Jainism is one of many religions born in India. Jains live and worship in an effort to free the soul through the ethical pillars. The Jiva is that which grows, decays, fluctuates, varies, eats, sleeps, awakes, acts, fears, rests, has knowledge and perception, attempts to self defend, and reproduces. These and more qualities of the jiva are obvious through a physical body when the soul is present in it but when the soul leaves these qualities cease. These qualities are external features and consciousness (chetan) is the basic inner feature of the soul. This also makes it clear that the body and the soul are separate entities. The concept of the soul learning to extricate itself from the lower self and its attachments to the material world by purifying one’s ethical life is a theory that can be used by all.
Karma is the belief that our actions influence the future course of our current live, and our lives to come. Our success or failure in life is directly related to how we treat and interact with others. Karma answers the question of why some people are better in school then others, or why some people are wealthier then other’s. Christian’s would consider those who have great success and happiness to have favor in the sight of God.
The concept of Ahimsa (non-violence) is one that is practiced strongly in the teaching of Jainism. Jain theory teaches that all life is scared and that humans have no special right to supremacy. Jain teachings take into consideration even the smallest microscopic life forms and work to protect them by not eating after sunset so as not to inadvertently eating unseen insects and wearing cloth over their mouth to avoid inhaling any living organisms. I am a believer in animal rights and a silent supporter of PETA (People for the Ethical treatment of Animals), but I think Jainism takes the idea a bit too far.
Aparigraha, the idea...