April 2004

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Jain prayer of forgiveness
I grant forgiveness to all living beings
And all living beings grant forgiveness to me
My friendship is with all living things
My enmity is non-existent

Nonviolence (Ahimsa): Nonviolence is the fundamental vow and runs through the Jain tradition like a golden thread. It involves the avoidance of violence in any form through word or deed, not only to human beings but also to all nature. It means reverence for life in every form including plants and animals. Jains practice the principle of compassion for all living beings (Jiva-daya) at every step in daily life. Jains are vegetarians...

Compassion: This is the positive aspect of non-violence: to practice an attitude of compassion towards all life. Jains pray that forgiveness and friendliness may reign throughout the world and that all living beings may cherish each other.

Interdependence: This ancient Jain principle teaches that all of nature is bound together, and says that if one does not care for nature one does not care for oneself.

Self-restraint: An important Jain principle is not to waste the gifts of nature, and even to reduce one's needs as far as possible. As Gandhi said, "There is enough in this world for human needs, but not for human wants."

Taken from ARC: Alliance of Religions and Conservation, www.arcworld.org

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