Jainism Today – A Spiritual Way of Life Jainism in the 21st century? What is its contemporary relevance? Explore the beacon of optimism for the present times. How do you define something that’s all-pervasive, precise, and addresses the most fundamental question of human existence? Defining Jainism as a religious sect restricts the scope of what it offers. Jainism is a unique spiritual system that transcends time, convention, and dogma. The world around us is continuously progressing and developing. The modern mind is actively seeking spiritual values. The focus is shifting, from gross to subtle and from ordinary to sublime. From orthodoxy and authority, to love, mutuality, and human conscience. Jainism’s inclusive approach to spirituality is what the world can use to respond to the issues of the 21st century. Jainism is a living framework. One that blends experience-based worldview with soul-based spirituality. Jainism integrates the cause and effect theory of karma with conduct that respects all life and promotes peace through self-transformation. A living faith. It roots faith with logic. It urges the seeker to question blind religious beliefs and apply rationality to the quest for spirituality. A living philosophy. Its principles translate in society to universal and selfless love, equality and non-violence, openness to differing ideologies, simple living, and peaceful coexistence. A spiritual way of life. It is a personal commitment to peace, a personal commitment for the blissful experience of your own true self, distinct from name and form. An internal path, focusing on inner cultivation and maturity. Despite being one of the oldest surviving religions in the world, Jainism is guiding collective evolution and transforming lives today. A relevance to contemporary living. Ahimsa is often perceived as the lack of violence, but in Jainism, ahimsa also signifies the presence and extension of overwhelming love. Love that is without expectation, love that is indiscriminate, love that is truly unconditional. Aparigraha is the non-attachment. To worldly possessions, to relationships, and most importantly, to the ego, and to your thoughts and opinions. If the complete truth can only be obtained through multiple perspectives, you accept that what you consider the truth is only part of the picture. A follower of anekantvada is by default open-minded and accepting. Jainism is indeed a beacon of optimism for the present times.