1. JWOL promotes happiness
If I am compassionate toward others around me, they will also be compassionate toward me and my family, my community, and the world will be a much happier place.
2. Good for children
All parents want their children to thrive in this society while remaining grounded in spirituality and tradition. Jainism and science walk hand in hand. Jain practices guide children toward a way of life which offers practical solutions to day-to-day issues while encouraging deep spiritual reflections on the nature of our Soul.
3. Good for the mind
Living a life of compassion and meditating on Non-Violence can actually rewire my brain and help me better manage my emotions.
4. Makes me a leader
Jainism’s three core principles are all qualities that great leaders have. Non-Violence allows leaders to be kind to others. Non-Absolutism allows a leader to be open-minded and allows others to share their views. Non-Possessiveness allows the leader to share with others.
5. Offers a purpose in life
Souls render service to each other (Parasparopagraho Jivanam). Our purpose is to help others. Our purpose is to help ourselves in managing our passions (anger, pride, deceit, and ego).
6. Promotes conflict resolution
We face many conflicts, not just with people surrounding us but internally in our mind as well. Jainism offers a guide to resolve these issues with compassion and open-mindedness.
7. Free choice
No elaborate ceremony is needed, no forced conversion takes place, no one forces you to practice it. As I increase my knowledge and faith, I see the value and benefits. I can evolve my conduct to lead a Jain Way of Life.
8. Encourages the respect of all living beings
Humans, even in our highly evolved times, show utter disregard for other living beings. In fact, many of our religious, research, entertainment, fashion, and dietary practices lead to torturing and killing other animals. We fail to understand that we are just one cog in the ecosystem wheel and that we must respect all living beings.
9. Promotes ecological balance
With 1.2 billion heads of cattle bred for factory farming, each producing 200-300 liters of methane per day, billions of tons of methane gas are generated. Livestock produce 18% of greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent.
10. Reduces chance of cancer
8 out of 10 cancers are dietary-related, and there is a consistently strong correlation between cancer and an animal-based protein diet. Two recent studies of 47,442 men and 88,471 women showed that those eating 5+ servings of bacon each week had 59% greater risk of bladder cancer than those who ate no bacon (52% higher risk for people who ate skinless chicken than those who did not). Even 1.5+ servings of meat daily doubled the risk of cancer.
11. Realistic environmentalism
A “purist environmentalist” is mindful of how his day-to-day actions affect today, as well the future. Jain Way of Life encourages me to minimize violence in thoughts, words, and deeds. It encourages me to take steps to keep the air clean and healthy, consume vegetarian food, respect all forms of life (as they have feelings and are necessary for our survival), and respect all aspects of nature.
12. Jainism has a long history of Non-Violence
Jain kings, lay people, and priests have not waged wars, killed, tortured, or forcibly converted any other group of individuals. Jains have not only practiced extreme non-violence toward other humans but also they have extended their compassion toward all living beings through the practice of vegetarianism and opening up animal shelters.
There is no mention of blood, killing, torturing, raping, and other violent acts in Jain scriptures or enacted in ceremonies.
14. Jainism promotes personal responsibility
In Jainism, God is not responsible for my actions and does not punish or reward. God did not create this world. I am alone responsible for my actions, thoughts, and words. Even if it is someone else’s mistake, it is my responsibility to ask for forgiveness and learn from it. I have the will power to manage my emotions, and I can choose to take action which will further escalate the violence of action reaction, or I can mitigate it by breaking the cycle by taking a compassionate and Non-Violent path.
15. Self determination
I am responsible for my future. God or an external supernatural force does not control my future.
16. Healthy vegetarian food
Encourages me to live on a strict vegetarian diet, which is not only compassionate but a healthy diet as well.
17. Embrace life, embrace death
Death is just changing one body to another and not the end. Soul is immortal. Jainism encourages me to live life to its fullest, and with care and compassion toward all.
18. Rich rituals and festivals
All walks of life have some rituals. Jainism has many rituals grounded in devotion and practices which are relevant to its philosophy.
19. Extensive scriptures
Jain scriptures were written 1000s of years ago. They offer systematic, logical, and practical insights of Jain monks, writers, and fully realized individuals (kevalis).
Non-Jain spouses are welcomed in Jain tradition with no requirements of giving up the spouse’s previous religious beliefs. In fact, Jainism can coexist with other religious beliefs as long as the core principles of compassion (Non-Violence), respect of other views (Non-Absolutism), and balancing of possessions (Non-Possessiveness) are the foundation in day-to-day life and in raising children.
Jainism promotes a balanced practice of gaining knowledge (both spiritual and physical), performing rituals, meditating, physical exercise (like yoga), and taking care of family and community.
At every moment I am encouraged to keep a feeling of forgiveness toward all whom I interact with or whom I inadvertently harm. This helps my mind keep equanimity and peace.
Jainism is simple. Jainism is a religion and a way of life which helps me manage my passions (anger, pride, deceit, ego) through practice of three core beliefs of Non-Violence, Non-Absolutism, and Non-Possessiveness.
Embraces scientific principles such as evolution and new theories of universe and mind. As more progress is made in our physical world, we gain an even better understanding of our spiritual world.