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_PARASPAROPAGRAHO JīVāNāM_ ( Sanskrit
Sanskrit
) is a Jain aphorism from the _Tattvārtha Sūtra _ . It is translated as "Souls render service to one another". It is also translated as, "All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence." These translations are virtually the same (by virtue, that is), because Jains believe that _every living being, from a plant or a bacterium to human, has a soul and the concept forms the very basis of Jainism_. ("Soul". _Wikipedia_. )

MOTTO OF JAINISM

The aphorism _Parasparopagraho Jīvānām_ has been accepted as the motto of Jainism. It stresses the philosophy of non-violence and ecological harmony on which the Jain ethics and doctrine—especially the doctrines of Ahimsa and Anekantavada—are based. This motto is inscribed in Devanagari
Devanagari
script at the base of the symbol of Jainism which was adopted by all sects of Jainism
Jainism
while commemorating the 2500th anniversary of nirvana of Mahavira
Mahavira
.

JAIN DECLARATION OF NATURE

The noted Indian Jurist and Jain leader, Laxmi Mall Singhviin his famous "Jain declaration of Nature", notes:

Māhavīra proclaimed a profound truth for all times to come when he said: _"One who neglects or disregards the existence of earth, air, fire, water and vegetation disregards his own existence which is entwined with them."_ Jain cosmology
Jain cosmology
recognizes the fundamental natural phenomenon of symbiosis or mutual dependence, which forms the basis of the modern day science of ecology. It is relevant to recall that the term `ecology’ was coined in the latter half of the nineteenth century from the Greek word _oikos_, meaning `home’, a place to which one returns. Ecology is the branch of biology which deals with the relations of organisms to their surroundings and to other organisms. The ancient Jain scriptural aphorism _PARASPAROPAGRAHO JīVāNāM_ (All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence) is refreshingly contemporary in its premise and perspective. It defines the scope of modern ecology while extending it further to a more spacious ‘home’. It means that all aspects of nature belong together and are bound in a physical as well as a metaphysical relationship. Life is viewed as a gift of togetherness, accommodation and assistance in a universe teeming with interdependent constituents.

As this article relates to ever more modern (or ecologically extinct) considerations of nature and science, the two translations of _Parasparopagraho Jīvānām_ may also be put into context among the first known postulations for the existence of unseen microbial life and atomic particles, which have been attributed to the Jains, although what perhaps distinguished their concepts from scientific thought alone was in the mindset of those Jains, as they went about this without disturbing nature in order to understand it, considering that Jainism
Jainism
is based on a religious premise in the real world where least harm would be most enlightening. ("Pre-microbiology". _Wikipedia_. "Atomism". _Wikipedia_. "Timeline of atomic and subatomic physics". _Wikipedia_. )

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REFERENCES

* ^ Tatia, Nathmal (tr.) (1994). _Tattvārtha Sūtra: That Which Is of Vācaka Umāsvāti_ (in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
and English). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman Altamira. ISBN 0-7619-8993-5 . p.131 * ^ Sangave, Dr. Vilas A. (2001). _Facets of Jainology: Selected Research Papers on Jain Society, Religion, and Culture_. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan. p. 123. ISBN 81-7154-839-3 . * ^ _Encyclopedia of Jainism
Jainism
(Edited by Nagendra Kr. Singh)_. New Delhi: Anmol Publications. 2001. ISBN 81-261-0691-3 . pp.2926-27 * ^ Singhvi, L. M. (2006). "Jain Declaration of Nature". In Christopher Key Chapple. _ Jainism
Jainism
and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life_. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 81-208-2045-2 . p.217

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