Jainism

Jainism

Overview
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence
Ahimsa in Jainism
Ahiṃsā in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term "ahimsa" means “non-violence”, “non-injury” or absence of desire to harm any life forms. Vegetarianism and other non-violent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of Ahiṃsā...

 towards all living beings
Jiva
In Hinduism and Jainism, a jiva is a living being, or more specifically, the immortal essence of a living organism which survives physical death. It has a very similar usage to atma, but whereas atma refers to "the cosmic self", jiva is used to denote an individual 'living entity' or 'living...

. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul
Jiva
In Hinduism and Jainism, a jiva is a living being, or more specifically, the immortal essence of a living organism which survives physical death. It has a very similar usage to atma, but whereas atma refers to "the cosmic self", jiva is used to denote an individual 'living entity' or 'living...

 towards divine consciousness and liberation
Moksa (Jainism)
' or Mokkha means liberation, salvation or emancipation of soul. It is a blissful state of existence of a soul, completely free from the karmic bondage, free from samsara, the cycle of birth and death. A liberated soul is said to have attained its true and pristine nature of infinite bliss,...

. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina ("conqueror" or "victor"). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha
Siddha
A Siddha सिद्ध in Sanskrit means "one who is accomplished" and refers to perfected masters who, according to Hindu belief, have transcended the ahamkara , have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies into a different kind of body dominated by...

. Jainism is also referred to as shramana
Shramana
A shramana is a wandering monk in certain ascetic traditions of ancient India including Jainism, Buddhism, and Ājīvikism. Famous śramaṇas include Mahavira and Gautama Buddha....

 dharma (self-reliant) or the "path of the nigantha
Nirgrantha
A Nirgrantha is a term that specifically refers to Jains in religious and philosophical works from the Indian religions. Mahavira , the most recent Jain tirthankara and a contemporary of Gautama Buddha, is referred to as the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta in the Pāli Tipiṭaka.The Jain Agamas also contain...

s" (those without attachments or aversions) by ancient texts.

Jain doctrine teaches that Jainism has always existed and will always exist, although historians date the foundation of the organized or present form of Jainism to sometime between the 9th and the 6th century BC.

It has been hypothesized that, like several traditions in Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Jainism may have had its roots in the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India
Indo-Aryan migration
Models of the Indo-Aryan migration discuss scenarios of prehistoric migrations of the proto-Indo-Aryans to their historically attested areas of settlement in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent...

.
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Encyclopedia
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence
Ahimsa in Jainism
Ahiṃsā in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term "ahimsa" means “non-violence”, “non-injury” or absence of desire to harm any life forms. Vegetarianism and other non-violent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of Ahiṃsā...

 towards all living beings
Jiva
In Hinduism and Jainism, a jiva is a living being, or more specifically, the immortal essence of a living organism which survives physical death. It has a very similar usage to atma, but whereas atma refers to "the cosmic self", jiva is used to denote an individual 'living entity' or 'living...

. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul
Jiva
In Hinduism and Jainism, a jiva is a living being, or more specifically, the immortal essence of a living organism which survives physical death. It has a very similar usage to atma, but whereas atma refers to "the cosmic self", jiva is used to denote an individual 'living entity' or 'living...

 towards divine consciousness and liberation
Moksa (Jainism)
' or Mokkha means liberation, salvation or emancipation of soul. It is a blissful state of existence of a soul, completely free from the karmic bondage, free from samsara, the cycle of birth and death. A liberated soul is said to have attained its true and pristine nature of infinite bliss,...

. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina ("conqueror" or "victor"). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha
Siddha
A Siddha सिद्ध in Sanskrit means "one who is accomplished" and refers to perfected masters who, according to Hindu belief, have transcended the ahamkara , have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies into a different kind of body dominated by...

. Jainism is also referred to as shramana
Shramana
A shramana is a wandering monk in certain ascetic traditions of ancient India including Jainism, Buddhism, and Ājīvikism. Famous śramaṇas include Mahavira and Gautama Buddha....

 dharma (self-reliant) or the "path of the nigantha
Nirgrantha
A Nirgrantha is a term that specifically refers to Jains in religious and philosophical works from the Indian religions. Mahavira , the most recent Jain tirthankara and a contemporary of Gautama Buddha, is referred to as the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta in the Pāli Tipiṭaka.The Jain Agamas also contain...

s" (those without attachments or aversions) by ancient texts.

Jain doctrine teaches that Jainism has always existed and will always exist, although historians date the foundation of the organized or present form of Jainism to sometime between the 9th and the 6th century BC.

It has been hypothesized that, like several traditions in Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Jainism may have had its roots in the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India
Indo-Aryan migration
Models of the Indo-Aryan migration discuss scenarios of prehistoric migrations of the proto-Indo-Aryans to their historically attested areas of settlement in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent...

. Other scholars suggested the shramana traditions were separate and contemporaneous with Indo-Aryan religious practices of the historical Vedic religion
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

.

In the modern world, Jainism is a small but influential religious minority with as many as 4.2 million followers in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, and successful growing immigrant communities in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

, the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and elsewhere. Jains have significantly influenced and contributed to ethical
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

, political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 and economic spheres in India. Jains have an ancient tradition of scholarship and have the highest degree of literacy for a religious community in India and Jain libraries are the oldest in the country.

Main principles


Jainism encourages spiritual development through cultivation of one's own personal wisdom and reliance on self control
Self control
Self control is the ability to control one's emotions, behavior and desires in order to obtain some reward later. In psychology it is sometimes called self-regulation...

 through vow
Vow
A vow is a promise or oath.-Marriage vows:Marriage vows are binding promises each partner in a couple makes to the other during a wedding ceremony. Marriage customs have developed over history and keep changing as human society develops...

s . The triple gems of Jainism - right vision or view (Samyak Darshana), right knowledge (Samyak Gyana) and right conduct (Samyak Charitra) - provide the path for attaining liberation from the cycles of birth and death
Samsara
thumb|right|200px|Traditional Tibetan painting or [[Thanka]] showing the [[wheel of life]] and realms of saṃsāraSaṅsāra or Saṃsāra , , literally meaning "continuous flow", is the cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth or reincarnation within Hinduism, Buddhism, Bön, Jainism, Sikhism, and other...

. When the soul sheds its karmic bonds completely, it attains divine consciousness. Those who have attained moksha
Moksa (Jainism)
' or Mokkha means liberation, salvation or emancipation of soul. It is a blissful state of existence of a soul, completely free from the karmic bondage, free from samsara, the cycle of birth and death. A liberated soul is said to have attained its true and pristine nature of infinite bliss,...

 are called siddha
Siddha
A Siddha सिद्ध in Sanskrit means "one who is accomplished" and refers to perfected masters who, according to Hindu belief, have transcended the ahamkara , have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies into a different kind of body dominated by...

s, while those attached to the world through their karma are called samsarin. Every soul has to follow the path, as explained by the jinas and revived by the tirthankaras, to attain complete liberation or nirvana
Nirvana (Jainism)
' in Jainism means final release from the karmic bondage. When an enlightened human, such as an Arihant or a Tirthankara extinguishes his remaining aghatiya karmas and thus ends his worldly existence, it is called . Technically, the death of an Arihant is called of the arihant, as he has ended...

.

Jains do not believe in a ['Jainism and non-creationism' creator) deity that could be responsible for the manifestation, creation, or maintenance of this universe. Instead, the belief goes that universe changes in due course of time as governed by the laws of nature (as such with no necessity of a coordinator or regulator). Jains believe that life exists in various forms in different parts of the universe, and earth is but just a small dot in the entire scheme of things. Likewise, there is an extensive classification of various living organisms including (but not limited to) microorganisms that form the (a)earth (mud), (b)air and (c)water. Besides, the scriptures also lead into theories that constitutional elements of earth, fire, water and air are in-itself living creatures, constantly in the making (This theory could be read and understood in its entirety only with further knowledge and reading into the scriptures). Well the point to acquiring such extensive knowledge about the universe, especially about existance of living creatures in various different shapes and forms (yet not fully undrstood by mankind) is to help imbibe a sense of respect for all life forms. Furthermore, practice of the below mentioned 5 ethical priciples - encourages 'minimizing harm' to all of the living creatures that co-exist (inspite of not having been completely percepted by the human eye).

Further, Jains believe that to attain enlightenment and ultimately liberation from all karmic bonding, one must practice the following ethical principles not only in thought, but also in words (speech) and action . Such a practise through lifelong work towards oneself is called as observing the Mahavrata
Mahavrata
The Mahavratas are the five great vows Jain monks observe. They are:# Ahimsa # Satya # Asteya # Brahmacharya # Aparigraha...

 ("Great Vows"). These vows that are to be practiced by way of (1) thought, 2) words and 3) action - are:
  • Ahimsa
    Ahimsa
    Ahimsa is a term meaning to do no harm . The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; himsa is injury or harm, a-himsa is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or nonviolence. It is an important tenet of the Indian religions...

     (Non-violence) – to cause "no harm" to living beings (on the lines of "live" and "let live"). Impressionably, all other vows stem up from this fundamental one. The vow involves "minimizing" intentional as well as unintentional harm to another living creature. Non-violence can sometimes be reduced to a defintion of "not killing", but the concept goes far beyond this thought. To such an extent so as to avoid harming living beings even in the form of "insult" - either directly, or indirectly having routed through others. There should even be no room for any thought conjuring injury to others, let alone talking about it or performing of such an act. Not to overrule the fact about not influencing others to inflict harm. Besides, it also includes respecting the views of others (non-absolutism and acceptance of multiple views).
  • Satya
    Satya
    Satya is a Sanskrit word that loosely translates into English as "truth" or "correct". It is a term of power due to its purity and meaning and has become the emblem of many peaceful social movements, particularly those centered on social justice, environmentalism and vegetarianism.Sathya is also...

     (Truthfulness) – to always speak of truth such that no harm is caused to others. A person who speaks truth becomes trustworthy like a mother, venerable like a preceptor and dear to everyone like a kinsman. Given that non-violence has priority, all other principles yield to it whenever there is a conflict. For example, in a situation where speaking truth would lead to violence, it would be perfectly moral and in complete obedience with the vow to remain silent (for you are neither being untrue, nor causing violence by way of truth)
  • Asteya
    Asteya
    Asteya is a Sanskrit word meaning "avoidance of stealing" or "non-stealing". In Jainism, it is one of the five vows that all Śrāvakas and Śrāvikās as well as monastics must take....

