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The principle features of Jainism are:

  • religious tolerance
  • ethical purity
  • harmony between self and one's environment
  • spiritual contentment
Path to liberation (Moksha), which consists of the three jewels (trinity or ratna-traya) of Jainism:
    • right perception (samyak darsana)
    • right knowledge (samyak jnana)
    • right conduct (samyak charitrya)

  Basic Belief...

Ratna-traya of Jainism:

* Right perception - Samyak darshana

This doesn't mean believing what you're told, but means seeing (hearing, feeling, etc.) things properly, and avoiding preconceptions and superstitions that get in the way of seeing clearly.

Some books call samyak darshana "right perception". You can't achieve this unless you are determined to find the truth, and distinguish it from untruth.

* Right knowledge - Samyak jnana

This means having an accurate and sufficient knowledge of the real universe - this requires a true knowledge of the five (or six) substances and nine truths of the universe - and having that knowledge with the right mental attitude.

One writer puts it like this: "if our character is flawed and our conscience is not clear, knowledge alone will not help us achieve composure and happiness".

Today this means having a proper knowledge of the Jain scriptures.

Some writers describe right knowledge as meaning having a pure soul; a soul that is free from attachment and desire...others say that a person who has right knowledge will naturally free themselves from attachment and desire, and so achieve peace of mind.

 * Right conduct - Samyak charitra

This means living your life according to Jain ethical rules, to avoid doing harm to living things and freeing yourself from attachment and other impure attitudes and thoughts.

Jains believe that a person who has right faith and right knowledge will be motivated and able to achieve right conduct.

Many Jains believe that a person without right faith and right knowledge cannot achieve right conduct - so it's no use following scripture and ritual for the wrong reasons (e.g. so that other people will think you are a good person). Not all Jains hold this view.





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According to the Jain belief the universe and its constituents are eternal.