Special emphasis has been laid on penance in Jainism. Penance or hard efforts are necessary for achieving any objective. In our school, colleges and universities these days’ students are very much afraid of hard labour.
So they try to obtain good marks in examinations by fair or foul means. This practice has led them away from real knowledge. Therefore the standard of education is falling down every day. The ideal of hard penance as prescribed for Jain Saints should be an eye- opener to modern students. They must realize that hard labour is necessary for achieving any objective. Righteousness should be the basis of penance as enjoined by Jainism.
Righteousness includes (1) non-violence, (2) truth, (3) not stealing of the properly of others, (4) continence, and (5) giving away of superfluous wealth to others (i.e., renunciation). On the basis of these five great ideals we have to advocate such educational ideals which may wipe off the prevailing violence, telling lies, stealing, violating the ideal of continence and collection of superfluous wealth against the rights of others. If these noble ideals are rightly propagated our students will begin to hate persons who are engaged in unsocial and undesirable activities and they will create a society in which everyone will be happy. Jainism prescribes speaking of sweet and soft words according to justice. It enjoins the people to abstain from showing anger, pride and hypocrisy. It wants that the elders in society should be duly respected, the poor and weak should be helped and one should be indifferent to people of contrasting nature.
Jainism emphasizes real knowledge, right character and right behavior. Thus the various ideals of Jainism show us the path of salvation. This earth will be transformed into a heaven if we frame our educational goals accordingly for the practice of all in society.