One of the oldest religions in the world is Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma. Originating from ancient India, this philosophy centers around concepts such as right perception, right knowledge, and right conduct in the attainment of moksha, or realization of the soul’s true nature. The concept of ahimsa, or nonviolence, is of equally great importance. Thus, with compassion for all life, practitioners of Jainism follow a pure vegetarian or vegan diet. Lord Mahavira, who is considered to be the last Tirthankara, was born around the 5-6th century BC, as a prince of the ancient kingdom of Vaishali. He later forsook His royal status to pursue the spiritual path. After attaining kevala jnana, or all-knowing intuitive vision, He spent the rest of His life giving discourses on spiritual truths, which form the present-day tenets of Jainism.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has previously spoken about Lord Mahavira, as during this lecture in Taiwan, also known as Formosa, on June 23, 2019. “I don’t know if anyone in the history of mankind could have done or could be doing or will be doing such an asceticism, such a sacrifice like the Lord Mahavira. That’s why I wanted to read it to you.” We present to you today excerpts from Book I – Lecture 13 from Jainism’s Sutrakritanga Sutra.
Thirteenth Lecture The Real Truth “I shall now expound, in accordance with truth, the various qualities of men; I shall explain the virtue and peace of the good, the vices and the unrest of the wicked. Having learned the law from men who exert themselves day and night, from the Tathagatas (Great Buddhas), they neglect the conduct in which they had been instructed, and speak rudely to their teacher. Those who explain the pure doctrine according to their individual opinion, falsify it in repeating (it after their teachers); those who speak untruth from pride of knowledge, are not capable of many virtues.”
“The wise leave off these kinds of pride, the pious do not cultivate them; the great Sages are above all such things as Gôtra, and they ascend to the place where there is no Gôtra at all (namely to Môksha). A monk who looks upon his body as on a corpse and fully understands the law, will on entering a village or a town distinguish between what may be accepted and what may not, and will not be greedy of food or drink.”