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Spiritual Ecology in Jainism

jainism aims at producing a better mind, less intensity of the passions, greater    happiness and an increase in compassion, which aids in protecting the environment. the jain spiritual ecology gives an insight into the nature and psychology of human beings through non-violence, reverence for life, restraint and co-operation of all so that people do not to indulge in sinful or disturbing acts that harm the natural world. focusing on purification of the bhava chetna – the emotional consciousness and its infestation in thoughts and action by constantly developing the sensitivity is most significant, which can be understood well by the following invocation:

jayam chare jayam chitthe jayam bhase jayam saye,

jayam bhunjejj bhasejj evam pavam na vajjhaie,

which means that a person should consciously walk, stand, sit, sleep, eat, speak. if he/she does like this, he/she is not bound with the papa karma.

leshyas : the emotional consciousness

emotional consciousness is reflected in the concept of leshyas (aura of colours signifying the mental status), where, the example of a tree is cited. this states that the person having the shukla leshya ( the best one ) collects only those fruits, which have fallen on the ground, the person having the padma leshya ( next to the

best one ) picks one or two fruits from the tree, and the person having krishna leshya ( the worst one ) cuts the entire tree. the purity in emotional consciousness changes the focus from i, me and myself to we, which indeed is the central point of the jain spiritual ecology.

foundations of the jain spiritual ecology

emphasis on inner as well as outer purity signifying a non-violent life.

• all moral and ethical rules are equally applicable to all beings of the biological realm.

• observing welfare of all living beings of the universe.

• true friendship to all is an outcome of approach towards non-violence (ahimsa), which is

• as follows:

“all the venerable ones (arhats) of the past, present and future discourse, counsel, proclaim, propound and prescribe in unison – do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture or kill any creature or living being.”

this lecture would deal with the jain model of environmental protection with basic principles of jainism; interdependence; non-violence {ahimsa}; non – attachment (anasakti); aparigraha (austerities); achaurya (non-stealing); brahmacharya (celibacy); protection of resources


author : professor nalin k.shastree

magadh university, bodhgaya 824 234, india

e-mail: nalinkumarshastree@yahoo.com

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