Mahavira’s family philosophy

Gani Rajendra Vijay

Sukhi Parivar Abhiyan aims to promote Ahimsa, Peace and brotherhood. It is a movement of Mahavira’s teaching. Family is the basic unit of society. Jain Philosophy lays down simplest guidelines to lead an ideal life i.e., Self-confidence or Self-reliance, Self-knowledge (Atma-gyaan) and Self-satisfaction. Every one, wherever and whatever he may be, can make his life an ideal one, because every one is responsible for one’s prosperity and downfall. Prosperity or downfall is not dependent on any omnipotent God. The physical comforts or misery of a person result from his good or bad deeds in life. If he wants he could achieve bliss in his life by conquering his desires, passions and indulgence in mundane pleasures. Self-reliance is a basic attribute of every person. If a person awakens his eternal powers, realizes his duties / responsibilities and leads his life with self-confidence, he is sure to get success in life.
Mahavira’s philosophy preaches every one to be tolerant and respectful to the others. To listen and to understand to the other’s point of view and to react with positive approach. Obstinacy of thoughts generates feelings of inequality, argument and conflict in life. One needs to be honest in accepting the truth.
Mahavira’s philosophy preaches accumulation of minimum physical comforts for leading a contended life. The passion of acquiring maximum and un-necessary possessions leads to mental tension, jealousy, extreme aversion, violence, untruth and all sort of bad habits. This also results in mutual exploitation. Satisfaction in life brings happiness, prosperity and eternal peace. The fundamentals for a contended life are: to be ready to extend help to others to the extent possible; to keep good relations with others without a desire for any reciprocal gain; and to try to keep continuous purity in all walks of life.
For peace we have to keep on making our efforts all over the world. This is our experience that without training and development, the message of peace and non-violence cannot be applied. In principle, we accept that some progress is being made but when it comes to practice even the teachers of ahimsa have been seen becoming violent.
That is why, to train individuals a programme has been chalked out. All persons who believe in non-violence should first accept training in ahimsa and also convince others to undergo similar training. If we can apply these four points in our life then lot of problems will automatically get resolved.
The head of the family is not as tolerant and balanced today as he should be. This is the first aberration. Respected Acharya Srimad Vallabh Suriji and Acharya Srimad Inderddin Suriji had given a formula concerning the capability of, and the affection for, the head of the family or society. If these two things were there, the family would not disintegrate. The head of the family should possess a sense of equality. His attitude should be inspired by equality. If there are four sons, his treatment should be the same for all. He should also possess competence andtolerance as well. A family is constituted of people with different likings and different dispositions. All these should be accommodated as far as possible. Affection and feeling ofaffinity towards all should prevail. This is essential for keeping the family united.
A problem of the present times is that many temptations have emerged and many wrong notions have developed. Among them, the foremost is the false notion of freedom. Among four brothers, three may be weak. In the past, the one strong brother provided support to the others. Today the thinking is different. He wonders why he should take on all the burden?
He wants to make rapid progress and to go ahead on his own This selfish mentality has also broken families. Another thought of the present times that is responsible for the fragmentation of the family is that everybody wants to live independently.
Nobody wants to depend on or follow anybody. All these are the factors leading to the conditions of disintegration of the family.