     (Non-stealing) – not to take into possesion, anything that is not willingly offered. It is the strict adherence to one's own possessions without desiring for the ones that belong to others. One should remain satisfied by whatever is earned through honest labour. Any attempt to squeeze material wealth from others and/or exploit the weak is considered theft. Some of the guidelines for this principle follow as under:
    • Always give people fair value for their labor or product.
    • Not to voluntarily (or otherwise) take into possession, materials that are not earned or offered by others.
    • Not to voluntarily (or otherwise) take materials into personal possession, that have been dropped off, or forgotten by others.
    • Not to purchase materials as a result of being cheaper in value, if the resultant price reduction is a result of improper method of preperation. For instance, products made out of raw materials obtained by way of pyramid schemes, illegal businesses, stolen goods, etc, should be strictly prohibited
  • Brahmacharya
    Brahmacharya
    Brahmacharya is one of the four stages of life in an age-based social system as laid out in the Manu Smrti and later Classical Sanskrit texts in Hinduism. It refers to an educational period of 14–20 years which starts before the age of puberty. During this time the traditional vedic sciences are...

     (Celibacy) – to exercise control over senses (including mind) from indulgence. The basic intent of this vow is to conquer passion, thus preventing wastage of energy in the direcition of pleasurable desires. During observance of this vow, the householder must not have a sensual relationship with anybody other than one's own spouse. Jain monks and nuns practice complete abstinence from any sexual activity.
  • Aparigraha
    Aparigraha
    Aparigraha is the concept of non-possessiveness, being both a Jain concept and a part of the Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga traditions. The term usually means to limit possessions to what is necessary or important, which changes with the time period, though sadhus would not have any possessions.It is...

     (Non-possession, Non-materialism) – to observe detachment from people, places and material things. Ownership of an object itself is not possessiveness; however, attachment to the owned object is possessiveness. For householders, non-possession is owning without attachment, because the notion of possession is illusory. The basic principle behind observance of this vow, lies in the fact that life changes. What you own today, may not be rightfully yours tomorrow. Thus attachment with objects/people/place may cause grief at the time of parting ways. Surrendering oneself to griefs and sorrows of life, focuses life's energy in doing the unrightful. Hence the householder is encouraged to discharge his or her duties to related people and objects as a trustee, without excessive attachment or aversion. For monks and nuns, non-possession involves complete renunciation of property and human relations.


Jains hold that universe and its laws of nature are eternal, and have always existed in time. However, it constantly undergoes cyclical changes as per governing universal laws. The universe is occupied by both living beings (jīva) and non-living objects (Ajīva). The samsarin soul incarnates in various life forms during its journey over time. Human, sub-human (category catering to inculsion of animals, birds, insects and other forms of living creatures), super-human (heavenly beings) and hellish-beings are the four forms of samsarin soul incarnations. A living being's thoughts, expressions and actions, executed with intent of attachment and aversion, give rise to the accumulation of karma. These influxes of karma in turn contribute to determination of circumstances that would hold up in our future in the form of rewards or punishment. Jain scholars have explained in-depth methods and techniques that will result into clearance of past accumulated karmas as well as stopping the inflow of fresh karmas. This is the path to salvation.

A major characteristic of Jain belief is the emphasis on the consequences of not only physical but also mental behaviours. One's unconquered mind tainted with anger, pride (ego), deceit and greed joined with uncontrolled sense organs are powerful enemies of humans. Anger comes in way of good human relations, pride destroys humility, deceit destroys peace and greed destroys the above three. Jainism recommends conquering anger by forgiveness, pride (ego) by humility, deceit by straight-forwardness and greed by contentment.

The principle of non-violence seeks to minimize karmas that limit the capabilities of one's own soul. Jainism views every soul as worthy of respect because it has the potential to become siddha (paramatma
Paramatman
In Hindu theology, Paramatman or Paramātmā is the Absolute Atman or Supreme Soul or Spirit in the Vedanta and Yoga philosophies of India....

 "highest soul"). Because all living beings possess a soul, great care and awareness is essential in one's actions. Jainism emphasizes the equality
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 of all life, advocating harmlessness towards all, whether great or small. This policy extends even to microscopic organisms.

Jainism acknowledges that every person has different capabilities and capacities to practice and therefore accepts different levels of compliance for ascetics and householders. The Great Vows are prescribed for Jain monastics while limited vows (anuvrata) are prescribed for householders. Householders are encouraged to practice five cardinal principles of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy and non-possessiveness with their current practical limitations, while monks and nuns have to observe them very strictly. With consistent practice, it is possible to overcome the limitations gradually, accelerating spiritual progress.

Core beliefs

  • Every living being has a soul.
  • Every soul is potentially divine, with innate qualities of infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss (masked by its karmas).
  • Therefore regard every living being as you do yourself, harming no one and being kind to all living beings.
  • Every soul is born as a heavenly being, human, sub-human or hellish being
    Naraka (Jainism)
    Naraka नरक is the name given to realm of existence in Jain cosmology having great suffering. Naraka is usually translated into English as "hell" or "purgatory". However, a Naraka differs from the hells of Abrahamic religions as souls are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment and...

     according to its own karma.
  • Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter.
  • When a soul is freed from karmas, it becomes free and attains divine consciousness, experiencing infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss(Moksha).
  • The triple gems of Jainism ("Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct") provide the way to this realisation. There is no supreme divine creator
    God in Jainism
    Jainism rejects the idea of any creator, mentor or destroyer God. If godliness is defined as the state of having freed one's soul from karmas and the attainment of enlightenment and a God as one who exists in such a state, then those who have achieved such a state can be termed gods. Thus, Mahavira...

    , owner, preserver, or destroyer. The universe is self-regulated, and every soul has the potential to achieve divine consciousness (siddha) through its own efforts.
  • Non-violence (to be in soul consciousness rather than body consciousness) is the foundation of right view, the condition of right knowledge and the kernel of right conduct. It leads to a state of being unattached to worldly things and being nonjudgmental and non-violent; this includes compassion and forgiveness in thoughts, words and actions toward all living beings and respecting views of others (non-absolutism).
  • Jainism stresses the importance of controlling the senses including the mind, as they can drag one far away from true nature of the soul.
  • Limit possessions and lead a life that is useful to yourself and others. Owning an object by itself is not possessiveness; however, attachment to an object is possessiveness. Non-possessiveness is the balancing of needs and desires while staying detached from our possessions.
  • Enjoy the company of the holy and better-qualified, be merciful to afflicted souls, and tolerate the perversely inclined.
  • Four things are difficult for a soul to attain: 1. human birth, 2. knowledge of the laws governing the souls, 3. absolute conviction in the philosophy of non-violence, and 4. practicing this knowledge with conviction in everyday life activities.
  • It is, therefore, important not to waste human life in evil ways. Rather, strive to rise on the ladder of spiritual evolution.
  • The goal of Jainism is liberation of the soul from the negative effects of unenlightened thoughts, speech, and action. This goal is achieved through clearance of karmic obstructions by following the triple gems of Jainism.
  • Namokar Mantra is the fundamental prayer in Jainism and can be recited at any time of the day. Praying by reciting this mantra
    Mantra
    A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation"...

    , the devotee bows in respect to liberated souls still in human form (arihant
    Arihant (Jainism)
    Arihant in Jainism is a siddha who has not yet died and thereby lost all aghatiya karma. The Ṇamōkāra mantra begins, Ṇamō arihantāṇaṁ "I praise the arihants"....

    s), fully liberated souls forever free from rebirth (siddhas), spiritual leaders (Acharya
    Acharya
    In Indian religions and society, an acharya is a guide or instructor in religious matters; founder, or leader of a sect; or a highly learned man or a title affixed to the names of learned men...

    s), teachers, and all the monks and nuns. By saluting them saying "namo namaha", Jains receive inspiration from them to follow their path to achieve true bliss and total freedom from the karmas binding their souls. In this main prayer, Jains do not ask for any favours or material benefits. This mantra serves as a simple gesture of deep respect toward beings that are more spiritually advanced. The mantra also reminds followers of the ultimate goal of reaching nirvana
    Nirvana
    Nirvāṇa ; ) is a central concept in Indian religions. In sramanic thought, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with the Supreme being through moksha...

     or moksha.
  • Jains worship the icons of jinas, arihants and Tirthankaras, who have conquered their inner passions and attained divine consciousness, and study the Scriptures of these liberated beings.
  • Jainism acknowledges the existence of powerful heavenly souls that look after the well-being of Tirthankaras. Usually they are found in pairs around the icons as male (yaksha
    Yaksha
    Yaksha is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology. The feminine form of the word is ' or Yakshini .In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist mythology,...

    ) and female (yakshini
    Yakshini
    Yakshinis are mythical beings of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain mythology.-Description:A yakshini is the female counterpart of the male yaksha, and they both attend on Kubera , the Hindu god of wealth who rules in the mythical Himalayan kingdom of Alaka. They both look after treasure hidden in the...

    ) guardian deities. Even though they have supernatural powers, these deities are also souls wandering through the cycles of births and deaths just like most other souls. Over time, people began worshiping these deities as well.

Non-violence in thought and practice



Jains hold the above five major vows at the center of their lives. These vows cannot be fully implemented without the acceptance of a philosophy of non-absolutism. Anēkāntavāda
Anekantavada
' is one of the most important and fundamental doctrines of Jainism. It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth.Jains...

 ("multiple points of view") is a foundation of Jain philosophy. This philosophy allows the Jains to accept the truth in other philosophies from their perspective and thus inculcating a tolerance for other viewpoints. Jain scholars have devised methods to view both physical objects and abstract ideas from different perspectives systematically. This is the application of non-violence in the sphere of thought. It is a Jain philosophical standpoint just as there is the Advaitic standpoint of Sankara and the standpoint of the "middle way
Middle way
The Middle Way or Middle Path is the descriptive term that Siddhartha Gautama used to describe the character of the path he discovered that led to liberation. It was coined in the very first teaching that he delivered after his enlightenment...

" of the Buddhists
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

. This search to view things from different angles leads to understanding and toleration of different and even conflicting views. When this happens prejudices subside and a tendency to accommodate increases. The doctrine of Anēkānta is therefore a unique experiment of non-violence at the root.

