Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Home Opinions Jainism's Rama

Jainism’s Rama

Also Read

agrah pandit
An agnostic Indian.

According to Jainism, Shalakpurushas (शलाकपुरूष) are the 63 distinguished souls who appear during each half of the life cycles (kalpa). The deeds of these illustrious beings serve as guide in how to conduct oneself. A single set of Shalakpurushas comprise the following:

I. 24 Tirthankaras (forth finders)

II.12 Chakravartin (great monarchs)

III. 9 balabhadras or Baladevas (non-violent heroes)

IV. 9 Narayanas or Vasudevas (violent heroes)

V. 9 Prati- Vasudevas (anti-heroes).

These beings establish or restore a realm of non-violence in the world. Rama is one such non-violent hero while Lakshmana is a Vasudeva and Ravana a Prati-Vasudeva. In Jainism re-telling of Ramayana, Rama (also known as Padma), a gentle hero, is not the one who kills Ravana. Instead, his younger brother Lakshmana kills Ravana, the king of Rakshasas, who are otherwise a civilized and vegetarian people. Both Lakshmana and Ravana go to hell* for indulging in violence. Rama and Sita become Jain monk and nun respectively, and attain keval jnana (omniscience). Deepawali too holds a different significance for Jains. Diwali is not the day of return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after serving 14 years in exile as Hindus believe. It is the day when Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankar, attained keval jnana.

The general outline of Jaina ramayana is largely co-terminous with Valmiki’s Ramayana with major deviations in details. There are many variations of this story among Jain texts too, however, the non-violent credential of Rama is intact across such re-tellings. The most popular version is Paumachariya (‘the life of Padma/Rama’) which is written in Prakrit by Jain monk Vimalsuri. Interestingly, Vimalsuri has also penned first Jain Mahabharata Harivamschariya (‘Life and Lineage of Hari’) which primarily focuses on battle between Krishna and Jarasandha rather than that between Pandavas and Kauravas. Krishna is also a hero, albeit a violent one (Vasudeva).

Thus, Jain re-telling of Ramayana is consistent with their world-view and eschatology which gives highest preferemce to ahimsa or non-violence.

* The concept of hell and heaven in Indic religions is considerably different from those of Abrahamic religions. As per Jainism, Ravana will be one of the 24 Tirthankaras in the next kalpa, despite having served hell.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

agrah pandit
An agnostic Indian.

Latest News

Influence or ignorance?

Finding Bilkis Dadi in 100 influential people for 2020, I started my research on her and was astonished to see except for a convenient interview with Rana Ayyub, she literally has no idea what she is fighting for.

Farm Bills 2020

Congress' corrupt parasitic policies are the sole reason as to why farmers are in this dismal condition.

Domestic violence and laws in India

Women are subject to violence not only from husbands but also from members of both the natal and the marital home. Girls and women in India are usually less privileged than boys in terms of their position in the family and society and in terms of access to material resources.

How “lives mattered” for our ancestors

While the modern India is obsessed with facial whitening creams, our ancestors saw beauty differently. They saw beauty in the mind, and not the skin.

United South India is just a vehicle to espouse Tamil supremacy and sane Kannadigas want to opt out of it

The new found love of Dravidians for their Southern brethren is a cover to espouse their fundamentalistic agenda using the combined weight of South to push their narrow hate filled agenda. Kannadigas are understandably vary of these campaigns given the history of Anti Karnataka sentiment driven by Tamil Chauvinism and hence would like to take no part in it.

US democracy in cataclysmic churn?

One can easily foretell the stories and comments the GOPians will talk about, on how and why Donald Trump lost the elections. ‘They’ will blame him for the loss.

Recently Popular

Daredevil of Indian Army: Para SF Major Mohit Sharma’s who became Iftikaar Bhatt to kill terrorists

Such brave souls of Bharat Mata who knows every minute of their life may become the last minute.

पोषण अभियान: सही पोषण – देश रोशन

भारत सरकार द्वारा कुपोषण को दूर करने के लिए जीवनचक्र एप्रोच अपनाकर चरणबद्ध ढंग से पोषण अभियान चलाया जा रहा है, भारत...

You will be shocked to find who testified against Bhagat Singh in the landmark case ‘Union of India Vs Bhagat Singh’

The two men who witnessed against Bhagat Singh were Indians and their descendants enjoy a healthy social positions.

सामाजिक भेदभाव: कारण और निवारण

भारत में व्याप्त सामाजिक असामानता केवल एक वर्ग विशेष के साथ जिसे कि दलित कहा जाता है के साथ ही व्यापक रूप से प्रभावी है परंतु आर्थिक असमानता को केवल दलितों में ही व्याप्त नहीं माना जा सकता।

New Education Policy- Winning the world with the Bharat centric Values

The NEP is an ambitious document, which is focused on the holistic and overall development of the students to make them Aatmnirbhar and to enable them to compete with the world while maintaining the Bharat centric values and culture.