The JCA & YJP Scholars Lecture Series Topics

The focus of the lecture series will be on two major topics on Jainism.

Session A: Jain Tattvas - The Fundamental Principles of Jainism

This lecture will delve into the Jain Tattvas, or fundamental principles of Jainism, as presented in the Tattvartha Sutra of Umasvati. These principles form the foundation of the Jain worldview and way of life.

  • Jiva: the soul. What is the essential nature of the life force at the core of our being?
  • Ajiva: matter. How is the material world related to the soul?
  • Asrava: the influx of karmic matter into the soul.
  • Bandha: the binding of karmic matter to the soul.
  • Samvara: stopping the influx of karmic matter into the soul.
  • Nirjara: expulsion of karmic matter from the soul.
  • Moksha: liberation of the soul from karmic bondage.

Session B: Aparigraha - The Jain Principle of Non-Possessiveness

Along with Ahimsa (Nonviolence), Satya (Truth-telling), Asteya (Non-stealing), and Brahmacharya (self-control), Aparigraha is one of the five core principles of the Jain way of life. How can this principle be upheld in a world full of materialistic concerns, in an economy in which desire for material goods and services is a major driving force? How has it been understood traditionally in Jain traditions and how can we uphold it in today’s world?

Session C: Living a Jain Way of Life in today's world

Pulling together the topics of the previous two lectures, how can Jain principles be observed and applied today? A particular point of emphasis in this discussion will be the role of meditation practices, such as samayika and preksha, in sustaining one’s spiritual and moral life.

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