Exploring the intricate world of philosophy within the framework of the UPSC Mains examination can be a challenging yet rewarding journey. In the vast landscape of philosophical thought, one of the optional topics that has consistently appeared in previous years is Jainism. The UPSC Mains examination demands not only a profound understanding of the subject matter but also the ability to apply it in a nuanced and critical manner. In this blog series, we embark on a deep dive into Jainism, focusing specifically on the previous year’s questions from 2013 to 2023. By delving into the evolution of Jain philosophical thought, its core principles, and the socio-cultural relevance of Jainism, we aim to equip UPSC aspirants with the knowledge and insights needed to tackle this subject with confidence.
As we journey through the years of UPSC questions, we’ll not only unravel the core philosophical concepts of Jainism but also shed light on the contemporary issues and ethical dilemmas that have their roots in this ancient Indian tradition. From Ahimsa (non-violence) to Anekantavada (the doctrine of non-absolutism), we’ll explore how Jain philosophy offers a unique perspective on life, morality, and the pursuit of truth. Join us on this quest to master the intricate details of Jainism as it pertains to the UPSC Mains examination, and discover how this ancient wisdom can illuminate the modern world.
Jainism Philosophy – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
1. “The Jaina metaphysics is relativistic and realistic pluralism”. Discuss (2017/15)
2. Can the ‘Tattvartha’ theory of Jainism be acceptable for scientific explanations?(2016/15)
3. Examine Jaina stance of ‘Naya’. How does it differ from ‘Syadvada’?(2016/10)
4. Differentiate the concept of ‘Kaivalya’ as discussed in Jaina and Yoga philosophies.(2016/10)
5. Jain concept of Dravya.(2015/10)
6. What do samvara and nirjara mean? Explain their significance in Jaina theory of liberation.(2015/15)
7. Explain the concept of Karma and discuss various types of according to Jaina philosophy. (2014/15)
8. Analyse the relation between the theory of Saptabhanginaya and Anekantvada. ( 2013/10)
9. Critically evaluate Jaina doctrine of relative pluralism or Anekantvada ? (2012/15)
10. Why is Saptabhangi Naya not treated as a doctrine of Scepticism? Discuss. (2011/20)
11. What according to Jainism is Path to Liberation? Discuss. (2011/15)
12. Is syadvada a self-contradictory doctrine? Discuss. (2010/30)
13. Anekantavada. Short Notes. (2009/20)
14. Nature of Pudgala in Jaina philosophy. Short Notes. (2007/20)
15. Explain the theory of Substance according to Jainism. Short Notes.(2006/20)
16. Jaina Definition of Dravya. Short Notes. (2005/20)
17. State and discuss the Jaina Doctrine of jiva. (2004/60)
18. Expound anekantvada of Jainism. It is a consistent theory of reality? Give reasons. (2003/60)
19. Relation between anekantvada and saptabhanginaya. Notes. (2001)
FAQs on Jainism
Q: What is the core principle of Jainism philosophy?
Answer: The core principle of Jainism is “Ahimsa,” which means non-violence or non-injury. Jains believe in absolute non-violence towards all living beings and practice it as a way of life.
Q: What is the significance of the concept of Anekantavada in Jainism?
Answer: Anekantavada is the doctrine of non-absolutism in Jainism. It emphasizes that truth and reality are complex and can be understood from multiple perspectives. This concept encourages tolerance, respect for diverse viewpoints, and the avoidance of rigid dogmas.
Q: What are the three jewels or Ratnatraya in Jainism philosophy?
Answer: The three jewels in Jainism are Samyak Darshana (Right Faith), Samyak Jnana (Right Knowledge), and Samyak Charitra (Right Conduct). These three jewels represent the path to spiritual liberation and ethical living.
Q: How does Jainism view the pursuit of material wealth and possessions?
Answer: Jainism emphasizes the idea of “Aparigraha,” which means non-attachment to material possessions. Jains are encouraged to live a simple and minimalist lifestyle, as attachment to worldly goods is seen as an obstacle to spiritual progress.
Q: What are the main practices that Jains follow to lead a virtuous life?
Answer: Jains follow the path of self-discipline and ethical living, which includes practices like fasting, meditation, prayer, and observing rituals such as Paryushana and Ayambil Oli. These practices are aimed at purifying the soul and leading a virtuous, non-violent life.
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