Economic Organization under Jainism

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Economic Organization under Jainism

Ganesh Kawadia* & Anupam Jain
Professor and Head, School of Economics, Devi Ahilya University, INDORE-452001.
Professor and Head, Department of Mathematics, Govt. Holker Autonomous Science College, Indore-452001.

ABSTRACT

The Principle of economics was developed for betterment of mankind but in the process we lost the dream of kind man. There is thus a need to develop a neq form of economic organization or economic order which can help us in achieving the target of nature friendly sustainable development, free from any type of exploitation, the real Humanomics. The religious path or the path of non violence can help us in designing the economic organization which can ensure the development and the ultimate happiness for all. This paper is an attempt to identify the Jain principles which can help us in building the new world economic order based on overall development of human beings i.e., the economic organization for Humanomics. The ancient societies and communities were so small and fragmented that the economic activities were mainly family managed. The economic development in such societies was completely independent of external factors. The economic organization required for societies of those times was completely of endogenous type. The problem of poverty, unemployment and disparties in those societies therefore were not evolved in the form of social evils of economic organizations. The ancient philosophies and religion thus had not focused much on the creation of economic organization required to achieve the target of religion. They have just prescribed certain code of conduct in terms of dos and don'ts for achieving the targets of spiritual life. They were just prescriptions for Atma. But the industrial revolution of the west has changed the structure of economic activities which was based on large scale production and the need for different types of economic organization to fulfill the requirements of the economy. The organizations which had evolved over the time to serve the requirements of industrialization were landlordism, feudalism, capitalism, communism, socialism etc. All there types of organizations which gained ground over the last two-three centuries or so have been emphasizing on production and consumption for curing social evils specially poverty and unemoployment. Production was assumed as, a panacea for all economic and social issues. All these forms of economic originations were basically planning to maximize the production or consumption. The focus of these organizations was the growth of industrialization. They in this course have failed to produce the desired results and nor have approached towards the objectives of human welfare as advocated by Marshall (1890) in his classic book on economics. They rather have all aggravated the problems of poverty, unemployment and disparity over time. In fact, all the social tensions are the results of these economic organizations. They are the cause of social tension but claim as cure for the same. These types of organizations thus have no strength to solve these problems and create a society for over all development of human beings and ecology. The present day economics therefore have no capacity to create Humanomics.

Basis of Economics

The famous Kautilya's arthasastra is essentially a compilation of sort of civil code which prescribes duties for the king and several ideals for the king. Unlike present day economics, kautilya did not carry out studies of mans economic behavior, but since the large part of his writings are dedicated to welfare, the work thus regarded as one of the oldest works of economics. The basic prinicple of the economics is based on the assumption of self interest and explotation of natural resources for creation of wealth of nation to improve the standard of life of the citizens (Adam Smith 1776). As a result, they along with economic growth and production created many problems in terms of over exploitation of natual resources, global warming, unequal distribution of wealth and many related issues. Therefore every solution or economic activity gives rise to new problems for the society or to the eco system, reflected in terms of gender exploatation, water and soil pollution, poverty, global warming, economic meltdown and conflicting issues between rich and poor countries. The principle of economics was developed for betterment of mankind but in the the process we lost the dream of kind man. There is thus a need to develop a new form of economic organization or economic order which can help us in achieving the target of nature friendly sustainable development, free from any type of exploitation, the real Humanomics, The religious path or the path of non violence can help us in designing the economic organization which can ensure the development and the ultimate happiness for all. This paper is an attempt to identify the jain principles which can help us in building the new world economic order based on overall development of human beings i.e. the economic organization for Humanomica.

