Gifting and Grace

John E. Cort

in Jains in the World

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780195132342
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834112 | DOI:
 						Gifting and Grace

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The world‐renouncing monks and nuns – the mendicants of the Jain tradition – are the living examples of the path to liberation. This chapter details their daily practice, which revolves around practices designed to reduce the karma that binds them to suffering and rebirth. The mendicants are also teachers of the laity, and so are expected to deliver frequent sermons on religious topics. The mendicants are dependent upon the laity for food, and the gifting of food provides Jain laity the opportunity to increase their meritorious karma (punya) and wear away sinful or demeritorious karma (pap). Jains understand that this process is accentuated if the layperson expresses great devotion (bhakti) to the mendicants, who in return shower their grace upon their lay devotees.

Keywords: bhakti; devotion; gift; grace; karma; mendicant daily routine; merit; punya; sermon; sin

Chapter.  8261 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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