A derivation of this principle is the doctrine of Syādvāda
Syadvada
Syādvāda is the Doctrine of Postulation of Jainism. In other words, Syādvāda provides the body of teachings or instruction which one uses to derive a postulate or axiom. The starting assumption or postulate is given as saptabhanginaya, from which other statements are logically derived...

 that highlights every model relative to its view point. It is a matter of our daily experience that the same object that gives pleasure to us under certain circumstances becomes boring under different situations. Nonetheless, relative truth is useful, as it is a stepping-stone to the ultimate realization and understanding of reality. The doctrine of Syādvāda is based on the premise that every proposition is only relatively true. It all depends on the particular aspect from which we approach that proposition. Jains, therefore, developed logic that encompasses seven-fold predication so as to assist in the construction of proper judgment about any proposition.

Syādvāda provides Jains with a systematic methodology to explore the real nature of reality and consider the problem in a non-violent way from different perspectives. This process ensures that each statement is expressed from seven different conditional and relative viewpoints or propositions, and thus it is known as theory of conditioned predication. These seven propositions are described as follows:
  • 1.Syād-asti — "in some ways it is"
  • 2.Syād-nāsti — "in some ways it is not"
  • 3.Syād-asti-nāsti — "in some ways it is and it is not"
  • 4.Syād-asti-avaktavya — "in some ways it is and it is indescribable"
  • 5.Syād-nāsti-avaktavya — "in some ways it is not and it is indescribable"
  • 6.Syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavya — "in some ways it is, it is not and it is indescribable"
  • 7.Syād-avaktavya — "in some ways it is indescribable"


For example, a tree could be stationary with respect to an observer on earth; however it will be viewed as moving along with planet Earth for an observer in space.

Jains are very welcoming and friendly toward other faiths and often help with interfaith functions. Several non-Jain temples in India are administered by Jains. A palpable presence in Indian culture
Culture of India
India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food and customs differ from place to place within the country, but nevertheless possess a commonality....

, Jains have contributed to Indian philosophy
Indian philosophy
India has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."...

, art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

.

Concept of karma



Karma in Jainism conveys a totally different meaning than commonly understood in the Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 philosophy and western civilization. It is not the so called inaccessible force that controls the fate of living beings in inexplicable ways. It does not simply mean "deed", "work", nor mystical force (adrsta
Adrsta
Adrsta is a concept in Indian philosophy often confused with Karma. Whereas karma can be seen as a direct result of one's own actions, Adrsta is more akin to the notion of fate or destiny...

), but a complex of very fine matter, imperceptible to the senses, which interacts with the soul in intensity and quantity proportional to the thoughts, speech and physical actions carried out with attachments and aversions, causing further bondages. Karma in Jainism is something material (karmapaudgalam), which produces certain conditions, like a medical pill has many effects. The effects of karma in Jainism is therefore a system of natural laws rather than moral laws. When one holds an apple in one's hand and then lets go of the apple, the apple will fall due to gravitational force. In this example, there is no moral judgment involved, since this is a mechanical consequence of a physical action. The concept of Karma in Jainism is basically a reaction due to the attachment or aversion with which an activity (both positive and negative) is executed in thought, verbal and physical sense. Extending on the example outlined, the same apple dropped within a zero gravity environment such as a spacecraft circling around earth, will float in its place. Similarly, when one acts without attachment and aversion there will be no further karmic bonding to the soul.

Karmas are grouped as Destructive Karmas, that obstruct the true nature of the soul and Non-Destructive Karmas that only affect the body in which the soul resides. As long as there are Destructive Karmas, the soul is caged in a body and will have to experience pain and suffering in many different forms. Jainism has extensive sub-classifications and detailed explanations of each of these major categories. Jain liturgy and scriptures explains ways to stop the influx as well as get rid of the accumulated karmas.

Shedding of past karmas (Nirjara)



Jainism prescribes mainly two methods for shedding karmas (Nirjara
Nirjara
Nirjara is one of the nine fundamental principles, or Tattva in Jain philosophy, and refers to the shedding or destruction of accumulated karmas from the atma , essential for breaking free from samsara, the cycle of birth-death and rebirth, by achieving moksha, liberation.Literally meaning "falling...

), accumulated by the soul.
  • Passive Method – By allowing past karmas to ripen in due course of time and experiencing the results, both good and bad with equanimity. If the fruits of the past karmas are received with attachment or with agitation then the soul earns fresh karmic bondages. It is also not possible for the soul to know before-hand when and which karma will start to produce results. Therefore, a person should practice equanimity under all circumstances.
  • Active Method – By practicing internal and external austerities (penances or tapas) so as to accelerate the ripening process as well as reducing the effects produced. This is the recommended approach as it prepares and conditions the soul and reminds one to be vigilant.

The internal austerities are
  1. Atonement of sinful acts
  2. Practice politeness and humility - in spite of having comparatively more wealth, wisdom, social status, power, etc.
  3. Service to others, especially monks, nuns, elders and the weaker souls without any expectations in return
  4. Scriptural study, questioning and expanding the spiritual knowledge
  5. Abandonment of passions – especially anger, ego, deceit and greed
  6. Meditation

The external austerities are meant to discipline the sensual cravings. They are
  1. Fasting
  2. Eating less than one's normal diet
  3. Abstention from tasty and stimulating food
  4. Practising humility and thankfulness – by seeking help and offering assistance without egoistic tendencies
  5. Practising solitude and introspection
  6. Mastering demands of the body

Tirthankaras



The purpose of life is to undo the negative effects of karma through mental and physical purification. This process leads to liberation accompanied by a great natural inner peace
Nirvana
Nirvāṇa ; ) is a central concept in Indian religions. In sramanic thought, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with the Supreme being through moksha...

. A soul is called a 'victor' (in Sanskrit/Pali language, Jina) because one has achieved liberation
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

 by one's own efforts. A Jain is a follower of Jinas ("conquerors"). Jinas are spiritually advanced human beings who rediscovered the dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

, became fully liberated
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

 from the bondages of karma by conquering attachments and aversions, and taught the spiritual path to benefit all living beings. Jains follow the teachings of 24 special jinas who are known as Tirthankaras "Ford
Tirtha
In Jainism, a tīrtha |ford]], a shallow part of a body of water that may be easily crossed") is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the sangha...

-Makers". Jains believe that knowledge of the true living dharma has declined and revived cyclically throughout history. Those who rediscover and preach the dharma are called Tirthankara. The literal meaning of Tirthankara is "ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

-builder". Jains compare the process of becoming a pure soul to crossing a swift river, an endeavour requiring patience and care. A ford-builder has already crossed the river and can therefore guide others.
Jaina tradition identifies Rishabha
Rishabha (Jain tirthankar)
In Jainism, R̥ṣabha or Ādinātha , also known as the "Lord of Kesariya") was the first of the 24 Tīrthaṅkaras. According to Jain beliefs, R̥ṣabha founded the Ikshvaku dynasty and was the first Tīrthaṅkara of the present age...

 (also known as Adinath) as the first tirthankar of this declining (avasarpini) time cycle (kalachakra). The 24th, and last Tirthankar is Mahavira, who lived from 599 to 527 BC. The 23rd Tirthankar, Parsva, lived from 877 to 777 BC. The last two Tirthankaras, Parshva
Parshva
Pārśva or Paras was the twenty-third Tirthankara "Ford-Maker" in Jainism . He is the earliest Jain leader generally accepted as a historical figure. Pārśva was a nobleman belonging to the Kshatriya varna....

 and Mahavira
Mahavira
Mahāvīra is the name most commonly used to refer to the Indian sage Vardhamāna who established what are today considered to be the central tenets of Jainism. According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last Tirthankara. In Tamil, he is referred to as Arukaṉ or Arukadevan...

, are historical figures whose existence is recorded


The 24 Tirthankaras in chronological order are: Rishabha, Ajitnath
Ajitnath
Ajitnatha was the second Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. The soul that became Bhagavan Ajitnath, in its earlier incarnation, was the great king Vimalvahan of Susima city in Mahavideh area. He...

, Sambhavanath
Sambhavanath
Sambhavanath was the third Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Sambhavnath was born to King Jitari Raja and Queen Saina Rani at Sravasthi in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Abhinandannath
Abhinandannath
Abhinandannatha or Abhinandan Swami was the fourth Tirthankara of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its Karma. Abhinandannath was born to King Sanvara Raja and Queen Sidharta Rani at Ayodhya in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Sumatinath
Sumatinath
Sumatinatha was the fifth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma....

, Padmaprabha
Padmaprabha
Padmaprabha was the sixth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha - a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Padmaprabha was born to King Shridhar Raja and Queen Susimadevi at Koushambi in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Suparshvanath
Suparshvanath
Suparshvanath was the seventh Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Suparshvnath was born to King Prathisth Raja and Queen Prithvidevi at Banaras in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Chandraprabha
Chandraprabha
In Jainism, Chandraprabha was the eighth Tirthankara of the present age or Avasarpini. According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Chandraprabha was born to King Mahasena and Queen Lakshmana Devi at Chandrapuri to the Ikshvaku dynasty...

, Pushpadanta
Pushpadanta
In Jainism, Puṣpadanta In Jainism, Puṣpadanta In Jainism, Puṣpadanta . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha and an arihant, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma....

 (Suvidhinath), Sheetalnath
Sheetalnath
Sheetalnath was the tenth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Sheetalnath was born to King Dradhrath Raja and Queen Nanda Rani at Bhaddilpur in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Shreyansanath
Shreyansanath
Shreyansanath was the eleventh Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a Siddha - a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Shreyansanath was born to King Vishnu Raja and Queen Vishnu Devi Rani at Sinhpuri, near Sarnath in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Vasupujya
Vasupujya
Vasupujya Swami was the twelve Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Vasupujya was born to King Vasupujya Raja and Queen Jaya Devi Rani at Champapuri in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Vimalnath
Vimalnath
Vimalnath was the thirteenth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a Siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Vimalnath was born to King Kratvarm Raja and Queen Shyama Devi at Kampilaji in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Anantnath
Anantnath
Anantnath was the fourteenth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Anantnath was born to King Raja Sinhsen and Queen Suyasha Rani at Ayodhya in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Dharmanath
Dharmanath
Dharmanath was the fifteenth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Dharmanath was born to King Bhanu Raja and Queen Suvrata Rani at Ratnapuri in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Shantinath
Shantinath
Shantinath was the sixteenth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Shantinath was born to King Viswasen Raja and Queen Achira Rani at Hastinapur in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Kunthunath
Kunthunath
Kunthunath was the seventeenth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Kunthunath was born to King Shursen Raja and Queen Srirani Rani at Hastinapur in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Aranath
Aranath
Aranath was the eighteenth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he was born around 16,584,980 BCE. He became a siddha - a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Aranath was born to King Sudarshan Raja and Queen Devi Rani at Hastinapur in the Ikshvaku clan...

