Urban Dharma Newsletter...
April 13, 2004
This Issue: Jainism and Buddhism
1. About Jainism
3. Jainism Today
4. Buddhism Vs Jainism
5. Test your knowledge - Buddhism & Jainism
6. Temple/Center/Website: The Shaolin
Temple Overseas Headquarters
7. Book/CD/Movie: Shaolin Soccer
know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.
- Bruce Lee (1940 - 1973)
key to immortality is first to live a life worth remembering.
- Bruce Lee (1940 - 1973)
consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper
execution of all physical action. There is no fixed teaching.
All I can provide is an appropriate medicine for a particular
ailment. - Bruce Lee (1940 - 1973)
you point to the moon, what do you see in front of your finger;
Your task is to feel, not to think, when you can understand
that the lesson will be learned. - Bruce Lee (1940 -
is a heretical sect of Hindu Brahminism, and is believed by
some scholars to be related to Buddhism. It was founded in roughly
600 BCE by Jnatriputra, who was later given the title Vardhamana
Mahavira. (as well as the title Jina, conqueror, from which
the name Jain is derived) Mahavira, like Buddha, was reputedly
the son of a Prince, rejected the Vedas, and practiced extreme
asceticism. Mahavira was the first of 24 Tirthankaras, or enlightened
are two main sects of Jainism, the Svetamabara and Digambara.
Svetamabaras accept women into their ranks, the Digambara do
not. The Digambara also practice nudity whenever possible, to
be as close to a natural state as possible.
five million, the vast majority in India.
have no official clergy; generally serious believers become
become a monk, one is initiated, and takes vows to live a life
tend to prefer ornate temples similar to Hindu temples, however,
only the laity worship in temples- monastics repudiate temple
worship as worldly. Temples contain statues of the Tirthankaras
and minor deities.
scriptures agreed upon by both sects are the Purvas, which have
been lost. Other scriptures include the Angas, Upangas, Mulasutras,
the Satkhandagama, and the Anuyogas.
observances, dietary restrictions:
practice extreme self-denial, avoiding meat, cooked food, killing,
and anything thought to be "worldly." Jains usually
wear face coverings to prevent the accidental inhalation and
killing of insects.
Monastics take five vows:
Ahimsa (non-killing) for all living things.
2. No lying.
3. No stealing.
4. To avoid worldly attachments.
5. To avoid walking after dark.
teachings and Beliefs:
belief is similar to Buddhism in many ways. They believe that
Moksa, or enlightenment, is the only way to be liberated from
the Dharma, the law of Karma and rebirth. To achieve this end,
Jains practice ahimsa, non-harming. Everyday Jains avoid killing
"five-sensed" creatures, the Monastics avoid taking
the life of any creature at all. Unlike Buddhism, Jains teach
self-denial and asceticism.
doctrine Jains hold that is similar to Buddhism is the triratna,
or "three gems." These are:
cosmology divides the universe and everything in it into five
categories (astikayas) :
was born in India about the same period as Buddhism. It was
established by Mahavira in about 500 B. C. Mahavira like Buddha
belonged to the warrior caste. Mahavira was called ‘Jina?
meaning the big winner and from this name was derived the name
of the religion. In many senses Jainism is similar to Buddhism.
Jainism is as old as nature, which has neither beginning nor
any end. The mission of Jainism is the mission of nature, which
is to work for the welfare of one and all, to rise from the
pitfall of ignorance and inaction to the spiritual climax of
infinite bliss and perfect knowledge. i.e. absolute freedom.
is about live & let live, the oldest relgion in India. The
main followers are the Jains. All those who follow the relgion
are vegetrain and they follows what Lord Mahaveera said live
& let live.
Central Principal is - Respect for all Living Forms
principle that is central to the Jaina religion is that of Jivadaya
(Respect for all Living Forms) and Ahimsa (non-violence). Although
Ahimsa is recognised even by the Buddhists and the Hindus, it
is practised ritually, only amongst the Jains. Under this obligation
they abstain entirely from meat, fruit and wine and may drink
only that water which has been used earlier by someone else
for cooking. The logic behind this is that if by drinking such
water if a Jain causes harm to any living organisms in the water,
the guilt for that rests not on the Jain who drinks it but on
the person who first used it for cooking.
