Jain Teachings and Traditions

Jain Temple, Farmington Hills, MI

Since the Lighthouse Center has as our spiritual advisors Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanuji and Pramodaji Chitrabhanu, we have embraced teachings of Jain Dharma: Ahinsa, Anekantavada, and Aparigraha, as well as many Jain chants. We also have puja ceremonies twice a year, facilitated by one of Chitrabhanuji’s longtime students, Ashaji Sheth. In addition we participate in the annual Jain Paryushana (Forgiveness) Festival.

AHINSA: The central belief of the Jains is Ahinsa, non-violence, doing no harm in our thoughts, words or actions with all sentient beings. This includes animals: Jains are vegetarian or vegan. Without violent thoughts there would be no violent actions.
It is notable that Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by a Jain to adopt non-violence as the cornerstone of his Satyagraha movement. The Lighthouse Center has become a vegan or plant-based center at the request of Chitrabhanuji. You do not have to be vegetarian or vegan to come to the Center.

ANEKANTAVADA: This is the second core belief of the Jains, called non-absolutism or multi-faceted viewpoints. Jains respect and believe that Truth is contained in multiple points of view. Jains reject fundamentalism of any kind; they are tolerant of all spiritual pathways.

APARIGRAHA: This is the third core belief, which is translated as non-possessiveness. Jains believe that it is important to balance one’s needs and desires. The spiritual focus is on learning to let go of attachments. They counsel us to be aware of our consumption habits, especially given the ever shrinking resources on the planet. Aparigraha is about learning to live more simply, less attached to our “stuff”.

PUJA: In Sanskrit, puja means reverence, honor, homage, adoration, and worship. Jains, as well as Buddhists and Hindus have pujas. At the Lighthouse Center we have Jain pujas to honor and embrace the vibrations of the Jain Tirtankaras (prophets) such as Mahavir and Parswanath, as well as Lakshmi, Saraswati and Ganesha.

PARYUSHANA FORGIVENESS FESTIVAL: Every year Jains around the world celebrate eight days of forgiveness with meditation and contemplation. Many Jains fast during this time. At the Lighthouse Center we participate in Paryushana, and often go to the Jain Temple in Farmington Hills.