Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from All-Creatures.org



A Response to Christspiracy: Jain Yoga as the Internalization of the Sacrifice

From Arihanta Institute
May 2024

This article will show how the Jain tradition offers a rich and ancient perspective on the sanctity of all life and the moral imperative to eschew violence against all forms of life, which includes the rejection of animal sacrifice as well as a complete reinterpretation of the meaning of sacrifice altogether.

Arihanta Institute

The recently released documentary Christspiracy delves into the ancient tradition of temple animal sacrifice and the radical teachings of Jesus that sought to undermine this practice. While the film sheds light on a significant aspect of religious history and the potentially devastating consequences of religious worldviews for human-animal relations, the initial release of Christspiracy does not mention the profound contributions of another ancient tradition that has vehemently opposed animal sacrifice for thousands of years: Jainism.

Rumor has it that the final release yet to come will, however, include some previously unseen footage about the Jain tradition. Until then, this article will show how the Jain tradition offers a rich and ancient perspective on the sanctity of all life and the moral imperative to eschew violence against all forms of life, which includes the rejection of animal sacrifice as well as a complete reinterpretation of the meaning of sacrifice altogether.

Ancient Vedic animal sacrifice and Jain opposition

In ancient South Asia, Vedic Brahmanical practices included elaborate rituals of animal sacrifice. These rituals were believed to sustain cosmic order and appease deities through ritual action, or “karma” in Sanskrit. One will immediately recognize the word “karma” here, which in its earliest Vedic context simply meant “action,” and more specifically the actual action of performing a Vedic sacrifice.

These ritual performances, or “karmas,” often involved the killing of animals, which Jains found deeply troubling. Jains would therefore reinterpret the term “karma” from its original meaning of the “performance of ritual sacrifice” as understood in the Vedic tradition to instead mean the negative consequences of performing such violent sacrifices.

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Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE, including:

  • Ancient Vedic animal sacrifice and Jain opposition
  • Internalizing the sacrifice: the story of Harikesha
  • The true sacrifice: Jayaghosha
  • Jain influence on other traditions and into the present
  • Revisiting Christspiracy in Light of Jain Teachings
  • Conclusion: we have made our planet a sacrifice zone

Posted on All-Creatures: May 28, 2024
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