belives that all people on the Earth should Love one another
and not to kill the animals. They have the rights to live on
the Earth also. They believe that every thing has life and this
also includes stones, sand, trees and every other thing. Mahavira
who believed that every thing has life. The religious Jains
will do everything possible to prevent hurting any being. They
mostly do not work in professions where there is a possibility
of killing any living being like in agriculture instead professions
like banking and business.
whether monks, nuns or householders, therefore, affirm prayerfully
and sincerely, that their heart is filled with forgiveness for
all living beings and that they have sought and received the
forgiveness of all beings, that they crave the friendship of
all beings, that all beings give them their friendship and that
there is not the slightest feeling of allienation or enmity
in their heart, for any one or anything. They also pray that
forgiveness and friendliness may reign throughout the world
and that all living beings may cherish each other.
believes there are two kinds of energies, one is the energy
of mechanism and the other is the energy of intelligence. In
technical terms they are called matter and life.
are two Jain philosophies. Shvetember and Digamber. Digamber
or 'sky-clad' monks like Mahavira don?t wear any clothes, but
normally they don?t walk like that outside their temples. The
Digambers include among them only men. The Shvetembers monks
wear white clothes and they include women. The Shwetambers split
from the main body of the Jaina religion some 200 years after
Mahavira but today they account for a majority among the Jains.
The Shwetamber Jains are concentrated in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The Digambers are mostly found in Karnataka.
is one of the oldest living religions in the world. It was founded
by Mahavira in 6th century BC and has remained more or less
unchanged for centuries. Mahavira was born in Kudargram near
Patna. He renounced an opulent lifestyle to become an ascetic,
and took up severe penance and austerities before he finally
attained enlightenment at Jrimbhika Grama. Thereafter, he preached
the path of total abstinence and renunciation from all worldly
desires to attain moksha or salvation.
teachings of Mahavira are now codified and form the basis of
the Jain religion. Jains believe in a cosmic cycle of births
and re-births, salvation from which can be gained only through
right belief, conduct and knowledge. They are strict vegetarians
and non-violence or Ahimsa is the main doctrine. The religion
lays down some very strict rules upon its followers. The practices
are more severe for the monks, as compared to the normal householder.
basic doctrine has not undergone any major change since the
6th century. However, different sects do exist. The Svetambara
or the white-clad, and the Digambara or the sky-clad, are the
two main sects of the Jains. The difference exists mainly in
the Digambar practices being more austere and ascetic.
to Buddhism which was also founded round about the same time,
Jainism does not have as many followers. The stricter Jain conduct
is possibly the reason for this. 11th century AD is considered
to be the golden period in Jain history, when many kings and
commoners converted to Jainism, especially in Rajasthan. A large
part of the trader community in western India converted to Jainism
to get a better social standing. In the Hindu caste system,
they were third in the hierarchy, behind the Brahmins and the
Jainism is followed by approximately 7 million people in India,
which is a small percentage of the Indian population. Most of
them belong to Karnataka in the south, or Gujarat and Rajasthan
in the west. Even so, the Jains are a prominent community and
have been able to maintain their cultural identity. Today, they
are also among the most affluent in India. However, they maintain
an extremely simple lifestyle, in conformity with the Jain ideology.
Jains have built many exquisite temples all over India. The
restrained austerity of the Jain way of life has its anti-thesis
in the delightful exuberance, even opulence, that one sees in
these temples. The Dilwara temples at Mount Abu and the temples
of Ranakpur are prime examples of this.
religious practices of the Jains are similar to those of the
Hindus. Hindu festivals with different connotations are celebrated
by the Jains. The Jains celebrate Diwali, Holi and the birthday
of Ganesha, just like the Hindus. Mahavira Jayanti, the birthday
of Lord Mahavira is however their most important festival. Monsoons
are an extremely significant period and a festival called Paryushana
is celebrated about one and a half months after the monsoons.
Buddhism Vs Jainism
was a senior contemporary of Gautama Buddha, the founder of
Buddhism. The Buddhist texts refer to Mahavira as an enlightened
being. However there seems to be no personal contact or communication
between the two when they were alive.
no rivalry seemed to have existed between Buddhism and Jainism
in the early days of Buddhism, definitely not so much as the
rivalry between them and the Ajivakas sect, with whom the Buddha
himself often indulged in prolonged debates and discussions.
