Answers to Ultimate Questions
Jains have no theory of creation (the Universe always existed) but an extensive theory of liberation. All living beings possess a soul which is capable of liberation – moksha. For Jains, the universe is peopled by countless souls which are imprisoned by material actions. Only through the freeing of the soul from matter can salvation be achieved. After many rebirths the soul many be liberated.
The aim of life is to free the soul from the bondage caused by Karma and attain liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth: reincarnation. Ahimsa or non-violence in thought, word and deed is the central pillar of the Jain tradition. Each living being has a zest for life and this must be respected in our thoughts and actions.
Suffering can be overcome through perseverance and right living. Faced with problems, one should not seek to blame others but look for positive solutions and means to overcome the hurdles and develop inner strength and belief. Hardships are a fact of life and accepting them and living ethically is the key to destroying accumulated karma and unlocking the purity and the divinity of the soul.