, Mallinath
Mallinath
Mallinath was the nineteenth Tīrthaṅkara "Ford-Maker" of the present avasarpiṇī age in Jainism. According to Jain beliefs, Mallinath became a siddha - a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Śvētāmbara Jaina beliefs hold that Mallinath was female, making her the only woman to become...

, Munisuvrata
Munisuvrata
Munisuvrata Swami was the twentieth Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he was born around 1,184,980 BCE. He became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Munisuvrata was born to King Sumitra Raja and Queen Padmavati Rani at Mithila in the...

, Naminatha, Neminath
Neminath
Neminatha was twenty-second Jain Tirthankar of the present age . According to Jain beliefs, he became a Siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. He is also known as Arishtanemi He along with Rishabha or Adinatha is mentioned in the Rig Veda Samhita...

, Parshva and Mahavira (Vardhamana).

The Jinas are referred to as , and . Tirthankaras are not regarded as deities in the pantheistic or polytheistic sense, but rather as pure souls that have awakened the divine spiritual qualities that lie dormant within each of us.

Only a few souls that reach Arihant
Arihant (Jainism)
Arihant in Jainism is a siddha who has not yet died and thereby lost all aghatiya karma. The Ṇamōkāra mantra begins, Ṇamō arihantāṇaṁ "I praise the arihants"....

 status become Thirthankars who take a leadership role in assisting the other souls to move up on the spiritual path. Apart from the Tirthankaras, Jains worship special Arihants such as Bahubali. According to the scriptures, Bahubali, also known as Gommateshvara, was the second of the one hundred sons of Rishabha and king of Podanpur. A statue of Bahubali is located at Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district of Karnataka State. Shravanabelagola is a sacred place of pilgrimage for Jains. When standing at the statue's feet looking up, one sees the saint against the vastness of the sky. This statue of Bahubali is carved from a single large stone that is fifty-seven feet high. The giant image was carved in 981 AD., by order of Chavundaraya, the minister of the Ganga King Rachamalla.

Cosmology


According to Jain beliefs, the universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 was never created, nor will it ever cease to exist. Therefore, it is shaswat (eternal) from that point of view. It has no beginning or end, but time is cyclical with progressive and regressive spirituality phases. In other words, within the universe itself there will be constant changes, movements and modifications in line with the macro phases of the time cycles.

Jain text claims that the universe consists of infinite amount of Jiva (life force or souls), and infinite amount of Ajiva (lifeless objects). The shape of the Universe as described in Jainism is shown alongside. At the very top end of the universe is the residence of the liberated souls that reached the siddha status. This supreme abode is above a crescent like boundary. Below this arch is the Deva Loka (Heaven), where all devas, powerful souls enjoying the positive karmic effects, reside. According to Jainism, there are seven heavens in total. The enjoyment in heaven is time limited and eventually the soul has to be reborn after its positive karmic effect is exhausted. Similarly, beneath the "waist" like area are the Narka Loka (Hells). There are seven hells, each for a varying degree of suffering a soul has to go through as consequences of its negative karmic effects. From the first to the seventh hell, the degree of suffering increases and light reaching it decreases (with no light in the seventh hell). The ray of hope is that the suffering in hell is also time limited and the soul will be reborn somewhere else in the universe after its negative karmic effects are exhausted. Human, animal, insect, plant and microscopic life forms reside on the middle part of the universe. Ultimate liberation is possible only from this region of the universe.

In Jainism, time is divided into Utsarpinis (Progressive Time Cycle) and Avasarpinis (Regressive Time Cycle). An Utsarpini and an Avasarpini constitute one Time Cycle (Kalachakra). Every Utsarpini and Avasarpini is divided into six unequal periods known as Aras. During the Utsarpini half cycle, humanity develops from its worst to its best: ethics, progress, happiness, strength, health, and religion each start the cycle at their worst, before eventually completing the cycle at their best and starting the process again. During the Avasarpini half-cycle, these human experiences deteriorate from the best to the worst. Jains believe we are currently in the fifth Ara of the Avasarpini phase.

During the first and last two Aras, the knowledge and practice of dharma lapse among humanity and then reappear through the teachings of enlightened humans, those who have reached liberation from their karma, during the third and fourth Aras. Traditionally, in our universe and in this time cycle, Rishabha
Rishabha (Jain tirthankar)
In Jainism, R̥ṣabha or Ādinātha , also known as the "Lord of Kesariya") was the first of the 24 Tīrthaṅkaras. According to Jain beliefs, R̥ṣabha founded the Ikshvaku dynasty and was the first Tīrthaṅkara of the present age...

 is regarded as the first to realize the truth. Mahavira (Vardhamana) was the last (24th) Tirthankara to attain enlightenment. For further reading on this aspect of Jainism refer to 'The Jaina Path of Purification' by P.S. Jaini.

Customs and practices


Jains are vegetarians. They avoid eating root vegetables in general, as cutting root from a plant kills it unlike other parts of the plant (leaf, fruit, seed, etc.). Furthermore, according to Jain texts, root vegetables contain infinite microorganisms called nigoda
Nigoda
In Jainism cosmology, the Nigoda is a realm existing in which the lowest forms of life reside in endless numbers, and without any hope of release by self-effort. Jain scriptures describe nigodas which are sub-microscopic creatures living in large clusters and having a very short life and are said...

s. Followers of Jain dharma eat before the night falls. They filter water regularly so as to remove any small insects that may be present and boil water prior to consumption.

Jain monks and nuns practice strict asceticism and strive to make their current birth their last, thus ending their cycle of transmigration. The lay men and women also pursue the same five major vows to the limited extent depending on their capability and circumstances. Following the primary non-violence vow, the laity usually choose professions that revere and protect life and totally avoid violent livelihoods.

Jain monks and nuns walk barefoot and sweep the ground in front of them to avoid killing insects or other tiny beings.

Even though all life is considered sacred by the Jains, human life is deemed the highest form of life. For this reason, it is considered vital never to harm or upset any person.

Along with the Five Vows, Jains avoid harboring ill will and practice forgiveness. They believe that atma
Atman (Hinduism)
Ātman is a Sanskrit word that means 'self'. In Hindu philosophy, especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism it refers to one's true self beyond identification with phenomena...

 (soul) can lead one to becoming parmatma (liberated soul) and this must come from one's inner self. Jains refrain from all violence (ahimsa)
Ahimsa
Ahimsa is a term meaning to do no harm . The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; himsa is injury or harm, a-himsa is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or nonviolence. It is an important tenet of the Indian religions...

 and recommend that sinful activities be avoided.

Pratikraman (turning back from transgression) is a practice of confession and repentance. This is a process of looking back at the bad thoughts and actions carried out during daily activities and learn from this process so as to resolve not to commit those mistakes again. Forgiving others for their faults, extending friendship and asking forgiveness for their own wrongful acts without reservation is part of this process. This enables Jains to get away from the tendency of finding fault in others, criticizing others and to develop habit of self-analysis, self-improvement and introspection.

Jains practice Samayika, which is a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word meaning equanimity. During this practice, they remain calm and undisturbed. This helps in recollecting the teachings of Thirthankars and discarding sinful activities for a minimum of 48 minutes.


Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

 was deeply influenced (particularly through the guidance of Shrimad Rajchandra
Shrimad Rajchandra
-Life:Raychandbhai Ravajibhai Mehta, popularly known as Shrimad Rajchandra by his followers, was a prominent Jain philosopher. He is highly respected for His remarkable exposition of Bhagwan Mahavira’s teachings, great spiritual state, extraordinary personality and literary genius...

) by Jain tenets such as peaceful, protective living and honesty, and made them an integral part of his own philosophy
Gandhism
Gandhism is the collection of inspirations, principles, beliefs and philosophy of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , who was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian Independence Movement....

.

Jainism has several different traditions. Historically, this has led to traditions refusing to recognize each other's religious texts as authoritative. For example, the Digamabaras reject the Svetambara canon. Even though there are some differences in customs and practices among them, the core belief systems are the same. Each tradition brings a unique perspective and completes the picture in the true sense of Non-Absolutism (Anekantvad). For this reason Jains are encouraged to keep their tradition, and at the same time respect other practices so as to complete the Jain view. All traditions unanimously accept and believe in the core Jain philosophies including the major vows of Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Celibacy and Non-possession.

Jainism is mainly divided into two major sects, namely Svetambara and Digambara. Jainism has a distinct idea underlying Tirthankara worship. The physical form is not worshipped, but their characteristics (virtues, qualities) are praised and emulated. Tirthankaras remain role-models, and sects such as the Sthanakavasi and Terapanth stringently reject idol worship. However, Murtipujak and Digamabara sects allow praying before idol so as to assist in stimulating and focusing thoughts while praying.

Pacifism


Compassion for all life, human and non-human
Ahimsa in Jainism
Ahiṃsā in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term "ahimsa" means “non-violence”, “non-injury” or absence of desire to harm any life forms. Vegetarianism and other non-violent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of Ahiṃsā...

, is central to Jainism. Human life is valued as a unique, rare opportunity to reach enlightenment; to kill any person, no matter what crime he may have committed, is considered unimaginably abhorrent. It is a religion that requires monks and laity, from all its sects and traditions, to be vegetarian. Some Indian regions, such as Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka, have been strongly influenced by Jains and often the majority of the local Hindus of every denomination have also become vegetarian.

Meditation



Jain scriptures offer extensive guidance on meditation techniques to achieve full knowledge and awareness. It offers tremendous physical and mental benefits. Jain meditation techniques are designed to assist the practitioner to remain apart from clinging and hatred thereby liberating from karmic bondages through the Ratnatraya: right perception, right knowledge and right
conduct. Meditation in Jainism aims at taking the soul to status of complete freedom from bondages.

