- I believe in the spiritual lineage of the 24 Tirthankaras (“ford-makers”) of whom the ascetic sage Mahavira was the last — that they should be revered and worshiped above all else.
- I believe in the sacredness of all life, that one must cease injury to sentient creatures, large and small, and that even unintentional killing creates karma.
- I believe that God is neither Creator, Father nor Friend. Such human conceptions are limited. All that may be said of Him is: He is.
- I believe that each man’s soul is eternal and individual and that each must conquer himself by his own efforts and subordinate the worldly to the heavenly in order to attain moksha, or release.
- I believe the conquest of oneself can only be achieved in ascetic discipline and strict religious observance, and that nonascetics and women will have their salvation in another life (Digambara sect).
- I believe that the principle governing the successions of life is karma, that our actions, both good and bad, bind us and that karma may only be consumed by purification, penance and austerity.
- I believe in the Jain Agamas and Siddhantas as the sacred scriptures that guide man’s moral and spiritual life.
- I believe in the Three Jewels: right knowledge, right faith and right conduct.
- I believe the ultimate goal of moksha is eternal release from samsara, the “wheel of birth and death,” and the concomitant attainment of Supreme Knowledge.
Archive for May, 2011
The Namaskära Mantra is also known by two other names, these are the Namokära Mantra and the Navkära Mantra. The Namokära has the same meaning as the Namaskära. However, the Navkära Mantra has a somewhat different meaning.
The word Navkära includes two words Nav and kära meaning nine small lines (padas). Shvetämbara Jains and especially those who have originated from the state of Gujarät in India call the mantra the ‘Navkära Mantra’ because there are nine phrases in the recitation.
Out of the total nine lines, the first five are in obeisance to the ‘godly figures’ and the remaining four stress the importance of reciting the Mantra. The Namaskära Mantra in the form of all nine lines has been accepted and used for ritual practices by idolworshipping Shvetämbara Jains. Other Jains, believe that the recitation has only five lines – the first five sentences of obeisance. The last four lines should not be regarded as a mantra. However there is a growing tendency amongst the majority of Jains nowadays to recite all nine lines of the Namaskära Mantra.
The Namaskära Mantra is also known as the Namokära Mantra because one bows down or pays his respects, which is called Nam(o) in Sanskrit. The word Nam is a verb, the act of bowing down. When reciting the Namaskära Mantra one bows down in front of the Arhata (enlightened one). The most important aspect of this recitation is that the person recites the mantra with the utmost respect and humility, and feels that he or she is seeking blessings and/or guidance from the Tirthankara whom he or she is worshipping