is freed from karmas, it becomes free and attain divine consciousness, experiencing infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss.

* Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct (triple gems of Jainism) provide the way to this realization. There is no supreme divine creator, owner, preserver or destroyer. The universe is self-regulated and every soul has the potential to achieve divine consciousness (siddha) through its own efforts.

* To be in soul consciousness rather than body consciousness is the foundation of right view, the condition of right Knowledge and the kernel of right Conduct. It leads to a state of being unattached to worldly things and being nonjudgmental and non-violent; this includes compassion and forgiveness in thoughts, words and actions toward all living beings and respecting views of others (non-absolutism).

* Jainism stresses on the importance of controlling the senses, as they can drag you far away true nature of the soul into being increasingly addicted to the material world leading into the tunnel of darkness, ignorance, love, hate and violence (led by the fear of losing what we are attached to).

* Limit possessions and lead a pure life that is useful to yourself and others. Owning an object by itself is not possessiveness; however attachment to an object is. Non-possessiveness is the balancing of needs and desires while staying detached from our possessions.

* Enjoy the company of the holy and better qualified, be merciful to those afflicted and tolerate the perversely inclined.

* Four things are difficult for a soul to attain: 1. human birth, 2. knowledge of the law, 3. faith in the law, and 4. practicing the right path.

* It is important not to waste human life in evil ways. Rather, strive to rise on the ladder of spiritual evolution.

* The goal of Jainism is liberation of the soul from the negative effects of unenlightened thoughts, speech and action. This goal is achieved through clearance of karmic obstructions by following the triple gems of Jainism.


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Such a beautiful religion!

by statira on

It seems that ancient religion of India and persia were very similar in their ideology. All promoting goodness and kindness.

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Interesting indeed Abarmard. Nice to hear there's also a Jain in the family of religious followers.

Obviously my interest in Jains has been limited to a quick read of their main ideas and history on Wikipedia. I also saw a short video on YouTube that said there are two sects within the religion, and one has a lower opinion of women.

I have no plans to become a Jain or join any other religion. But given that the value of life, especially in Iran, is so cheap these days, I found the Jain's respect for all living things an inspiration.


Interesting Mr. Javid

by Abarmard on

My wife is Jain. Their ideologies are nice from the point of respecting all living things. In my opinion however, similar to all religions, there are a lot of wrong with following most religions. To name one is the treatment and place of women in society.

Happy Friday.


Monda khanum-i-'aziz

by Nur-i-Azal on

You are projecting and misreading things. I am surprised at you!

That said, look up enantiodromia. It is one of the most interesting concepts Jung introduced into modern psychology from his readings in Western alchemy and Eastern religions.

Now it appears I have pushed your buttons pretty hard vis-a-vis our most beloved Supreme Editor. Good. That is my role and my job, i.e. to stir the pot, challenge the herd consensus, defy contrived, self-appointed authorities and call spades, spades, rather than the imaginary tractors people try to make of humble spades.

Ya, I know I am a handful, and that is intentional, grasshoppa. But my handfullness is part of my overall Work. People like me challenge people like JJ (maybe not your good self so much) to maybe realize what they only pay lip service to on these blogs. Dig? So quit being so defensive and overprotective of  just talk that smacks of more hypocrisy. As I said elsewhere, the Truth will set you free, but first it'll piss you off!

Ditto, Samsam IIIII!




by SamSamIIII on


Guess what pal, most of the items you just blogged about on Jainism is already covered by Avestan principles all encompassing purity & respect for environment & living creatures, respecting water, soil, wind & fire . Even my 11 year old being a staunch believer of sanctity of the rights of all living beings & environment already hails Zorostrianism as a cool religion from the little she already learned about it . So give it a try & ignore the joujeh javad ommaties , proclaim your roots & no worries you can still eat your kebob like the rest of us carnivors .



Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan // //

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

I also watched some other clip that was sent to me from the same funny blog ; they (3-4 kids) on one side and the poor jenny ( ASS) on the other side of see-saw (alla-kolang)and a man screaming in turkish some thing..... those were the clowns; and also is not considered funny it's called animal abuse.   khoosh bashid.           Maziar


Nur-i-Azal, a few things

by Monda on

1) Your resentment, envy and unattractive energy on most threads only points to your neglect of huge wounds that seriously need caring. Commenting on IC or attacking JJ cannot replace what you really need. There are much better venues for healing than a website.

You are a Narcissist in thinking people come here to react to You! You have been yanking on my motherly cord several times before on other threads, so I will react to you here and for the last time (before you find yourself other alternatives).

2) I need to assure you that, compassion and humanity don't involve any labels, be it Jungian, Corbian or Martian.  You undermined me on Mehrban's thread by saying "as a Jungian I should know..". I am many different things, not one or a few labels. No one is. Even the Bassijis or AN.

Personally, I define myself as work-in-progress.  Ideally, my goal in life is to be a Good enough Human being. Professionally, my preferred modality is eclectic, based on client's needs, with focus on Attachment and Developmental issues, Psychodynamic (Control Mastery), ultimately Existential Humanistic. I love Jung but presently cannot utilize much of him except in my own conceptualizations of a person.

Now that you know me well enough, I hope you can take this in:

Can't you hold another person's joy in a new discovery?  The excitement in a shift of being? 

As a human being how do you see Yourself Evolve? Are you a completed work, you think?

Please Don't reply here, I hope you write your own blog.


JJJ wat goes around comes around Dont like ur nu religon bashed?

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.

Jahanshah Javid

Nothing to add

by Jahanshah Javid on

Glad to see there's no shortage of clowns.


Maziar, Jainism is about physical abuse. Mental abuse is ok!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

I've seen a similar movie on IFC  .....

tales of a poor 16 yrs old girl from philipine brought to singapore to work as maid and take care of their teen age jin zadeh son  in exchange for food,shelter and some money.........

even the movie was sub- titled in English;As I followed the movie FOUND myself fluent in Mandarin.       Maziar


Jainism anthem = jain jain jain jains of fools! Aretha Franklin

by Anonymouse on


Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools

Five long years I thought you were my man
But I found out I'm just a link in your chain
You got me where you want me
I ain't nothing but your fool
You treated me mean, ohh yeah, you treated me cruel oh yeah
Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools

Every chain has got a weak link
Now, I might be weak child, but I'll give you strength
Well you tell me to leave you alone
My father said come on home
My doctor said take it easy
Whole bunch of lovin is much too strong
I'm added to your chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain

One of these mornings the chain is gonna break
But up until then, child, I'ma take all I can take

Everything is sacred.


Well, what do you know...

by Cost-of-Progress on

"............... There is no supreme divine creator, owner, preserver or destroyer. The universe is self-regulated and every soul has the potential to achieve divine consciousness (siddha) through its own efforts."

I have been a Jain since age 15 without even knowing it.





BTW is Jainollah the leader of Janes?! This can be too funny!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.


منهم طرفدار جن و پرى هستم



ياد ِ آقاى پاكباخته تو سريال ِ خانه قمر خانم بخير
مورچه ها رو ميگرفت و تو ى قوطى ِ كبريت ميكرد
اونم جن زده بود


call it what you like "vasvaasi vs. OCD"

by MM on

The difference between being vasvaasi and OCD is very thin line, a matter of repetition.  In Iran, we have many OCDs cases disguised in the form of being "vasvaasi".  Many vasvaasi Iranians also justify being "vasvaasi" on the principles of cleanliness, and just take the question of cleanliness a few degrees up a notch, compared to “normality”. 

With regards to Jainism, who is to decide where it stops being "hurting animals": a fly coming towards you so you put a mask on yourself or doing something to hurt mites living on your skin? 

