Jainism believes that man can liberate his soul by ridding himself of the karmas- the thread that weaves material life- associated with his soul. According to the Jain philosophy the ultimate happiness is the securing of a final liberation from the numerous cycles of births and deaths that Jainism teaches- reincarnation. This to Jainism is Moksa or salvation (Jainworld.com, 2011).
Jainism perceives a threefold path to salvation: the right belief; the right knowledge; and the right conduct. This is taught by Tattvarth-adhigama-sutra, the most sacred book of Jainism. This threefold path can never be separate but is actually one. Salvation is not possible where the paths are considered differently. The Right Belief as defined by Acharya Umasvami is the true nature of the substances. Right belief is true and firm belief in the principles that are taught in the tattvas without any deviations. There are three central beliefs in Jainism: a) that the Jaina Arhats are the true Gods; b) that jaina sastra is the only true scripture; c) and that the jaina gurus are only true preceptors. The right belief according to Jainism has eight requisites (angas) or freedom from; doubt about the truth or validity of the tenets of Jainism; love for worldly enjoyment; an attitude of scorn towards the body; perversity and superstition; fear and maintain excellence that protects the prestige of Jainism; the spirit that leads people from the truth; the disdain of pious persons; and should always propagate the greatness of Jaina scriptures. Right knowledge is one that reveals nature sufficiently, without exaggerating and with certainty(Jainworld.com, 2011).
This includes the nature of soul and matter and is free from doubt, perversity, vagueness or indefiniteness. While right belief and the right knowledge equip individuals with freedom from self delusion equipping him with knowledge conduct that is not right dismantles these pillars of Jainism – it is misconduct. Karmic matter can be destroyed through right conduct. Right Conduct is defined by Jainism as rules of discipline that restrain wrong behavior in mind, speech and body; action that weakens and destroys passionate activity and action that leads to discord and impurity. Right Conduct is categorized into two; (i) Sakala-charitra, which is the complete, perfect and unqualified conduct; and (ii) Vikala- charitra, the partial imperfect and qualified conduct. These rules of conduct that are prescribed for both for laymen and ascetics are the ethical character of Jainism.