Chapter

The Ideology of the Path to Liberation

John E. Cort

in Jains in the World

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780195132342
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834112 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195132343.003.0002
 						The Ideology of the Path to Liberation

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Outlines the normative Jain ideology of the path to liberation from suffering and rebirth. This path is described as consisting of correct faith, correct knowledge, and correct conduct: faith in, knowledge of, and conduct according to the nine tattvas or ”verities” of Jain metaphysics. Normative conduct also revolves around the person taking the twelve vows (vrata) of a Jain layperson and then the five great vows (mahavrata) of a world‐renouncing mendicant, who then shapes his or her daily conduct around six obligatory ritual actions (avasyaka). Correct faith also involves confidence in the truth of the Jain teachings as demonstrated in the lives of those liberated souls (both the Tirthankaras or Jinas, who after enlightenment teach the Jain truths to the world, and the siddhas, all other enlightened and liberated souls) that constitute a Jain definition of ”God.”

Keywords: avasyaka; correct conduct; correct faith; correct knowledge; God; Jina; liberation; renunciation; tattva; Tirthankara

Chapter.  7941 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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