This book of stories has been born out of the need
to familiarize people especially children and the youth with Jainism. Jainism
has always been considered to be a very strict and austere religion. The
discipline that it requires from its followers is harsh and the life that
devout Jains live is simple and austere. This is one
reason why Jainism has never become widely popular.
Why then, one may ask, have I chosen to write
about Jainism. The answer is simple. I have tried to write about the teachings
and concepts of Jainism because I feel these have become extremely relevant
today. Our fear-ridden world where terrorism and bloodshed has become an
everyday and accepted occurrence needs the calmness that nonviolence and
adherence to ahimsa can bring. And we need to start with the parents of young
children and teenagers, to inculcate these doctrines so that they bring about a
change in their inner self and in the outside world.
In our modern fast-paced world, it is not easy
to explain these religious concepts to the young especially the segment which
lives in big cities and towns and attend public schools and English medium
schools. Their main language is English and it is difficult to find suitable
books or literature which can explain these concepts.
The teachings of Jainism are extremely simple
and easy to follow but what is needed is an awareness
about them. With a little effort the teachings can be incorporated and
interwoven in the fabric of our daily life to make our life richer and fuller.
Through this book I have endeavoured to explain
some basic concepts of Jainism along with commonly used Jain terms. As a parent
I too often found it difficult to explain these basic concepts in everyday
language to children. I searched through our Hindi shastras
and read them in order to explain the basic concepts and the logic and
reasoning behind them.
The book tries to answer questions such as:
“What are the basic principles of Jainism?”
“What is the correct method of praying in a
temple and the logic behind it?”
“What are the common vows that Jains undertake and the reasons behind them?”
These concepts are illustrated through stories
that leave a lasting impression upon children. The stories are old and have
been compiled from various books and other sources. It is a book that will be
enjoyed by children as well as grownups.
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