The Humanomics

This new economic order should be able to differentiate good from goods. The Jain theory of limitation of desires and possessions (iccha-parimana and parimita parigraha) can help us in defining the use of resources for our basic needs. This is not an abstract idea but a way of life in jain philosophy. Jain texts give a detailed account of this control in terms of code of conduct for the family called anuvratas and list them in five categories for imposing self control on the use of resources for self consumption. This anuvrata explains the direction of needs of family and quality of life. The aim of this action is to discereetly control one's limitless desires and possessions which put them in the endless race of activities. Jainsim offers a therapeutic solution to the modern life of tensions and anxieties through its principle of aparigraha. The Jainism, thus advocates that ownership of production structure which does not give a feeling of possession. The entrepreneur thus acts as a trusty for the society or even for the entire ecosystems. Thus focus in such organization is on the retionality in the planning and use of resources. Through various karmadana (avoidable vocations), it adovvates the form of economic organisation which promotes harmonious, equity and justice based societies with no scope for exploitation. Religion as a tool of economic advancement can lay down high moral codes which respects each other's right to property and freedom of practicing one's own trade of business. The inner life of an individual is more valuable than any thing that a state can guarantee. The code of conducts thus focuses on the satisfaction of inner life and betterment of soul i.e. atma. The selection of occupation thus is very important in the achievement of the target of life.

Impact of Jain Philosophy on Occupation :

Non-violence was the basic thrust of Mahavira's teachings (Acharya Mahaprajna, 2001), and therefore the aticars (violations) explains the avoidable occupations by a Sravaka (follower), there were several industies/occupations which were considered avoidable. The 15 karmandanas (avoidable vocations) give the guidance for the selection of occupations. The classfication is not based on varna but derived on the basis of its relationships with nature and ecology. They give direction for such occupations which have least damaging impact on the nature and environment. The Jainsim thus advocates nature and environment friendly occupation. The entire world is now talking for the need of such economic development. The various karmadanas are as follows : (See Bhagavati Sutra, Vol-3, sataks-8, Udesaka-5 sutra 242). These fifteen karmadana are also known as kharakarma or krurakarma in sagaradharmamrta.

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Historians feel that the Jain community abiding by the above prohibitions couls not engage itself in several occupations, such as farming, industry, mining etc which damages environment. It thus advocates the bane on such farming which degrade soil or bane industry which pollutes environment or bane the activities which exploits the child of female. The economic activities under jainisim nurtures nature and environment. One of the reasons why there is a dominant concentration of Jains in indigenous money-leading and hire purchase is because money-leading business does not anywhere violate any of the above prohibitions. The occupations which exploit others, which pollutes environment, which damages environment and soil are all prohibited through code of conducts. It thus allows only those occupations which are not only free from violence but also protects the environment and ecology. It is not the income but the Green income maximization concept is the key of Jainism. Thus the Jain philosophy propounded a life of absolutely no possession to a monk or to a household. There are codes of good conduct and limits of possessions for those who follow `Desavrata' (renunciation of limited rigor). The violations of the rule of non possession are essentially curbing of one's worldly possessions. A person committing essentially theft not only injures the purity of his own soul but also causes pain to the other by taking his thing or property. Truthfulness and honesty are the pre-requisites for practice of aprigraha. In the abstract, attachment is living objests, he should atleast limit them. Such a limitation check greed which is the main inspiration for acquisition.

Conclusions :

The Jain form of economic organization would thus be besed on ethical values and nonviolence. The focus will be on long-run and not on short-run for planning economic growth. It will thus target not only the present generation but also the generations to come. It will have a space for all living and nonliving things of the entire eco-system. This form of economic organization would thus be like spiritual socialism where ultimate aim of life is
``atam kalyana and happiness for all. Jainism offers a therapeutic of aprigraha. Truthfulness and honesty are the prerequisites for practice of aprigraha. This form of economic organization prohibits the occumations which exploit others, which pollutes environment, which damages environment and soil all through code of conducts. It thus allows only those occupations which are not only free from violence but also protect and nurthures the environment and ecology. It therefore has strength to develop Humanomics and kind men in true sense. There is thus a need to explore the nature of economic organization based on Jain principles to present a solution to the current crises of explotations, social conflicts and global warming.

References :

Adam Smith (1776); An Enquire into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nation, Marshall, A. (1890); Principles of Economics. Acarya MAhaprajna (2001) : Economics of Lord Mahavira, Jain Vishwa Bharti, Ladnum- 241306 Bhagavai (Viahapannatti) Vol-3, Acharya Mahapragya, Jain Vishva Bharati Ladnun-241306

अर्हत् वचन जनवरी—मार्च २०१२