by Prem Magdum

Caution: This article is not written to promote violence or war but for showing the facts

Jainism is known as religion of non-violence. That is why the Jains, followers of this unique faith are peaceful people.

But most of us do not know that Jainism allows violence in defense. when someone attacks you or your family, it is your duty to defend yourself. If your community or nation is attacked by enemy, Jainism says ‘Go ahead and fight.’

Teertahnkars were from warrior families!

It is fact that all the Jain Teerthankars were from Kshatriya (warrior) families. In fact the Jain philosophy says that only Kshatriyas can become a teerthankar.

Rishabhdev, the first Teerthankar himself taught the martial art people.
Bharat, the eldest son of Rishabhdev was the first Chakravarti (Emperor) of the then known world. To become the Chakravarti, he won all the kingdoms of that time. Bhaarat, the popular and constitutional name of India is because of this Bharat. All the Jain and Hindu religious literature confirms this fact.

Four of the 24 teerthankars also were chakravartis. To become a chakravarti, they had to won other kingdoms.

Neminath, the 22nd Teerthankar was cousin of Krishna. Once, Jarasandh attacked Dwarika and Krishna was not there. Neminath was doing Tap at that time. But when he was informed about that attack, he became commander of Yadavs and defeated Jarasandh.

Parshwanath, the 23rd Teerthankar helped Dharnendra, the Naga king in battles with enemy.

The Great warriors

Chandragupta, a Jain and founder of Mourya Dynasty was the first emperor of India. He brought almost all of the south Asia under his control. He defeated many kings including .selucos Necoter, General of the great Alexander. Chandragupta became a Jain monk and took sallekhana at Shravanbelgola in Karnatak.

Ashok, the grandson of Chandragupt was also a Jain and the Emperor. He won many kings. I a war with Kaling, there was unbelievable violence killing hundred thousands of soldiers and people. It created a hate against war in the mind of Ashok. So he renounced Jainism and embraced Buddhism. This fact shows that Jainism was not against the war.

Kunal, the son of Ashok and Samprati, son of Kunal also were emperors and Jains, and had involved in wars. Later emperors of this dynasty embraced Buddhism. They were extremely non violent. As a result, last emperor of this dynasty Brahdrat was killed by his bramhin general Pushyamitra Shring. It was the end of Mourayans and rise of Shring dynasty. Shring dynasty was totally against Jains and Buddhists. So both the faith were declined in eastern India.

Mahameghvahan Kharvel was a very brave Jain emperor who rised in 2nd century B.C. in Kaling (Orissa). He was coroneted at the age of 24 and he defeated Satvahan kings of western India when he (Kharvel) was just 26. After two years, he attacked Ratthiks & Bhojaks of western India and defeated them. After two years he attacked powerful Magadh and then North India and then South India. Thus whole of India including present day Pakistan and Afghanistan became under his control.

The history of South India is the history of Jains, Jainism and Jain dynasties. The Gangs, Kalabhras, Chalukyas, Rashtrakuts, Kadambs, Kalchuries, Hoysalas, Shilahars, all the great dynasties were followers and patrons of Jainism.

Amoghvarsh, the great King of Rasthrakuts  brought most of the India under his control.
He defeated many kings from Kerala to Malwa (Rajasthan).

Kalabhras attacked and defeated Tamil Kings who were persecuting Jains .

Kumarpal, was disciple of  Jain Acharya Hemchandra. He became a king by defeating his enemies under guidance of the Jain Acharya.

Monks became soldiers

Kalakacharya was a famous Jain Acharya. Gardbhill, king of Ujjayini kidnapped a female monk from Kalakacharyas sangh. Kalkacharya met Gardbhill and asked him to free her. But the king insulted Kalkacharya.

Kalkacharya went to another king and asked him to attack on Ujjayini. But the king had untrained soldiers who were not able to attack the powerful Ujjaiyini. So Kalkacharya himself became commander of the military, well trained the soldier and then attacked
Ujjaiyini. Gardbhill was defeated  the monk was freed. Then Kalkacharya again became monk.

Adishankaracharya, who had vowed to finish Jains and Buddhists and converted millions of Jains and Buddhists into Hinduism, converted many Jain temples all over India into Hindu temples and put Jain religious literature on fire was killed by two Jain monks.

Brave laymen

Bijjal was a Jain king of Kalchuri clan in Northen Karnatak. Basaveshwar, his Bramhin commander in chief killed Bijjal and tried to become a king. There was civil war between Jains and Veershaivs. Jains caught Basaveshwar in a narrow street, but he escaped  and suicided by jumping in a well.

Asatkhan, Commander of Badshah of Bijapur had destroyed many Jain temples and converted some to masjids in North Karnatak. As a result Asatkhan was killed by a young Jain.

Thus we see that Jains have shown bravery whenever necessary. Today also many Jains, especially from farming communities are in armed forces of India, ready to show gallantry whenever necessary.

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