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Jainism and the Self-Respect Movement (By “Self Respector”)

Ever since I became a follower of the Self-respect movement, I was thinking if there existed any movement in ancient India which advocated the principles for which the movement stands at present. I am a student of philosophy and religion and I take pleasure in studying books on comparative religion. For nearly a year I have been studying some books on Jainism. While I was going through those books I was extremely glad and very much surprised to find the Jaina teachings to be the same as those of the Self- respect movement.

For the information of the readers I give below some of the grand and sublime teachings of Jainism.

  1. The Jaina thinkers do not belive in an anthropomorphic God who creates, rules and destroys the world.
  1. God according to Jainism is any perfect soul that has realized the Divinity in itself. You and I can become God by our own efforts.
  1. Every man is the architect of his own life. He is alone responsible for his happiness or misery.
  1. Every man is endowed with infinite energy which he is at liberty to use.
  1. Social, economic, political or even spiritual emancipation of a nation or community is in the hands of its movements.
  1. The world is eternal and matter is indestructible.
  1. Jainism does not believe in any of the superstitious beliefs of Hinduism.
  1. The Jains do not believe in Piturloka or Shraddas.
  1. They have no caste among them. They hold that even the son of a “Pariah” should be respected as god if he has right perception.
  1. They do not admit the Brahmins into their houses or temples and do not seek their help for any ceremony.
  1. They do not accept the Vedas, Puranas, Smritis or any of the Brahminical books.
  1. They lay much stress on individual exertion. “If you want to be happy, you must work. Neither Rama, Krishna nor Christ can help you”
  1. Their first teaching is, “Be kind to all beings, respectful to those that are righteous, merciful to those that are perversely inclined.”

The teachings of Jainism are in short, based upon Commonsense, Reason and Logic.

- Revolt, 23 June 1929

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புரட்சி மொழிகள்

"பார்ப்பான், சூத்திரன், பறையன் என்கிற ஜாதி அமைப்பு இருக்கிற வரையில் இந்த நாட்டில் ஒரு இஞ்ச் அளவுகூட முன்னேற்றம் காண முடியாது என்று உறுதியாகக் கூறுவேன்" - பெரியார்

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