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Words of Wisdom

True Monk: Selections from Jainism's Holy Sutrakritanga Sutra, Book II, Lecture 1 – The Lotus, Part 1 of 2

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One of the oldest religions in the world is Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma. Originating from ancient India, this philosophy centers around concepts such as right perception, right knowledge, and right conduct in the attainment of moksha, or realization of the soul’s true nature. Lord Mahavira, who is considered to be the last Tirthankara, was born around the 5-6th century BC, as a prince of the ancient kingdom of Vaishali. He later forsook His royal status to pursue the spiritual path. After attaining kevala jnana, or all-knowing intuitive vision, He spent the rest of His life giving discourses on spiritual truths, which form the present-day tenets of Jainism.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has spoken about Lord Mahavira, as during this lecture in Taiwan, also known as Formosa, on June 23, 2019. “I don’t know if anyone in the history of mankind could have done or could be doing or will be doing such an asceticism, such a sacrifice like the Lord Mahavira. That’s why I want to read it to you.”
We present to you today, excerpts from Book II – Lecture 1, from Jainism’s Sutrakritanga Sutra. The Lotus. “A wise man, previously, should thus think to himself: ‘Here, indeed, some painful illness or disease might befall me, unwished for, unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, painful and not at all pleasant. O ye dear pleasures, take upon you this painful illness or disease, unwished for, unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, painful and not at all pleasant, that I may not suffer, grieve, blame myself, grow feeble, be afflicted, and undergo great pain. Deliver me from this painful illness or disease.' But this desire of his has never yet been fulfilled.” “The Venerable One has declared that the cause (of sins) is the six classes of living beings, earth-lives. As is my pain when I am knocked or struck with a stick, fist, clod, or potsherd; or menaced, beaten, burned, tormented, or deprived of life; and as I feel every pain and agony from death down to the pulling out of a hair: in the same way, be sure of this, all kinds of living beings feel the same pain and agony as I, when they are ill-treated in the same way. For this reason, all sorts of living beings should not be beaten, nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor deprived of life.”

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