I grew up in a Jain family and my mother did a lot of hard work for us siblings to understand the ideals of Jainism. To date I’m really impressed by Jain philosophy and a large part of what I’m is influenced by it. I particularly would call out:
Ahimsa – which mean non-violence. I guess I wont have to explaining the importance of this but would like to call out Ahimsa just doesn’t mean to not hurt other human beings but actually encompasses all living things.
Anekanthvad – there are more than one possible explanations, particularly in religious terms. This principle pre-empts all Jains from getting in to arguments about whose God is better, I wish this tolerance principle was core of other philosophies.
The most important Mantra of Jains is Navakar Mantra.
Discussion List: [email protected]
Seattle Area Jains: [email protected]
English Pratrikraman and Other Literature resources: [http://www.jaina.org/educationcommittee/education_material/$PathashalaBooks/)
Most Comprehensive Directory Of Jain Resources: http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/jainhlinks.html
UPDATE (8/24/2009): Yesterday, myself and Maris did the Smavatsari Pratrikraman together. This ritual last about 2.5 hours and in addition both of us were fasting for the whole day (24 hours). The interesting revelation for me during this was when I was explaining the Pratrikraman in English as I was doing it. I used the above English version to paraphrase the meaning of some Paaths to Maris. However I did make a lot of mistakes. If any of you have good English versions of Pratrikraman I would be interested and also do share your experiences in explaining it to folks new to Jainism in the comments below.