Beyond Justice is an exploration of the current boundaries and possibilities of the ‘complaint report worksheet’ used by the NYPD to register any criminal activity. This artifact of the justice system opens a window of possibility to re-imagine and reconsider how the criminal justice system works in the US and how we define justice as a society. By introducing an alternate ideological framework, in this case, Jainism, it challenges the dominant notions of justice which are rooted in fairness and retribution. Jainism offers a thorough critique of a system of crime and punishment where violence becomes an inherent attribute—proposing a path of extreme non-violence, this transdisciplinary exploration of the justice system centers on forgiveness.

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In Jainism, aparigraha is the virtue of non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness. It refers to keeping the desire for possessions to what is necessary or important, depending on one's life stage and context. Parigraha or desire for excessive possessions is considered a sin.

According to the Jain text Sarvārthasiddhi, "He who has passions causes injury to himself by himself. Whether injury is then caused to other living beings or not, it is immaterial."

 

Kashaya (loosely translated as passions) cause bondage (bandh) of karmic particles to the soul, preventing it from liberation. Among other causes, emotions or passions are considered as the main cause of the influx of karma (asrava) and subsequent bondage. The four kasaya are: anger (krodha), conceit (mana), deceit (maya), and greed (lobha).

 

In addition, Pramad (loosely translated as Indolence) can also result in an influx of karmas. It can happen if a person is not actively contemplating on the nature of its soul. It can be brought with arrogance, sensual cravings, passions, sleep, engaging in gossiping, attachment, hatred, ignorance, doubt, illusion, forgetfulness, non-engagement in spiritual activities, and other harmful activities of mind, body and speech. Based on the intensity these can cause negative karmic effects for the soul.  

Bhavanas means reflections or contemplation. Jainism recognizes that our thoughts deeply influence the way we act. Depending upon how we react to any situation we attract various types of karmas to our souls.

To minimize the bondage of karmas, the Jina guides us to observe sixteen Bhavanas. Of them the following four can easily be practiced by householders while the rest may be observed once we become more serious about spiritual uplift.

1)   Maitri Bhavana (Thinking of being a Friend)

2)   Pramod Bhavana (Thinking of Appreciation)

3)   Karuna Bhavana (Thinking of Compassion)

4)   Madhyastha Bhavana (Think to staying neutral or uninvolved)

Identifying how an act may have shifted these Bhavanas, can allow us to support the complainant and find ways to restore them.

Jain philosophy posits an alternative view on justice or nyaya, shaped by the doctrine of anekāntavāda and syādvāda. Anekāntavāda can be loosely translated as plurality or multiplicity of truths and Syādvāda is the concept that all judgments are conditional and hold good only under certain circumstances.

By surfacing this conditionality of judgement, it undermines a system that claims to determine fair outcomes. The notions of anekāntavāda and syādvāda combined with the virtues of ahimsā or non-violence, propose a radical shift in our understanding of justice.


In such a system forgiveness (kṣamā) is placed at the highest level of altruism. The value of forgiveness is considered vital to one’s ability to traverse the path of spiritual progression and co-exist peacefully alongside other members of the society.

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Pran (Vitality): Depending upon the development of the living being, there are up to ten kinds of prans or vitalities present in each being. These vitalities are:

(1) Sparsh-Indriya (Touch): The ability to feel the sensation of touch. (2) Ras-Indriya (Taste): the ability to taste. (3) Ghran-lndriya (Smell): the ability to smell. (4) Chakshu-lndriya (Vision): the ability to see. (5) Shravan-Indriya (Hearing): the ability to hear. (6) Mano-bal (Mind): the ability to think. (7) Vachan-bal (Speech): the ability to speak. (8) Kaya-bal (Body): the ability to move the body. (9) Shwasoshwas (Respiration): the ability to inhale and exhale. (1O) Ayushya (Longevity): the ability to live

 

The one-sensed (Ekendriya jivas) possess only four prans: Touch, Respiration, Body, and Longevity

The two-sensed (Beindriya jivas) possess six prans. They possess the taste and speech vitalities in addition to the above four prans.

The three-sensed (Treindriya jivas) possess seven prans. They possess the smell vitality in addition to the above six prans.

The four-sensed (Chaurindriya jivas) possess eight prans. They possess the vision vitality in addition to the above seven prans.

The five-sensed (Panchendriya jivas) are divided into two groups: (1) Non-sentient (Asamjni jivas), those whose minds are not developed and (2) Sentient (Samjni jivas), those whose minds are developed.

The Non-sentient living beings possess nine prans. They possess the hearing vitality in addition to the above eight prans.

The Sentient living beings possess ten pranas. They possess mind vitality in addition to the above nine prans.

 

The reason we need to know these prans is because any injury no matter how little it may be to anyone of these vitalities (prans) is considered violence (himsa).

Living beings are found on earth, as well as in the water, air, and sky, and are scattered all over the universe. Human beings, animals, fish, birds, bugs, insects, plants, etc. are the most common forms of beings with which we can easily relate. However, Jain scriptures state that there are 8.4 million species in all. They are known by the senses they possess. There are five senses in all, namely those of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.

Based on mobility, all beings are divided into two broad categories:

A) Non-mobile or Sthavar Jiva - those that can not move and have only one sense.

B) Mobile or Trasa jiva - those that can move and have two to five senses.

 

All living beings have special attributes related to the body such as paryapti (power), and pran (vitality). The inert or ajiva substance does not possess any such qualities. Paryapti means a special power through which the living being takes in matter (Pudgals) like food and converts it into separate kinds of energy.

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According to the Jain text Sarvārthasiddhi, "He who has passions causes injury to himself by himself. Whether injury is then caused to other living beings or not, it is immaterial."

 

Kashaya (loosely translated as passions) cause bondage (bandh) of karmic particles to the soul, preventing it from liberation. Among other causes, emotions or passions are considered as the main cause of the influx of karma (asrava) and subsequent bondage. The four kasaya are: anger (krodha), conceit (mana), deceit (maya), and greed (lobha).

 

In addition, Pramad (loosely translated as Indolence) can also result in an influx of karmas. It can happen if a person is not actively contemplating on the nature of its soul. It can be brought with arrogance, sensual cravings, passions, sleep, engaging in gossiping, attachment, hatred, ignorance, doubt, illusion, forgetfulness, non-engagement in spiritual activities, and other harmful activities of mind, body and speech. Based on the intensity these can cause negative karmic effects for the soul.  

Inspired by the "Gang Affiliation" section of the original complaint report worksheet. This section recognizes Brands as possible suspects.