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On The Indian Sect Of The Jainas

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An Excerpt:  "The third jewel, the right Walk which the Jaina ethics contains, has its kernel
in the five great oaths which the Jaina ascetic takes on his entrance into the
order. He promises, just as the BrĂ¢hmaṇ penitent, and almost in the same words,
not to hurt, not to speak untruth, to appropriate nothing to himself without
permission, to preserve chastity, and to practice self-sacrifice. The contents
of these simple rules become most extraordinarily extended on the part of the
Jainas by the insertion of five clauses, in each of which are three separate
active instruments of sin, in special relation to thoughts, words, and deeds.
Thus, concerning the oath not to hurt, on which the Jaina lays the greatest
emphasis: it includes not only the intentional killing or hurting of living
beings, plants, or the souls existing in dead matter, it requires also the
utmost carefulness in the whole manner of life, in all movements, a watchfulness
over all functions of the body by which anything living might be hurt. [11] It
demands finally strict watch over the heart and tongue, and the avoidance of all
thoughts and words which might lead to dispute and quarrel and thereby to harm.
In like manner the rule of sacrifice means not only that the ascetic has no
house or possessions, it teaches also that a complete unconcern toward agreeable
and disagreeable impressions is necessary, as also the sacrifice of every
attachment to anything living or dead. [12]"

 

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