Aparigraha: Triple A’s of Jainism
The Aparigraha is the Jainism principle of non-possessiveness that focuses on creating a balance between desires and needs and detachment from your own possessions. As we all know, the resources on our Earth is diminishing on a day-to-day basis. This makes it imperative for everyone to think about his or her consumption habits and what are the possessions that are truly required.
Aparigraha means asking for little and be satisfied with what you have in hand. This thought process results in reducing destruction, killing and violent methods of acquiring wealth. Removing unwanted luxuries of life that produces a huge amount of carbon emissions can reduce the phenomenon of global warming.
For example, everyone knows that you won’t be taking away all the wealth you have acquired during your time on this earth. If you are in your death bed, you will be willing to sacrifice everything you have earned to live for some more time with your loved ones. At the deathbed is where you will realize that whatever wealth you have earned does not matter.
There are many people who have died a peaceful death even though they are not rich. This is because these people focused on earning a decent livelihood, helping people in need, and ensuring that they were honest in their transactions. Such people are the ones who are always at peace.
Alexander the Great, on his death bed, requested his doctor to help him live one more day, and in return, he would give his kingdom to him, the doctor still said he could not help him. If Alexander the great had known the value of his kingdom was not worth a penny, then he would have not wasted his life by acquiring kingdom. Thus, he requested to all that his palms would face upward towards the sky when he was laid out in his coffin, to look like a beggar, so that world would know even Alexander the great went empty-handed.
Aparigraha enables us to take what is truly necessary and no more. Be as simple as you can be, you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy a life can become.
This principle if practiced along with Anekantvad and Ahimsa can make the world a better place.
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