If you want to adopt Jainism, the very first thing to do is to know about this religion. To know about Jainism, you should study Jainism on your own.
I would like to suggest you that you should not get any knowledge from the Jains who have sectarian views. They never can give you the true knowledge as they have grown up with sects, castes, classes, linguistic groups etc. Remember that you have to initiate yourself into Jainism and not into any Jain sect. This is possible only if you study on your own.
How to study Jainism?
When you are going to study Jainism, you should use your own intellect. Whatever material you are going to read through books, articles, online sources etc, may contain some wrong things. You must be able to know that these are wrong things as they do not match to Jain thoughts. You will easily know what is wrong and what is right when you know the basic principles of Jainism.
However, I would like to suggest you to read books and articles on Jainism by Osho. His views are rational and logical. Most of the famous Jain monks use his literture for their own (of course, without mentioning his name)
Here are some points you must always keep in your mind:
• Jainism doesn’t believe in creator god.
• Compassion is the most important part of Jainism
• Right knowledge, Right Faith and Right conduct are three jewels of Jainism. Remember that Right knowledge is on first place. If you get right knowledge, you will lead automatically to right conduct. Never try to place conduct at first place. That will be just copycat thing. Following anything without knowing is a wrong thing.
• You should avoid Rituals, idol worshipping, temples do not lead you to spiritual development. Rather they can harm you. Once you get engaged into such things, you will be doing such things for all of your life. However, you can visit temples for watching the art and architecture, social gathering or just for curiosity.
• Keep a distance from the agents of Jainism. They can lead you to a wrong path.
• Know the true meaning of Ahimsa. Never become an extremist about this thing.
• You must get some knowledge of ancient Jain history, its various aspects like social, political, economic, cultural, literary etc. This will save you from one way thoughts that some Jains are promoting.
• Be a Jain on your own.
Once you start to acquire the true knowledge, you will automatically become a Jain in due course. You do not have to read the list of ‘Don’t do this and don’t do that’.
More to read:
Being a Vegetarian without Right Faith
What is Jain Food
Eating at Night
Animal Rights V/s Human Rights