To injure living beings, even unwillingly,
is to engender the most harmful of karmic effects. To injure with
deliberate intent has the gravest of consequences. And since the whole
universe throbs with life, this means in practice that a Jain�s diet and
livelihood are severely restricted. Even the Jain layman must be a strict
vegetarian. He may not be a farmer, for when ploughing the soil he might
injure animals and plants, not to speak of the earth itself. He may not
ply certain crafts, for the metal on the blacksmith�s anvil and the wood
on the carpenter�s bench suffer excruciating pain as they are worked.
Instead, he will follow the safe professions of trading and money-lending
and most likely become a wealthy merchant or prosperous banker.