Meditation assists greatly in managing and balancing one's passion. Great emphasis is placed on the control of internal thoughts, as they influence the behavior, actions and goals. It prescribes twelve mindful reflections or contemplations to help in this process. They are called Bhavanas or Anuprekshas that assist one to remain on the right course of life, and not stray away. Please note that Jains apply the sevenfold predicate methodology of Syadvada
Syadvada
Syādvāda is the Doctrine of Postulation of Jainism. In other words, Syādvāda provides the body of teachings or instruction which one uses to derive a postulate or axiom. The starting assumption or postulate is given as saptabhanginaya, from which other statements are logically derived...

, which includes the consideration of different views on each of these topics including the opposite view. The twelve contemplations for meditation are:
  1. Impermanence - Everything in this world is subject to change and transformation. Spiritual values are therefore worth striving for as they alone offer the soul, its ultimate freedom and stability.
  2. Protection - Under this reflection, one thinks about how helpless one is against old age, disease and death. The soul is its own saviour and to achieve total freedom one needs to follow the non-violent path of Arihants, Siddhas and practicing saints. Leaders with their powerful armies, scientists with their latest advances in technology cannot provide the protection from the eventual decay and death. The refuge to things other than the non-violent path are due to delusion, is unfortunate, and must be avoided.
  3. Worldly Existence - The soul transmigrates from one life form to another and is full of pain and miseries. There are no permanent relationships as the soul moves from one body form to another and can only exit this illusion through liberation from the cycles of birth, growth, decay and death.
  4. Solitude of the Soul - The soul has to bear the consequences of the positive and negative karmas alone. Such thoughts will stimulate to get rid of the existing karmas by one's own efforts and lead a peaceful life of co-existence.
  5. Separateness of Soul - Under this reflection, one thinks that the soul is separate from other objects or living beings. One should think even the current body is not owned by the soul. It is however an important vehicle to lead a useful life to progress the soul further. The soul therefore should not develop attachment or aversion to any worldly objects.
  6. Impureness of the body - Under this section of thought, one is urged to think about constituent elements of one's body so as to compare and contrast it with the purity of soul. This kind of concentration assists in detaching emotionally from one's body.
  7. Influx of Karma - Every time the soul enjoys or suffers through the five senses (touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing) with attachment, aversion or ignorance, it attracts new karma. Practising this reflection, reminds the soul to be more careful.
  8. Stoppage of influx of Karma - In this reflection, one thinks about stopping evil thoughts and cultivates development of right knowledge that assists to control the wandering mind.
  9. Karma shedding - Under this reflection, one thinks about practising external and internal austerities to shed the previously accumulated karma. This assists in development of right discipline as a matter of routine habit.
  10. Universe - Universe consists of Souls, Matter, Medium of motion, Medium of Rest, Space and Time. To think of the nature and structure of universe helps one understand the complex dynamics of eternal modifications and work towards the goal of freeing the soul from the seemingly never ending changes.
  11. Difficulties in developing triple gems of Jainism
    Triple gems of Jainism
    Jainism emphasises that ratnatraya — the right vision or view , right knowledge and right conduct — constitutes the path to liberation. These are known as the triple gems of Jainism and hence also known as Ratnatraya...

     - It is very difficult for the transmigrating soul in this world to develop the Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. Just like one cannot aspire to become a doctor or lawyer or engineer without going through the development process starting from the very basic skill set developments in primary and secondary schooling, spiritual development also needs to go through several stages or steps. Depending on one's current spiritual progress and situation, the challenges faced will differ. Working through the difficulties and applying practical solutions will assist one to continuously make improvements, thereby moving the soul to its goal of ultimate liberation.
  12. Difficulties in practising Jain Dharma - Jain Dharma is characterised by the following;
Forbearance and Forgiveness
Humility
Straightforwardness
Purity
Truth
Self-restraint, control of senses and mind
External Penance
Renunciation
Neither attachment nor aversion
Celibacy
In this reflection, the practitioner thinks about the difficulties to practice all of these in the practical world and work through the challenges depending on one's current capabilities and circumstances.


Jains are encouraged to reflect on these thoughts with the following four virtues or value systems clearly in force. They are:
  1. Peace, love and friendship to all.
  2. Appreciation, respect and delight for the achievements of others.
  3. Compassion to souls who are suffering.
  4. Equanimity and tolerance in dealing with other's thoughts, words and actions.

Monasticism





In India there are several Jain Monks, in categories like Acharya, Upadhyaya and Muni. Trainee ascetics are known as Ailaka and Ksullaka in the Digambara tradition. There are two categories of ascetics, Sadhu (monk) and Sadhvi (nun). They practice the five Mahavratas, three Guptis and five Samitis:

Five major vows (Mahavrata)
  • Non-violence (Ahimsa): Non-violence in thought, word and deed so as not to cause harm to any living beings
  • Truthfulness (Satya): Truth, which is (hita) beneficial, (mita) succinct, and (priya) pleasing. In other words, to speak the harmless truth
  • Non-stealing (Astey): Not to take anything that has not been given to them willingly by the owner
  • Chastity (Brahmacharya): Absolute purity of mind and body without indulging in sensual pleasure
  • Non-possession (Aparigraha): Exercise no attachment or aversion to all people, places, and material objects around.


Three Restraints (Gupti)
  • Control of the mind (Mangupti)
  • Control of speech (Vachangupti)
  • Control of body (Kayagupti)


Five Carefulness (Samiti)
  • Carefulness while walking (Irya Samiti)
  • Carefulness while communicating (Bhasha Samiti)
  • Carefulness while eating (Eshana Samiti)
  • Carefulness while handling their fly-whisks, water gourds, etc. (Adan Nikshepan Samiti)
  • Carefulness while disposing of bodily waste matter (Pratishthapan Samiti)


Digambara monks do not wear any clothes and are nude. They practice non-attachment to the body and hence, wear no clothes. Svetambara monks and nuns wear white clothes. Svetambaras believe that monks and nuns may wear simple, unstitched white clothes as long as they are not attached to them. Jain monks and nuns travel on foot. They do not use mechanical transport.

Digambaras take up to eleven oaths. Digambara monks eat standing in one place in their palms without using any utensil. They eat only once a day.

Vegetarianism



Jains practice strict vegetarianism
Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism encompasses the practice of following plant-based diets , with or without the inclusion of dairy products or eggs, and with the exclusion of meat...

. The practice of vegetarianism is instrumental for the practice of non-violence and peaceful co-operative co-existence. Basic non-violence principles can be performed depending on one's capability and specific situation in terms of meeting one's life's demands and expectations. Jainism acknowledges that it is impossible to discharge one's duties without some degree of himsa/violence, but encourages to minimise as much as possible. Jains are strictly forbidden to use any leather products since they are derived by killing of animals. Jains usually do not consume root vegetables such as potatoes, garlic
Garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

, onions, carrots, radishes, cassava
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc., as the plant needed to be killed in the process of accessing these prior to their end of life cycle. In addition, the root vegetables interact with soil and therefore contain far more micro-organisms than other vegetables. However, they consume rhizomes such as dried turmeric
Turmeric
Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to tropical South Asia and needs temperatures between 20 °C and 30 °C and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive...

 and dried ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

. Eggplants, Pumpkins, etc. are also not consumed by some Jains owing to the large number of seeds in the vegetable, as a seed is a form of life. However, tomatoes consumed normally as its seeds are difficult to be killed (even at high temperatures / pressures). Some Jains do not consume food left overnight because of contamination by microbes. Most Jain recipes substitute potato with plantain
Plantain
Plantain is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa. The fruit they produce is generally used for cooking, in contrast to the soft, sweet banana...

.

Apart from all these, Jains also follow strict diets on eleven days (six days in Shukla Paksha - New Moon Fortnight and five days in Krishna Paksha - Full Moon Fortnight). They do not eat greens on these days, also termed as not to touch / use any sharp cutting object in the kitchen. These days and are enlisted below:
1. All Bij - Second day of both the fortnights for aaradhna of "Samyag Darshan"
2. Pacham - Fifth day of Shukla Paksha & Agyiras - Eleventh day of both the fortnights for aaradhna of 14 Purva Gyan
3. Aatham - Eight day of both the fortnights, Chaudas - Fourteenth day of both the fortnights, Punam - Full Moon Day & Amavas - New Moon Day for aaradhna of Charitra.

Fasting



Fasting is one of the main tools for practicing external austerity. It helps to keep the demands of the body under check and assists in the focus on the upliftment of the soul. Depending on the capacity of an individual, there are several types of fasting:
  • Complete fasting: giving up food and/or water completely for a period
  • Partial fasting: eating less than you need to avoid hunger
  • Vruti Sankshepa: limiting the number of items of food eaten
  • Rasa Parityaga: giving up favourite foods


During fasting one immerses oneself in religious activities such as worshiping, serving the saints (monks and nuns & to be in their proximity), reading scriptures, meditating, and donating to the right recipients. However, before starting the fast Jains take a small vow known as pachkaan. A person taking the vow is bound to it and breaking it is considered to be a bad practice.

Most Jains fast at special times, such as during festivals (known as Parva. Paryushana and Ashthanhika are the main Parvas, which occurs 3 times in a year) and on holy days (eighth & fourteenth days of the moon cycle). Paryushana is the most prominent festival (lasting eight days for Svetambara Jains and ten days for Digambaras) during the monsoon. Most people fast during Paryushana because even the trouble-causing planets Rahu and Ketu become calm and instead help the penancing devotees. However, a Jain may fast at any time of the year. Fasting is also one of the ways of absolving one's Spashta, Baddha, or Nidhatta karmas. Variations in fasts encourage Jains to do whatever they can to maintain self-control.

A unique ritual in this religion involves a holy fasting until death called sallekhana. Through this one achieves a death with dignity and dispassion as well as a possible reduction of or elimination of negative karma. When a person is aware of approaching death, and feels that s/he has completed all duties, s/he willingly ceases to eat or drink gradually. This form of dying is also called Santhara / Samaadhi. It can be as long as 12 years with gradual reduction in food intake. Considered extremely spiritual and creditable, with all awareness of the transitory nature of human experience, it has recently led to a controversy. In Rajasthan, a lawyer petitioned the High Court of Rajasthan to declare santhara illegal. Jains see santhara as spiritual detachment, a declaration that a person has finished with this world and now chooses to leave. This choice however requires a great deal of spiritual accomplishment and maturity as a pre-requisite.

