Jainism is a religion that has always placed great emphasis on non-violence and compassion towards all living beings. This ethos extends not just to human beings, but to nature and the environment as well.
Jains believe that everything in the universe is interconnected, and that harming one being ultimately harms us all. This is why Jains have always had a deep reverence for nature and the environment, and why tree plantation is such an integral part of the Jain way of life.
The Jain philosophy sees trees as living beings that are essential to the ecological balance of the planet.
Trees provide us with the very air we breathe, and they play a crucial role in regulating the climate and preventing soil erosion. Moreover, trees are seen as symbols of life and growth, representing the inherent interconnectedness of all living beings.
Tree plantation is, therefore, a natural extension of the Jain ethos of non-violence and compassion towards all life forms.
It is an act of kindness towards the environment, and a way to promote a more sustainable way of life. It is no wonder, then, that Jains have been at the forefront of several tree plantation campaigns.
One of the most popular campaigns committed by Jains towards tree plantation is the Anuvrat Movement. This movement was initiated by Acharya Tulsi, the ninth head of the Jain Terapanth sect, in 1949.
The Anuvrat Movement aims to encourage people to take a pledge to protect the environment and to adopt a lifestyle that is mindful of the impact it has on the planet. Under the banner of this movement, millions of trees have been planted across the world, making it one of the most significant tree plantation campaigns in the world.
The Anuvrat Movement is based on the principle of anuvrat, which means "small vows." The idea behind this is that small, incremental changes in our behavior can collectively have a significant impact on the environment.
Therefore, the movement encourages people to make small but meaningful commitments towards tree plantation, such as planting a tree on their birthday, or adopting a tree in their name. These small acts of kindness can go a long way in nurturing the environment and creating a better future for generations to come.
There are several Tirthankaras in Jainism who have emphasized the importance of nature and its preservation. One such Tirthankara is Lord Parshvanath, the 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism. Lord Parshvanath was known for his deep love and respect for all living beings, including animals and plants. He was said to have a special connection with nature and would often meditate in the forests.
Lord Parshvanath taught his followers the importance of ahimsa, or non-violence, towards all living beings, including animals and plants. He believed that every living being, no matter how small or insignificant, has a right to life and should be treated with respect and kindness.
Lord Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara of Jainism, also emphasized the importance of nature and its preservation. He believed that nature is a manifestation of the divine, and every living being has a role to play in maintaining the balance and harmony of the universe.
Lord Mahavira was a strong advocate of non-violence and compassion towards all living beings, and this included plants and trees. He believed that trees are living beings that are essential to the ecological balance of the planet, and he taught his followers to protect and preserve them.
Jains also celebrate tree plantation day, which falls on the fifth day of the Jain holy month of Shravan. On this day, Jains across the world engage in tree plantation drives and other environmental activities.
They take a pledge to protect the environment and to promote a more sustainable way of life. This day is a reminder of our responsibility towards the environment and a celebration of the interconnectedness of all living beings.
In conclusion, the ethos of Jainism is deeply intertwined with nature and the environment. Jains believe that everything in the universe is interconnected, and that harming one being ultimately harms us all. Therefore, tree plantation is a natural extension of the Jain way of life.
There are several Jain temples around the world that are located amidst stunning natural surroundings. Here are few famous Jain temples that are in the lap of nature, along with a brief description:
Shikharji, Jharkhand, India - Shikharji is one of the holiest Jain pilgrimage sites in India, and is surrounded by the lush green Parasnath hills. The temple complex is situated at an altitude of 4,429 feet, and is known for its natural beauty and spiritual significance.
Dilwara Temples, Rajasthan, India - The Dilwara Temples are a group of five temples located in the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan. The temples are renowned for their intricate marble carvings and stunning architecture, and are set amidst a picturesque landscape of mountains and forests.
Palitana Temples, Gujarat, India - The Palitana Temples are a collection of over 900 Jain temples located on a hill in the town of Palitana in Gujarat. The temples are set amidst a beautiful natural landscape of hills and forests, and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Girnar Temples, Gujarat, India - The Girnar Temples are a group of temples located on Mount Girnar in Gujarat. The mountain is known for its rugged terrain and stunning natural beauty, and is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for Jains.
Ranakpur Jain Temple, Rajasthan, India - The Ranakpur Jain Temple is a beautiful temple complex located in the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan. The temple is known for its intricate marble carvings and stunning architecture, and is set amidst a serene natural landscape of forests and mountains.
Bawangaja Temple, Madhya Pradesh, India - The Bawangaja Temple is a popular Jain pilgrimage site located in the district of Barwani in Madhya Pradesh. The temple is set amidst a beautiful natural landscape of hills and forests, and is known for its stunning 84-foot-tall statue of Lord Adinath.
Mount Abu Temple, Rajasthan, India - The Mount Abu Temple is a beautiful temple complex located in the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan. The temple is known for its stunning architecture and intricate marble carvings, and is set amidst a serene natural landscape of forests and mountains.