However the very fact that the Buddha denounced extreme asceticism
as the means to salvation suggests that there was no scope for
any reconciliation between the two.
Buddhism and Jainism deny the existence of God or the First
Cause which is responsible for the entire creation. But both
acknowledge the presence of gods, who are higher than human
beings in status but subject to change and evolution and also
plane of higher beings, called Jinas or Kevalins by Jains and
Bodhisattvas by Buddhists. The Bodhisattvas take interest in
the welfare of the world and work for its liberation, but the
Kevalins are rather indifferent to our prayers and problems
and remain unaffected.
also differ on the question of the status and evolution of individual
beings. According to Jainism, after liberation, the Jiva or
soul continues to remain as an individual soul, but in the highest
state of purity and enlightenment. According to Buddhism, there
is no soul but the individuality or character of an individual
which after nirvana passes into some kind of indescribable nothingness
that cannot be speculated upon.
followers of Jainism acknowledge the presence of soul in every
animate and inanimate object of the universe, including the
elements of the universe, such as the earth, the water, wind,
fire and air. Buddhists on the other hand believe that some
vague kind of individuality do exist in the plants and animals,
but they do not find any such individuality in the inanimate
things. The concept of a world filled with innumerable individual
souls or clusters of souls, or souls lying hidden in the rocks
and mountains, the rivers and lakes, the stars and planets is
simply untenable in Buddhism.
Buddhism and Jainism acknowledge the universality of karma and
its effect on the individual beings. But in Jainism the karma
is not a mere effect or result of ones actions, but a real substance
that flows into each individual body or jiva as it indulges
in various actions. This karmic substance which is a kind of
fine matter or energy field, remains with it until it is got
rid of through good conduct and self purification.
both Buddhism and Jainism originated and developed as distinct
religions in the same geographical area comprising the present
day Bihar and adjoining states, Buddhism crossed the frontiers
of Indian subcontinent and went to far away lands like Nepal,
China, far eastern countries, central Asia, Sri Lanka and Japan,
while Jainism remained mostly confined to the land of its origin.
over a period of time, Buddhism disappeared from the Indian
soil, despite of making several compromises with Hinduism, and
having almost been absorbed into Hinduism as a sect, while Jainism
survived in India, with its teachings intact, mostly untouched
by the overwhelming philosophy and practices of Hinduism, at
the same time imparting to the latter some of its noblest ideas.
Test your knowledge of Global History and Geography
- Buddhism & Jainism
ansewers can be found at:
was the most widespread religion of ancient India.
was founded by Gautama Siddhartha around 500 BCE.
carried the principle of non-violence to extremes.
provided the military leadership for the Maurya Empire.
Buddhists believed that?:
the cause of suffering is desire for worthless things.
only young people can reach nirvana.
reincarnation is a way of escaping from nirvana.
Chandragupta II was reincarnated as the Buddha.
Buddhists and Hindus agree on all of the following EXCEPT?:
the caste system.
belief in the desireability of good conduct on earth.
belief in the progress of the soul toward an afterlife.
belief in certain rules of conducting one's life.
The Buddha set out his basic teachings in the?:
Four Noble Truths.
Buddhism began in ancient India as a result of the?:
desire for new goods.
desire for reforming Hinduism.
invasion of India by the East Asians.
political influence of the Untouchables.
Buddhists rejected the idea that?:
there are no gods.
all people can achieve salvation.
only Brahmans can show people the way to salvation.
the ultimate goal of life is escape from desire.
What happened to Buddhism in India?:
it became the majority religion.
it was absorbed back into Hinduism.
it gained few converts.
eventually about half of the people of India became Buddhists.
The MAIN belief of Mahayana Buddhism was that?:
bodhisattvas have postponed nirvana to help others achieve enlightenment.
life was suffering.
all should worship in their own language and according to their
monks should travel around converting people to Buddhism.
In its earliest days, Buddhism was very popular among?:
the Sudras and the Untouchables.
The Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters
Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters? intent is to spread the
Buddha?s message of compassion and wisdom in many ways, through
seminars, martial arts (better known as kungfu) classes, other
electronic media---including this Web site.
these efforts will spring a new 1⁄2Twenty-first Century
Buddhism,… which goal will be to meld Buddhist philosophy
contemporary life, allowing Chan practice to become more accessible
relevant in people?s everyday living.
