Jainism, an ancient religion from India that is practiced by up to more than four million adherents across the globe, it’s beliefs and practices are based on the teachings of it’s founder Mahavira, it is a religion famously dubbed as ‘the worlds most peaceful religion’ with an extreme sense of self-control, restriction, and non-violence. The great lengths that the followers of Jainism take when it comes to non-violence is extraordinary, at first glance, you would notice that the practitioners are ascetic and preach that their religion is essentially non-violent, it is considered to be a virtue known as ‘Ahiṃsā,’ that is the Sanskrit word for non-harming or non-violence, meaning ‘to strike’. Not only do Jains preach this virtue…. But they also practice it, the reason for this practice of non-violence is mainly because that those within this religion believe that animals and plants, as well as human beings, contain living souls and therefore it is absolutely forbidden to kill or harm all beings having life or potential life.
The most religious practitioners from the Jains are ascetic Monks and Nuns and you will find that they carry with them a broom called a “punjini” it is used to sweep the floor in front of them, before taking a step to ensure that any insects that were in front of them have been gently swept away, you can also find them also using feathers of peacocks. In order to collect feathers off of the peacock without inflicting any harm, the feathers are only collected once the animal has shed it features naturally without any human disturbance.
Since they do not demonstrate violence towards animals you will find that all Jains are vegetarian, but you will find some who will go as far as to abstain from all dairy products, upholding a strict vegan diet, some Jain scholars and activists support veganism, this is because the modern commercialized production of dairy products involves violence against farm animals. Some jains will even go as far as abstaining from eating root-vegetables like Potatoes or Onions because of the organisms that are injured and disturbed during harvest and some will even equip themselves with masks which cover their mouths, this is to ensure that one may not accidentally inhale any airborne life-forms or harm them with their hot breathe.
Along with being vegetarians or strict vegans, they also cannot eat food which is raw, or eat at night or any food which has not been thoroughly inspected for life-forms. For the life of the monks and nuns they are not permitted to cook, which is why they go around to houses of other Jains and beg for food. These teachings have made Jainism popular and seemingly different from other religions. But now, let’s take a look at its founder.