It’s the old question of "where does life start; at the moment of conception, at the moment of birth or somewhere in between?"  That is one question I am not going to start a debate with.


MM jan,

by Monda on

The "intension" behind behaviors distinguishes between person suffering from OCD and a true Jain :o)

It's the practice of the vast wisdom, rather than practice of learned dysfunctional behaviors. Jainism in its true sense, does not need Impulsivity but Obsessive Compulsive Disorder does (in order to survive psychologically). Is the difference clear?

hamsade ghadimi

not for me

by hamsade ghadimi on

i can't believe in something that prohibits me from eating kabab.  it's a good idea though.

No Comment


by No Comment on

so you went from nothing is sacred to every [living] thing is sacred? ;o)


Jainism = Jallal-Khalegh-ism! Tarzan also believes in Jane-ism!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.


Cheh ajab

by Nur-i-Azal on

Agha-ye Javid, shoma-ra va Mahavira o Jainism sanana?!

It appears that my presence here is having a desired effect -- but not quite to the degree required yet. Keep moving further West  in your geosophy and in time you will discover your own national heritage of spirituality which is just as beautiful and potent as the Jaina of India. Hasani's hen is not always a goose. We have a few ravishing peacock's of our own that gives Jainism a run for its philosophical money any day.

BTW most Kashmiri Shaivites, India's version of our Qalandars, concur that Jainism is completely impractical as a Way to Liberation. There are quicker (albeit more dangerous) Ways.


میازار موری که دانه کش است - که جان دارد و جان شیرین خوش است



میازار موری که دانه کش است
که جان دارد و جان شیرین خوش است

But, I have to say that a true jain will eventually be a complete OCD case because he has to worry about hurting small mites on his skin as well 


The followers of jainism

by rustameiran on

are a breed apart...I have known of many big industrialists, doctors/engineers etc who have renounced all their worldly possessions in defiance of their families and have led life of bare necessities; walking with or without a loincloth, wearing facemask(not to swallow a fly or an insect by mistake and carrying a bowl for alms (bakhsheesh) and people readily give and respect them.



by Princess on

Yes, most Eastern philosophies, Jainism, Buddhism and Taoism follow similar principles and to my mind are the most sophisticated and convincing way of explaining the spiritual world and how it works.

Mindfulness and concentration - of the body, emotions and thoughts - are key to detachment that lead to liberation and the realisation that we are all connected in a profound way; that every time we hurt a soul we are essentially hurting ourselves.

You have discovered a wealth of knowledge JJ and I am glad you have decided to share it with us. Thank you.


Even more beautiful in action

by Monda on

JJ, Utility of Soul consciousness in working with human emotions is profound. In practice it goes hand in hand with genuine presence - effortlessly being nonjudgmental, in the here and now and at one with another (outside of self), the only effective way to empathically connect with another human being or living creature. Right view connoting the right hemisphere of the brain in this: 

 To be in soul consciousness rather than body consciousness is the foundation of right view, the condition of right Knowledge and the kernel of right Conduct.  

This was my first hit from this fascinating wisdom. 


Love this

by tabar on

Jainism and Buddhism are my favourite beliefs [yes, moreso than Zoroastrianism]. These ideals are what all people should strive for, and if we did the world would be a much better place. Not that I agree with organised religion but these are more philosophies than religions as many of their followers will tell you.

دکتر بعد از این

Open your mouth and say Uhhhh...

by دکتر بعد از این on

It'd be way premature and inaccurate to make a diagnosis just by reading this, otherwise beautiful, piece of yours; but according to evidence at hand you are hitting the #$@% midlife crisis my good man. Let me tell you something. Massaging the donkeys and loving the insects aside, don't rush to limit your possessions for now. OK? We really need this IC until we get somewhere. The present time is really crucial for all of us, which is also about the liberation of soul, land, speech, women,... you name it; just think of all those bugs you can have there... wait until then, JJ; and promise us that you won't sell IC any time soon!!