Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Becoming Jain...


What?
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These men are Jain monks or ascetics - some wander totally naked - no matter the season, so completely detached are they from worldly goods and possessions.  Others actually wear a band over their mouths to maintain silence - I think.  It seems strange to us in the West of course - although Indian food is very popular now days, and many TV shows (Big Bang Theory) have Indian actors.  But I digress.  One shouldn't be scandalized by the nudity, since even in Orthodox tradition, some holy ascetics went around naked - these were often considered to be holy fools for Christ.  None of this would be tolerated in the West today however - although it is still permitted in India.  In Minneapolis there are many people from India and we even have Hindu temples - although it must be noted Jains are not Hindus.
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I heard from a monk friend yesterday, just after reading about Jain monasticism, homeless pilgrims, and Franciscan poverty and asceticism.  It seemed like such a coincidence.
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For more information on Jainism (it isn't Catholic), click here.



That's all.  ...well maybe not:
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The top illustration of ascetics is to replace photo showing real life Jain ascetics. 
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One more unique aspect of Jainism is its ascetics. The Jain ascetics are homeless wanderers, having no possession of any kind. They follow strict celibacy and guide basic layman about the principles of Jainism and principles of nonviolence, which they follow strictly. They never use vehicle and still travel thousands of miles. They renounce the material worldly things and show the people that true happiness lies in non-possessiveness and not in material or sensual pleasures. Their wealth is their spirituality.

21 comments:

  1. Actually the reason why devout jains wear the mask over their mouths and noses is to avoid breathing in any bugs. They are strict vegetarians. They also will not eat any root vegetables, such as garlic or ginger (staples in indian cooking) or carrots or potatoes, because they believe that pulling the root from the ground might kill a bug in the process. No kiddin. It gets even weirder.

    My daughter had a Jain student in her class in school, in India. Her name was Jaina Jain. No kiddin.

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  2. +JMJ+

    Georgette, you remind me of the first time I decided to fast from meat for an entire Lent: I was living in a hostel that had the most awful vegetarian meals. (Double penance!) One night, we were served vegetarian kebabs: tasty in theory but unbearably undercooked in reality. An Indian fellow I had just met (a Hindu turned Buddhist who would go on to be one of my best friends) saw me pulling off the onions and garlic from the kebabs and setting them aside, and asked, very impressed, "Are you studying Jainism?"

    ROFLMAO!

    PS -- Terry, my captcha today is "dying." I'm not kidding. Eat some meat, my friend. Don't want you to starve.

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  3. Sort of reminds me of some of Bronson Alcott's beliefs in keeping with the "fruitarians".
    It's a wonder Louisa May Alcott survived childhood.

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  4. Fr. T7:45 AM

    Terry,

    This is all very interesting, but accuse me of Western "Puritan" bias but when I wake up and am eating my cereral and looking at my favorite blogs, I really don't want to scroll down the page and see some Indian monk's "package" front and center. Is that really necessary to establish the story? Doesn't exactly help one to enjoy one's breakfast!!!

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  5. Gette - thanks for correcting my impression about the face mask - I should read my sources more closely. I kind of like that intention although it would be considered pretty scrupulous by Western monastic standards. I try not to kill bugs as well - although I exterminate ants by the millions - guess I would never make it as a Jain. I knew you'd know about this however.

    Enbethiliel - I wonder what it all means? ;)

    Julie - I forgot all about the fruitarians - lol!

    Fr. T - sorry. What if you were walking down some road in India and they walked by you. Stuff happens. :)

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  6. Fr. T - I dressed him up in a speedo for you. LOL! It looks more like a Depend.

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  7. Fr. T9:54 AM

    Terry,

    That is just wrong!!!

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  8. I'll change the photo then.

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  9. There you go Father, I'm sorry I wrecked your breakfast. Anything else? :)

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  10. Thanks Terry- I'm sure the late risers will feel better. Keep up the good work.

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  11. +JMJ+

    Terry, the guy on the top right of the new photo offends me. Would you sketch something on him, please?

    #thecommenterisalwaysright

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  12. Enbrethiliel - LOL! If Fr. T is who I think it is, he would always be right.

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  13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYuYQWy3h_k

    Gods of the New Age, recommended viewing by a Padre friend of mine.

    *

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  14. The Jains that I have met have been some of the nicest, most genuine people. fwiw.

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  15. Enbethiliel--I tried the "no meat fast" this past Lent..it was actually easier than I thought it would be...

    HOWEVER--it always seems that folks you haven't heard from in MONTHS invite you over for dinner at their place when you're in the middle of a fast..and of course I wasn't going to be rude..

    Terry--thanks for sharing info about the Jains....I had studied a bit about them in a Philosophy of Religion class years ago in CA and one actually come to class on a Friday to give a talk ( that was a cool thing about that class is that every Friday a representative of a religious group would give a presentation...will always remember the Scientology presentation :)...another thing they do (at least some of them) is sweep the ground in front of them when they walk lest they crush any insects...

    Sara

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  16. "Becoming Jain." Sly movie reference. (good movie, btw).

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  17. Phew! Thanks for changing the pic!

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  18. Indeed, ecce. If we wanted to see naked men we would go to your blog, not Ter Ter's.

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  19. +JMJ+

    I've tried it again since that time, Sara. It's so much easier when you're cooking for yourself, aye? =)

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  20. By the way - I wasn't being sarcastic about Fr. T - he really does know better than I do - so I was happy to take the photo down.

    (See how serious I get when I paint all day.)

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  21. +JMJ+

    Which explains why his request got results and mine didn't! ;-)

    Seriously, thanks for the clarification. I wasn't sure whether you were being sarcastic--and it's another world now that you're not.

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