Jain Beliefs on Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Many adherents of Jainism struggle with addiction, often in secrecy. Due to the fact that drug and alcohol addiction and abuse are often considered highly taboo among many Jain families, there is often great personal shame associated with seeking help. However, addiction is a disease, and treatment is by far the most successful way to overcome it and resume a life of faith. Luckily, there are a number of Jain drug and alcohol rehab programs, and many other programs that serve the Jain community.
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Fundamentals of Jainism
Jainism, also known as Jain Dharma or the Jain faith, is a religion that was founded in India in the 6th century by Mahavira. The religion adheres to principles of ahimsa, or non-violence in speech, actions, thoughts, and behaviors between mankind and animals. The religion is one of a spiritual nature, prioritizing purification and virtues similar to Buddhism and Hinduism.
Jainism is a non-violent religion. Its religion is depicted by a hand with a wheel inside an open palm, representing ahimsa, the core belief of non-violence in the Jain philosophy. On top of the open palm and wheel is a swastika, differing from the symbol in the Western world, “which for Jains represents the four types of birth that an embodied soul might attain until liberation: heavenly, human, animal, or hellish.” The holy book for the Jain faith is a compilation of texts called the Agam texts or Agam Sutras. Overall themes of self-discipline and strict respect for all living things are motivating factors, along with purification and virtue.
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The Jain faith follows a set of principles which encourage self-control and virtuous living. Furthermore, members of the Jainism faith do not believe in a creator, such as God, but seek to attain nirvana through non-violence. Jainism has 4 main principles each member must follow. The principles include:
Man has a dualistic personality.
These 2 parts of their personality include the spiritual side and the material side. The Jain belief affirms each soul is attached to “subtle particles of matter known as Karma from the very beginning. As gold is found in the alloy from mines, mundane souls are discovered along with the Karma bondage from time.
Mankind is imperfect.
The imperfect soul of each individual is because of karma in the soul of man. The soul of each human can achieve perfection. In its eternal state, the soul is blessed with four main traits: “infinite perception/faith, infinite knowledge, infinite power, and infinite bliss.”
Man’s spiritual nature has to control his material nature.
Once the soul does this can it achieve perfection, happiness and freedom.
Each individual is responsible for all that is good or bad in his or her life.
Each action has a consequence which cannot be escaped; thus, man cannot absolve him or herself of their karma.
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Jainism and the Seven Addictions
Jainism emphasizes actions that enhance one’s karma and quality of life. Indulgences in bad habits, compulsions and attachments are considered addictions in Jain traditions. Addictions in the Jain faith include:
- Drinking (including wine, hemp, and other substances)
- Enjoying prostitutes
- Indulging in other women
Since substances like alcohol and drugs put the individual’s nervous system at risk of dependence, they are frowned upon. Addictive substances inhibit the individual’s ability to control one’s spiritual self in order to achieve mastery of one’s behavior and karma. In Jainism’s focus on non-violence, practitioners can go as far as avoiding processed foods and drugs as it may be unclean.
Such practices of abstaining from addictive practices emphasize material and spiritual self-discipline and growth. Lastly, Jainism’s principles of non-attachment and chaste living can discourage substances that can harm the body from being used. Utilizing substances goes against religious views of chaste living in the ascetic religion, creating dependences, and interfering with spiritual devotion.
Jain Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Jainism emphasizes actions that enhances one’s karma and quality of life. Indulgences in chemicals can create a stigma in the Jain community, often creating shame in those seeking treatment. Thankfully, there are several treatment options offering faith-based support to people of Eastern faiths. Such faith-focused treatment methods may have 12-Step programs available tailored to those of a spiritual background.
Additional benefits could be interaction with supportive people who do not judge individuals suffering substance abuse disorders. Additionally, the individual has access to medications used to treat substance abuse withdrawals, nutrition plans, and counseling.
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