Jainism is the religion that is about non-violence, but above all else, it is about non-attachment or Vittaraga.
Raga is liking towards anything - person, thing, thought, situation or place. So, for example, you liking a car, a bird, a friend, a certain park are all “likes”. Now if you’re like me, you’ll say “hey, that’s harmless, what’s wrong in me liking something.” And the answer is, nothing but if you are attached to it, then that’s Raga.
Example: I love my friend Dave. So what happens when Dave gets into an argument with someone else and I’m not really sure of who that other person is? I take Dave’s side because I’m blindly attached to him as a friend. To make matters worse, what happens if Dave gets into a fight, a fist fight. I’ll try to break it up, of course, but if I can’t do anything or I’m not in the right frame of mind, I’ll defend Dave over the other person.
Raga negates the fact that ALL BEINGS ARE EQUAL. Men, women, children, animals, insects, the ants that we crush, the bacteria in the water or the air around us. Every soul has the potential to attain Moksha or liberation.
Raga essentially is desire manifested into attachment and is caused for selfish reasons. We like something only because of the way it benefits us. We may like a place because we feel comfortable there. We like a person because they make us laugh or give us confidence, but inherently, we are not liking that person for their innate quality - which is that they are a soul.
If we like ALL BEINGS then we can call ourselves truly Vittaragi because a friend of all is a friend of none. So Jains believe in non-violence and the reason Raga is to be avoided is because it is the root cause of all violence and the reason we keep taking births. When we become attached, we want that experience repeatedly, we want to be around that particular object of our attachment. And when we can’t get it, we get miserable or angry or upset or unhappy. And as souls, bliss is our innate quality, attachment makes us forget our true selves and kind of puts us into the habit of seeking happiness from others instead of ourselves.
So, long story short. Avoid attachment. Love everyone tremendously and selflessly and you’ll be happier!
This is a note to self. Much like all my blog posts.