Rules of complete fast


A person undergoing a complete fast can eat nothing and drink only boiled water during his fasting period. The water has to be boiled for at least twenty minutes to ensure that all the living organisms in it die, and new ones don't form, thereby reducing the amount of himsa that a fasting person does. The unboiled water called sachet (meaning, full of life) is turned achet (meaning devoid of life) on boiling for this long. The boiled water remains achet for only five hours. So before five hours, it should be boiled again for another at least twenty minutes to ensure that it remains achet - fit for use to a fasting person.

All the different types of complete fasts mandate an individual to do the following steps stringently:
  • Initiation of the fast: The person desiring to observe a fast on a particular day has to take the vow of Chauvihar (meaning not eat or drink anything till at least 48 minutes after sunrise the next day) at least 48 minutes before sunset the previous day.
  • Ingestion during the fast: He cannot eat anything on the day of fast. However, he may drink boiled water after at least 48 minutes after sunrise till at most 48 minutes before sunset on that day.
  • Termination of the fast: He can break his fast only on the day after the day of fast after at least 48 minutes after sunrise, after taking the vow of Naukaarsi, Porsi, Saadh Porsi, Parimuddhi, etc.


Chauvihar Upvas, Chauvihar Chhath, Chauvihaar Attham, Chauvihaar Atthai, etc. are those types of complete fasts in which the person can't drink even boiled water during his fasting period. He can eat nothing and drink nothing. The process of initiation and termination of the fast is the same as mentioned above.

Types of fasting

  • Maaskshaman: A person practising this form of fasting will not eat anything for thirty days.
  • Atthai: A person practising this form of fasting will not eat anything for eight days. Normally on 8th day of fasting, the success is celebrated by the community by organising a procession to the temple. On the 9th day, the person will stop fasting. The relatives and friends will come and help the person to break the fast.
  • Tela/Athham: A person practising this form of fasting will not eat anything for three days.
  • Chhathh: A person practising this form of fasting will not eat anything for two days.
  • Upvas: A person practising this form of fasting will not eat anything for one whole day.
  • Chauvihar Upvas: A person practising this form of fasting will not eat or drink anything for one whole day.
  • Varshitap: This is a difficult form of fasting and demands a high level of skill and discipline; it is based on the story of Lord Rishabh not eating or drinking for 400 days. It is possible for people to try a variation of Varshitap by eating every alternate day, in general. They can eat only twice in every alternate day, but in between during some special calendar events, they may have to fast longer periods.
  • Ayambil: A person eats only one kind of food per day, In Ayambil green vegetables, milk and milk products (including ghee),oil and/or salt(optional) are not to be used at all. Generally this kind of fast is done during a 9 day religious days called Ayambil Olee which come twice in a year i.e. in March/April and October/November.
  • Ekashana: A person eats only once a day and generally they have lunch. For eating his meal, the person has to sit on the floor with his legs folded and the plate on an elevated position (maybe on another inverted plate, or on a patla). Once he starts his meal, he can't get up or even move till he finishes eating. Also, during the entire meal, his plate must not be moved at all, although the spoons and utensils on the plate can be moved. As in every type of fast they can only have food as well as water only till sunset which varies from day to day but in a yearly bases it's the same.
  • Beyashnaa: A person eats only twice a day and generally they have lunch & dinner. All the rules of Ekashana apply to Beashana as well.
  • Uunodri Tap: In this type of fast a person is allowed to have food 3 times a day but as soon as the food is served he/she has to remove one item which is his/her favorite, and also eat a morsel less than required to fill his/her stomach.

  • Updhyan Tap: A person has to reside out of home for certain days (usually 51 days) and perform various rituals. He has to do upwas (single day fasting) followed by one ayambil, thereafter upwas and two ayambil and so on. It is the biggest tap as defined by Jain Monks.

Worship and rituals



Every day most Jains bow and say their universal prayer, the Navakar Mantra
Navakar Mantra
The Ṇamōkāra mantra , also called the Navakār Mantra or the Namaskār Mantra, is the most important mantra used in Jainism. While reciting this mantra, the devotee bows with respect to humans who have cleared their gathi karmas , fully liberated souls , spiritual leaders , teachers and monks.In...

 which is also known variously as Panch Parmesthi Sutra, Panch Namaskar Sutra. Navakar Mantra
Navakar Mantra
The Ṇamōkāra mantra , also called the Navakār Mantra or the Namaskār Mantra, is the most important mantra used in Jainism. While reciting this mantra, the devotee bows with respect to humans who have cleared their gathi karmas , fully liberated souls , spiritual leaders , teachers and monks.In...

 is the fundamental prayer in Jainism and can be recited at any time of the day. Praying by reciting this mantra, the devotee bows in respect to liberated souls still in human form (Arihantas), fully liberated souls forever free from re-birth (Siddhas), spiritual leaders (Acharyas), teachers (Upadyayas) and all the monks (sarva sadhus) and nuns (sadhvis). By saluting them saying "namo namaha", Jains receive inspiration from them to follow their path to achieve true bliss and total freedom from the karmas binding their souls. In this main prayer, Jains do not ask for any favours or material benefits. This mantra serves as a simple gesture of deep respect toward beings that are more spiritually advanced. The mantra also reminds followers of the ultimate goal of reaching nirvana or moksha. Jains worship the icons of Jinas, Arihants, and Tirthankars, who have conquered their inner passions and attained divine consciousness, and study the scriptures of these liberated beings.

Jainism acknowledges the existence of powerful heavenly souls (Yaksha and Yakshini) that look after the well-beings of Tirthankarars. Usually, they are found in pair around the icons of Jinas as male (yaksha) and female (yakshini) guardian deities. Even though they have supernatural powers, these deities are also souls wandering through the cycles of births and deaths just like most other souls. Over time, people started worshiping these deities as well.

The purpose of Jain worship or prayer is to break the barriers of the worldly attachments and desires, so as to assist in the liberation of the soul. Jain prayers and ritual in general include:
  • Panch-kalyanak Pratishtha
    Panch-kalyanak Pratishtha
    Panch-kalyanak Pratishtha is a traditional Jain ceremony that consecrates one or more Jain Tirthankara pratimas.The five kalyanakas are the five major events associated with a tirthankara.# Garbh...

    , Celebration of five auspicious events or milestones in the life of Thirthankars.
  • Pratikramana, Repentance of sins.
  • Samayika, Meditation for reducing attachments and aversions.
  • Guru Vandana
    Guru Vandana
    Guru Vandana means “Reverence for the Teacher” – it is the thanksgiving from a student to a teacher, expressing his or her gratitude. The Guru Vandana program provides a platform for students to honor their teachers for imparting knowledge and wisdom to them....

    , Chaitya Vandana, and other sutras to honor ascetics.


There are basically two types of prayers:
  • Dravya Puja (with symbolic offerings of material objects)
  • Bhav Puja (with deep feeling and meditation)

The material offerings made during the prayer are merely symbolic and are for the benefit of the offeror. The action and ritual of offering keeps the mind in meditative state. The symbolism of prayer is so strong it assists the devotee to concentrate on the virtues of Arihantas and Thirthankaras. Above all, prayer is not performed with a desire for any material goal. Jains are clear that the Jinas reside in moksha (Siddha-loka, the permanent abode of the siddhas) and are completely detached from the world. Jains have built temples where idols of tirthankaras are revered. Rituals include offering of symbolic objects and praising Tirthankaras in song. There are some traditions within Jainism that have no prayer at all, and are focused on meditation through scripture reading and philosophical discussions.

Preparation for prayer

  • Body cleansing: A bath should be taken before the prayer. A clean body prepares and assists the mind to be in spiritual mode. This is also symbolic of washing one's dirt or karmas. In order to assist in the meditative process place saffron paste or sandal paste on ring finger and anoint the forehead. This may be applied to earlobes, neck and other acupressure parts of the body.
  • Clothes: Simple, clean washed clothes are worn. White clothing is preferred. Traditionally, men wear non-stitched cloths (dhotis and khes).

Ashta Prakari Puja (Eight Symbolic Offering Prayer)


These eight pujas are enlisted chronologically below
  • Jal Puja (Water)

Water Symbolizes the life's ocean of birth, struggle and death. Every living being continuously travels through the cycles of birth, life, death and misery. This prayer reminds the devotee to live with honesty, truth, love and compassion toward all living beings.
  • Chandan Puja (Sandal-wood)

Sandal wood paste symbolizes Right Knowledge. The devotee reflects on Right Knowledge with clear, proper understanding of reality from different perspectives.
  • Pushpa Puja (Flower)

Flowers symbolize Right Conduct. The devotee remembers that conduct should be like a flower that provides fragrance and beauty to all living beings without discrimination.
  • Deep Puja (Oil Lamp)

The flame of the oil lamp represents pure consciousness or a soul without any karmic bondage. The devotee is reminded to follow the five major vows so as to attain liberation.
  • Dhup Puja (Incense)

The incense stick symbolizes renunciation. While burning itself, it provides fragrance to others. This reminds the devotee to live life for the benefit of others, which ultimately leads to liberation.
  • Akshat Puja (Rice)

One cannot grow rice plants by seeding with household rice. Symbolically it means that rice is the last birth. With this prayer, the devotee strives to make all effort in this life to get liberation.
  • Fal Puja (Fruit - Coconut preferred)

Fruit symbolizes moksha or liberation. The devotee is reminded to perform duties without any expectation and have love and compassion for all living beings so as to attain the ultimate fruit - Moksha.
  • Naivedya Puja (Homemade sweets, sugar, etc.)

With this prayer, the devotee strives to reduce or eliminate attachment.

Dev Shastra Guru Puja (Prayer for Arihants/Siddhas, Scriptures, and Teachers)


Invocation begins with Namokar Mantra and Chattari Mangalam. In this prayer the devotee bows
to Siddhas, scriptures and monks who are on the path of Right View, Knowledge and Conduct. This prayer is done by taking three full cloves and holding one clove at a time between two ring fingers while keeping the clove head pointed forward while offering and reciting.
First Clove: The devotees think of the Arihants/Siddhas/Thirthankaras, Scriptures and Teachers, so that they come into their thoughts.

Second Clove: The devotees take the next step of retaining the above three in their thoughts.

Third Clove: The devotees take the last step of physically requesting them to be near them so as to guide them through on the right path.