Web sight is a dynamic and modern vehicle for conveying the
and universal philosophies of the great teacher, the Buddha.
Just as the monks
of the Shaolin Temple utilized the innovative approach of studying
that of the sutras and still meditation in their quest for enlightenment,
that you can use this Web sight as a means to learn how Shaolin
Chan Buddhism can help you to live a better life, both physically
the various mountains on mainland China, none is as spiritual
Songshan (TheHigh Mountain) within the province of Henan. The
Shaolin Temple was founded in the 19th imperial year of Tai
Wei dynasty in 495 AD.
name of the Songshan Shaolin Temple achieved legendary status
fame in Asia as being the ancient center where hundreds of many
martial arts systems were developed and culminated. These Shaolin
are a 1,500 year old legacy that is part of the rich heritage
and tradition of China.
is now also well-known among many Western people through the
exposure in the media. Today, Shaolin martial arts (better known
kungfu) is widely practiced by many enthusiasts through out
the world. Shaolin
kungfu epitomizes the meditative principles of Chan Buddhism
wherein the mind,
spirit, and body become one.
Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters in Flushing, NY, was founded
1995 by the Venerable Shi Guolin, a 34th generation monk of
the Songshan Shaolin
Temple in China. The Venerable Shi Guolin began his study of
arts at the age of seven and took the vows to become a monk
at the Shaolin
Monastery at the age of fifteen. He then became the direct lineage
Abbot Yongxin. Venerable Shi Guolin has previously served as
the head martial
arts instructor at the Songshan Shaolin Temple. Abbot Yongxin
him as the director of the Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters.
the wicked game of "Shaolin Soccer," players will
stop at nothing to score a laugh. It fuses ancient martial arts
with hard-hitting physical comedy and the high-flying energy
of competitive sports. Champion player Fung (Ng Man-tat) is
so good that they call him "Golden Leg." However,
when he loses the Chinese national championship game by missing
a goal, enraged fans break his legs. Twenty years later, Fung
is hauling equipment for his former teammate Hung's (Patrick
Tse) "Team Evil."
Fung is fired, he comes across Sing (Stephen Chow), a monk from
the legendary Shaolin Temple with superlative martial arts skills
and a "Mighty Iron Leg." Unfortunately, in modern-day
China, there is little money to be made as a monk, so Sing ekes
out a meager living collecting garbage. Sing dreams of "a
world gone Shaolin," where Kung Fu is used to solve even
the smallest problems. When Fung sees Sing take on a bunch of
thugs with nothing but a soccer ball, he hatches the brilliant
idea of forming a Shaolin soccer team. They set out to recruit
Sing's former Shaolin classmates‹all are down and out‹but
each has a special power adding to the team's limitless potential.
One has a head of iron, another bears stomach muscles able to
propel the ball at warp speed, a third weighs 300 pounds but
possesses the ability to walk on air, and finally the goalie
who can stop any shot. Well, almost any shot.
Soccer" shows the game of soccer in "bullet time",
so the eye follows the action at the velocity of the ball itself.
A kicked ball morphs into a fiery comet and then a flaming tiger
as it races across the field. Another ball creates a vortex
as it flies through the air, chewing up the field and everything
in its path. Players constantly defy the laws of physics by
leaping several stories and doing impossible back-flips. At
one point, the impact of supersonic soccer balls blows the unlucky
his climb to the top, Sing meets Mui (Vicki Zhao), a homely
martial arts mistress who has been reduced to making sweet buns.
Her skin is so bad that flies buzz around her but her Kung Fu
skills exert a powerful pull on Sing. Sing, however, is too
focused on his team's success to properly return Mui's affection.
When the Shaolin team makes it to the finals, they must battle
the ferocious Team Evil. The showdown proves to be much more
than the team expected. One by one, the Shaolin players fall
to Team Evil's deceitful tactics. Just when all seems lost,
the Shaolin players even the score.
and kung-fu fans alike will leave the theater grinning after
watching Shaolin Soccer. It's a fun, not-so-serious action flick
that plays with the kung-fu genre and bends it like ... well
... a famous soccer player. Even if you're not a Hong Kong cinema
fan, Stephen Chow's offering, with its fast action and madcap
humor, is a good introduction to the genre. Although the actors
may not be familiar to American audiences, Chow and the casts'
performances are enjoyable to watch and may make you wish that
every soccer match were played Shaolin style.
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