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Following the Jain Tradition - NY Times

Posted By Charu Jain, Friday, September 30, 2011
Following the Jain Tradition

Regarding Aidan Foster-Carter’s "To Catch a Roach” (Meanwhile, Sept. 27): Last Saturday night, coming home from a party, we found a roach, a spider and an ant in our kitchen. Gently, I got the roach to climb on to the bristle part of the broom; my wife captured the spider in a cup, and our 12-year-old son helped scoot the ant onto a sheet of paper. Then we escorted them outside to our lawn.

As Jains, a religion of some five million people in India, not killing or harming even the tiniest creatures is part of our culture. The devotion to nonviolence in the Jain tradition is such that monks carry a brush to sweep away insects when they walk or sit.

By saving the roach, the spider and the ant we may have contributed little to the proliferation of global violence, but we were able to practice compassion and instill these values in our son.

Manoj Jain, Memphis, Tennessee

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