Jainism Notes

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NameDate12-17-12
HomeworkAP World

Homework: Read from 218, starting with “Jainism” through 222 to answer the following questions.

1. According to legend, how did Mahavira start Jainism?
A. According to legend, Mahavira started Jainism by leaving his home at the age of thirty to seek salvation by escaping from the cycle of incarnation, he lived an ascetic life in the Ganges Valley in which he achieved enlightenment, and he then taught an ascetic doctrine of detachment from the world, to followers who were called Jains, thus starting Jainism.

2. What was an ascetic?
A. An ascetic was a person who abandons all materialistic items of the world and almost detaches them from the rest of the world, while living a simple life and denies him or herself of material satisfaction generally abandoning material even items such as clothes which most people would consider a necessity.

3. What do Jains believe?
A. Jains believed that everything in the universe whether humans, plants, the air, bodies of water or inanimate objects such as rocks possessed a soul. As long as they remained trapped in an earthly body, the souls experienced both physical and psychological suffering. They also believed that only by purification from selfish behavior could souls gain release from their imprisonment and she the burdens of karma that they had accumulated during their various incarnation and attain a state of bliss.

4. Who did this philosophy appeal to? Why?
A. This philosophy appealed to people of the lower castes including merchants, scholars, and literary figures. The reason for this is because Jains felt if all creatures possessed souls and participated in the ultimate reality of the world, there was little reason for social distinctions among human beings and people who did not command much respect in the traditional social order drew attracted to this philosophy.

5. How did Siddhartha transform his...
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