Yesterday, our 11th grade students had an enlightening discussion in their Religion and Theory class. The students had a guest lecturer, Mrs. Jharna Khara, come in and introduce them to a 5000-year-old religion and philosophy of life called Jainism. A practicing Jain since birth, she had all the answers to their absorbing questions. The students were intrigued with the idea of a religion that has so much scientific influence, and the discussion tied in nicely with their Theory of Knowledge.
While listening to the theory of Karma, the students asked questions to understand the difference between an intention and an action, and how that would fit into the grand “balance” of life. To understand the distinction, they were given an example about the passion and intention behind purposefully hurting another being, versus doing so accidentally without intending to. The students engaged in conversations about the main principle of Jainism, which is non-violence. Many of the discussions focused on the Jain principle of non-attachment.
The students were captivated by the live and let live attitude that is imparted by the religion. The revelation that Jains do not “poach” others to convert to their religion fascinated them. Mrs. Khara explained the principles with real-life examples so that the students could make an easier connection to a philosophy that they had not previously heard of.