The offerings here are similar to the Ashta Prakari Puja with flowers replaced with yellow rice, tasty food with white coconut and fruit with almond in its shell.

Barah Bhavana (12 reflections of mind) is sung as a song. After that prayer of peace for all living beings recited followed by Namokar Mantra.

At the conclusion, Visarjan (closing) prayer is recited, which means knowingly or unknowingly if any mistakes are committed during the prayer please forgive.

Festivals


Jain festivals are characterized by both internal and external celebrations. The internal celebration is through praying (expressing devotion to Jinas), practicing meditation, spiritual studies and renunciation.
  • Paryushana
    Paryushana
    Paryushana is one of the two most important festivals for the Jains, the other being Diwali. Normally Svetambara Jains refer it as Paryushana, while Digambara Jains refer it as Daslaksana. Paryushan means, literally, "abiding" or "coming together"...

     is the most important festival among the Jain festivals. It happens during late August/September commencing on the twelfth day of the fortnight of the waning moon cycle and ending in the fourteenth of the fortnight of the waxing moon cycle. This is generally a rainy season in Northern parts of India. During this 18 day period Jain scholars and monks visit temples and explain the Jain philosophy. Jains during this period practice external austerities such as fasting, limiting their normal activities so as to reduce the harm to worms and insects that thrive during this season. At the conclusion of the festivities, a reflection on the past is encouraged, and Pratikraman is done for repentance of faults. Forgiveness is given to and asked for from all those considered.
  • Mahavir Jayanti
    Mahavir Jayanti
    In Jainism, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is the most important religious holiday. It celebrates the birth of Mahavira, the last Tirthankara. On the Gregorian calendar, the holiday occurs either in March or April....

    , The birthday of Mahavir, the last Thirthankar is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the fortnight of the waxing moon, in the month of Chaitra. This day occurs in late March or early April on the Gregorian calendar. Lectures are held to preach the path of virtue. People meditate and offer prayers.
  • Diwali
    Deva Devali
    Deva Divali is a Jain festival, which takes place during the month of Kartik in the Indian lunisolar calendar, around the full moon day.. This usually falls in October/November....

     is celebrated on the new moon day of Kartik, usually in late October or early November on the Gregorian calendar. On the night of that day, Mahavira, the last Tirthankara, attained Nirvana or deliverance and attained liberation from the bondage of all karmas. During the night of Diwali, holy hymns are recited and meditation is done on Mahavira. On the very second day of Diwali they celebrate their New Year.
  • Ashadh Chaturdashi
    Chaturdashi
    In the Hindu calendar, Chaturdashi is the 14th day of the waxing phase or waning phase of the moon. This is the day prior to new moon or full moon...

    , The sacred commencement of Chaturmas takes place on the 14th day of the fortnight of the waxing moon of Ashad. The Jain monks and nuns remain where they happen to be for four months until the 14th day of Kartik Shukla. During these four months the monks give daily discourses, undertake religious ceremonies, etc.
  • Shrutha panchami or Gyan Panchami is on the fifth day of the fortnight of the waxing moon of Kartik (the fifth day after Diwali). This day is devoted for pure knowledge. On this day books preserved in the religious libraries are cleaned and studied.

History


Parshvanatha, the twenty-third Tirthankar, is the earliest Jain leader who can be reliably dated. As noted, however, Jain mythology asserts that the line of Tirthankars in the present era began with Rishabhdeva; moreover, Jains themselves believe that Jainism has no single founder, and that it has always existed and will always exist, although it is occasionally forgotten by humans. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya embraced Jainism after retiring. At an older age, Chandragupta renounced his throne and material possessions to join a wandering group of Jain monks. Chandragupta was a disciple of Acharya Bhadrabahu. It is said that in his last days, he observed the rigorous but self purifying Jain ritual of santhara i.e. fast unto death, at Shravana Belagola in Karnataka. However, his successor, Emperor Bindusara, was a follower of a Hindu ascetic movement, Ajivika and distanced himself from Jain and Buddhist movements. Samprati, the grandson of Ashoka also embraced Jainism. Samrat Samprati was influenced by the teachings of Jain monk Arya Suhasti Suri and he is known to have built 125,000 Jain Temples across India. Some of them are still found in towns of Ahmedabad, Viramgam, Ujjain and Palitana. It is also said that just like Ashoka, Samprati sent messengers & preachers to Greece, Persia & the Middle East to facilitate the spread of Jainism. But to date no research has been done in this area. Thus, Jainism became a vital force under the Mauryan Rule. Chandragupta & Samprati are credited for the spread of Jainism in Southern India. Hundreds of thousands of Jain Temples and Jain Stupas were erected during their reign. But due to lack of royal patronage and its strict principles, along with the rise of Shankaracharya & Ramanujacharya, Jainism, once the major religion of southern India, began to decline.

According to scholars, Parshvanatha was an historical figure and lived in the 9th century BC. In the 6th century BC, Vardhamana Mahavira
Mahavira
Mahāvīra is the name most commonly used to refer to the Indian sage Vardhamāna who established what are today considered to be the central tenets of Jainism. According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last Tirthankara. In Tamil, he is referred to as Arukaṉ or Arukadevan...

 became one of the most influential Jainism teachers. He built up a large group of disciples that learned from his teachings and followed him as he taught an ascetic doctrine in order to achieve enlightenment. The disciples referred to him as Jina, which means "the conqueror" and later his followers would use a derivation of this title to refer to themselves as Jains, a follower of the Jina.


It is generally accepted that Jainism started spreading in south India from the 3rd century BC. i.e. since the time when Badrabahu, a preacher of this religion and the head of the monks' community, came to Karnataka from Bihar.

Kalinga
Kalinga (India)
Kalinga was an early state in central-eastern India, which comprised most of the modern state of Orissa/Utkal , as well as the Andhra region of the bordering state of Andhra Pradesh. It was a rich and fertile land that extended from the river Damodar/Ganges to Godavari and from Bay of Bengal to...

 (modern Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

/Osiaji) was home to many Jains in the past. Rishabhnath
Rishabha (Jain tirthankar)
In Jainism, R̥ṣabha or Ādinātha , also known as the "Lord of Kesariya") was the first of the 24 Tīrthaṅkaras. According to Jain beliefs, R̥ṣabha founded the Ikshvaku dynasty and was the first Tīrthaṅkara of the present age...

, the first Tirthankar, was revered and worshipped in the ancient city Pithunda
Pithunda
Pithunda was a port in the ancient kingdom of Kalinga on the eastern coast of India.Pithundra was the capital of an old kingdom in what is now the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, not far from Masulipatam....

, capital of Kalinga
Kalinga
Kalinga is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Tabuk and borders Mountain Province to the south, Abra to the west, Isabela to the east, Cagayan to the northeast, and Apayao to the north...

(modern Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

). This was destroyed by Mahapadma Nanda
Mahapadma Nanda
Mahapadma Nanda was the first king of the Nanda dynasty. He was the son of Mahanandin, a Kshatriya father from the Shishunaga dynasty, with a shudra wife. Sons of Mahanandin from his Kshatriya wives opposed the rise of Mahapadma Nanda, on which he eliminated all of them to claim the throne...

 when he conquered Kalinga and brought the statue of Rushabhanatha to his capital in Magadh. Rushabhanatha is revered as the Kalinga Jina. Ashoka
Ashoka
Ashok Maurya or Ashoka , popularly known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests...

's invasion and his Buddhist policy also subjugated Jains greatly in Kalinga. However, in the 1st century BC Emperor Kharvela conquered Magadha and brought Rishabhnath's statue back and installed it in Udaygiri, near his capital, Shishupalgadh. The Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves near Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially Odisha. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital...

 are the only surviving stone Jain monuments in Orissa. Earlier buildings were made of wood and were destroyed.

Deciphering of the Brahmi script
Brāhmī script
Brāhmī is the modern name given to the oldest members of the Brahmic family of scripts. The best-known Brāhmī inscriptions are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka in north-central India, dated to the 3rd century BCE. These are traditionally considered to be early known examples of Brāhmī writing...

 by James Prinsep
James Prinsep
James Prinsep was an Anglo-Indian scholar and antiquary. He was the seventh son of John Prinsep, a wealthy East India merchant and Member of Parliament....

 in 1788 enabled the reading of ancient inscriptions in India and established the antiquity of Jainism. The discovery of Jain manuscripts has added significantly to retracing Jain history. Archaeologists have encountered Jain remains and artifacts at Maurya, Sunga, Kishan, Gupta, Kalachuries, Rashtrakut, Chalukya, Chandel and Rajput as well as later sites. Several western and Indian scholars have contributed to the reconstruction of Jain history. Western historians like Bühler, Jacobi, and Indian scholars like Iravatham Mahadevan, worked on Tamil Brahmi inscriptions.

Geographical spread and influence




This pervasive influence of Jain culture and philosophy in ancient Bihar
Bihar
Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

 gave rise to Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

. The Buddhists have always maintained that during the time of Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

 and Mahavira
Mahavira
Mahāvīra is the name most commonly used to refer to the Indian sage Vardhamāna who established what are today considered to be the central tenets of Jainism. According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last Tirthankara. In Tamil, he is referred to as Arukaṉ or Arukadevan...

 (who, according to the Pali canon
Pāli Canon
The Pāli Canon is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pāli language. It is the only completely surviving early Buddhist canon, and one of the first to be written down...

, were contemporaries), Jainism was already an ancient, deeply entrenched faith and culture there. Over several thousand years, Jain influence on Hindu rituals has been observed and similarly the concept of non-violence has been incorporated into Hinduism. Certain Vedic Hindu holy books contain beautiful narrations about various Jain Tirthankaras (e.g. Lord Rushabdev) as many Hindus and Jains regard Hinduism to have been derived from Jainism. In the history of mankind, there have been no wars fought in the name of Jainism.

With 10 to 12 million followers, Jainism is among the smallest of the major world religions
Major religious groups
The world's principal religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups, although this is by no means a uniform practice...

, but in India its influence is much greater than these numbers would suggest. Jains live throughout India. Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, Rajasthan
Jainism in Rajasthan
Rajasthan, a state in western India, has had a close historical connection with Jainism. Southwestern Rajasthan was the main center for Svetambara Jainism...

 and Gujarat have the largest Jain populations among Indian states. Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, Bundelkhand
Bundelkhand
Bundelkhand anciently known as Chedi Kingdom is a geographic region of central India...

 and Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

 have relatively large Jain populations. There is a large following in Punjab, especially in Ludhiana and Patiala, and there used to be many Jains in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 (Punjab's historic capital) and other cities before the Partition
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 of 1947, after which many fled to India. There are many Jain communities
Jain community
The Jains in India have been the last direct representatives of the Shramana tradition in India. They follow Jainism, as the dharma taught by the 24 Tirthankaras, the last of whom was Mahavira.-Cultural influence:...

 in different parts of India and around the world. They may speak local languages or follow different rituals but essentially they follow the same principles.

Outside India, the United States
Jainism in the United States
Adherents of Jainism first arrived in the United States in the 20th century. The most significant time of Jain immigration was in the early 1970s. The United States has since become a center of the Jain Diaspora.-History:...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 (Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, and Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

) have large Jain communities. The first Jain temple to be built outside India was constructed and consecrated in the 1960s in Mombasa
Mombasa
Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya. Lying next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and an international airport. The city also serves as the centre of the coastal tourism industry....

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 by the local Gujarati
Gujarati people
Gujarati people , or Gujaratis are an ethnic group that is traditionally Gujarati-speaking and can trace their ancestry to the state of Gujarat in western India...

 community, although Jainism in the West mostly came about after the Oswal
Oswal
The Oswal are a social group of people from the Indian States of Rajasthan and Punjab. Oswals are primarily adherents of Svetambara Jainism, but a few are Digambaras and some are Hindu adherents of Vaishnavism....

 and Jain diaspora spread to the West in the late 1970s and 1980s. Jainism is presently a strong faith in the United States, and several dozen Jain temples have been built there, primarily by the Gujarati community. American Jainism accommodates all the sects. Smaller Jain communities exist in Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, Malaysia, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

, and Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

. In Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, the very successful Indian diamond community in Antwerp, almost all of whom are Jain, opened the largest Jain temple outside India in 2010, to strengthen Jain values in and across Western Europe.

Denominations





The Jain sangha
Sangha (Jainism)
In Jainism, Sangha can mean the assembly of monks, nuns, lay men and women of a region. It can also mean an order of monks and nuns, along with its branches...

 is divided into two major sects, Digambara
Digambara
Digambara "sky-clad" is one of the two main sects of Jainism. "Sky-clad" has many different meaning and associations throughout Indian religions. Many representations of deities within these traditions are depicted as sky-clad, e.g. Samantabhadra/Samantabhadrī in Yab-Yum...

 and Svetambara
Svetambara
The Śvētāmbara is one of the two main sects of Jainism, the other being the Digambar. Śvētāmbara "white-clad" is a term describing its ascetics' practice of wearing white clothes, which sets it apart from the Digambara "sky-clad" Jainas, whose ascetic practitioners go naked...

. The differences in belief between the two sects are minor and relatively obscure. Digambara monks do not wear clothes because they believe clothes, like other possessions, increase dependency and desire for material things, and desire for anything ultimately leads to sorrow. This also restricts full monastic life (and therefore moksa
Moksa (Jainism)
' or Mokkha means liberation, salvation or emancipation of soul. It is a blissful state of existence of a soul, completely free from the karmic bondage, free from samsara, the cycle of birth and death. A liberated soul is said to have attained its true and pristine nature of infinite bliss,...

) to males as Digambaras do not permit women to be nude; female renunciates wear white and are referred to as Aryikas. Svetambara monastics, on the other hand, wear white seamless clothes for practical reasons, and believe there is nothing in the scriptures that condemns wearing clothes. Women are accorded full status as renunciates and are often called sadhvi, the feminine of the term often used for male munis, sadhu
Sadhu
In Hinduism, sādhu denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa , the fourth and final aśrama , through meditation and contemplation of brahman...

. Svetambaras believe women may attain liberation and that Mallinath
Mallinath
Mallinath was the nineteenth Tīrthaṅkara "Ford-Maker" of the present avasarpiṇī age in Jainism. According to Jain beliefs, Mallinath became a siddha - a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Śvētāmbara Jaina beliefs hold that Mallinath was female, making her the only woman to become...

, a Tirthankara, was female.

The earliest record of Digambara beliefs is contained in the Prakrit Suttapahuda of the Digambara mendicant Kundakunda
Kundakunda
Kundakunda is a celebrated Jain Acharya, Jain scholar monk, 2nd century CE, composer of spiritual classics such as: Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pancastikayasara, Pravacanasara, Atthapahuda and Barasanuvekkha. He occupies the highest place in the tradition of the Jain acharyas.He belonged to the Mula...

 (c. 2nd century AD).

Digambaras believe that Mahavira remained unmarried, whereas Svetambaras believe Mahavira married a woman who bore him a daughter. The two sects also differ on the origin of Mata Trishala, Mahavira's mother. Digambaras believe that only the first five lines are formally part of the Namokar Mantra (the main Jain prayer), whereas Svetambaras believe all nine form the mantra. Other differences are minor and not based on major points of doctrine.

Excavations at Mathura revealed many Jain statues from the time of the Kushan Empire
Kushan Empire
The Kushan Empire originally formed in the early 1st century AD under Kujula Kadphises in the territories of ancient Bactria on either side of the middle course of the Oxus in what is now northern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.During the 1st and early 2nd centuries...

. Tirthankaras, represented without clothes, and monks with cloth wrapped around the left arm are identified as Ardhaphalaka "half-clothed" and mentioned in some texts. The Yapaniya
Yapaniya
Yapaniya was a Jain order in western Karnataka which is now extinct.The first inscription that mentions them by Mrigesavarman a Kadamba king of Palasika who donated for a Jain temple, and made a grant to the sects of Yapaniyas, Nirgranthas , and the Kurchakas .The last inscription which mentioned...

s, believed to have originated from the Ardhaphalaka, followed Digambara nudity, along with several Svetambara beliefs.

Svetambaras sub-sects include Sthanakavasi, Terapanthi, Srimadi
Shrimad Rajchandra
-Life:Raychandbhai Ravajibhai Mehta, popularly known as Shrimad Rajchandra by his followers, was a prominent Jain philosopher. He is highly respected for His remarkable exposition of Bhagwan Mahavira’s teachings, great spiritual state, extraordinary personality and literary genius...

 and Murtipujaka
Murtipujaka
Murtipujaka, also known as Deravasi, is the term for a sect of Jainism that includes most Svetambaras.Murtipujaka Svetambaras differ from Sthanakvasi Svetambaras in that their derasars contain idols of the Tirthankaras instead of empty rooms....

. Some revering statues while other Jains are aniconic. Svetambaras follow the 12 agama literature.

Digambara sub-sects include Bisapanthi
Bhattaraka
A Bhaṭṭāraka is the head of traditional Jain institutions. They are responsible for training of scholars, maintenance of libraries, managing the endowments, presiding over the installation ceremonies and running of Jain institutions....

i, Kanjipanthi
Kanji Swami
1889-1980) was a Jain scholar, philosopher and spiritual leader. He was the founder of the Kanji Panth within the Digambar Jain tradition. He significantly influenced the practice of swadhyaya among the Jain laity....

, Taranapanthi
Taran Panth
The Taran Panth or Taranpanthi sect of Digambar Jainism was founded by Taran Svami in Bundelkhand in 1505. Taran Svami is also referred to as Taran Taran, the one who can help the swimmers to the other side, i.e. towards nirvana....

 and Terapanthi
Digambar Terapanth
The Adhyatma movement among the Jains arose in 1626 AD in Agra. Its leading proponent was Banarasidas of Agra. Adhyatma groups flourished during 1644-1726 in Agra, Lahore and Multan. While the movement was based on the books written by Acharya Kundakunda, most of its followers were of Shwetambar...



Most simply call themselves Jains and follow general traditions rather than specific sectarian practices. In 1974 a committee with representatives from every sect compiled a new text called the Saman Suttam
Saman Suttam
Saman Suttam is the religious text created in 1974 by a committee consisting of representatives of each of the major sects of Jainism to reconcile the teachings of the sects. After a gap of about nearly two thousand years following composition of Tattvartha Sutra by Acharya Umasvati this was the...

.

Symbolism


The holiest symbol is a simple swastika
Swastika
The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form in counter clock motion or its mirrored left-facing form in clock motion. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient...

. A Jain swastika is normally associated with the three dots on the top accompanied with a crest and a dot. Another important symbol incorporates a wheel on the palm of a hand, symbolizing Ahimsa
Ahimsa
Ahimsa is a term meaning to do no harm . The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; himsa is injury or harm, a-himsa is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or nonviolence. It is an important tenet of the Indian religions...

.
Other major Jain symbols include:
  • 24 Lanchhanas (symbols) of the Tirthankaras
  • Triratna (three umbrellas, signifying triple gems of Jainism
    Triple gems of Jainism
    Jainism emphasises that ratnatraya — the right vision or view , right knowledge and right conduct — constitutes the path to liberation. These are known as the triple gems of Jainism and hence also known as Ratnatraya...

    ) and Shrivatsa symbols
  • A Tirthankar's or Chakravarti's mother dreams
  • Dharmacakra
    Dharmacakra
    The Dharmachakra , lit. "Wheel of Dharma" or "Wheel of Life" is a symbol that has represented dharma, the Buddha's teaching of the path to enlightenment, since the early period of Indian Buddhism. A similar symbol is also in use in Jainism...

     and Siddha-chakra
    Siddha-chakra
    Siddha-chakra is one of the Jain yantras. It is circular with 5+4 = 9 petals, one of which is marked with representation of a siddha, a liberated soul. The Siddha Chakra Mahayantra which is the most auspicious and most versatile yantra in the Jain religion....

  • Eight auspicious symbols (The Asta Mangalas). Their names are (in series of pictures)

  1. Swastika - Signifies peace and well-being
  2. Shrivatsa - A mark manifested on the centre of the Jina's chest, signifying a pure soul.
  3. Nandyavartya - Large swastika with nine corners
  4. Vardhamanaka - A shallow earthen dish used for lamps, suggests an increase in wealth, fame and merit due to a Jina's grace.
  5. Bhadrasana - Throne, considered auspicious because it is sanctified by the blessed Jina's feet.
  6. Kalasha - Pot filled with pure water signifying wisdom and completeness
  7. Minayugala
  8. Darpana -The mirror reflects one's true self because of its clarity

Contributions to Indian culture




While Jains represent less than 1% of the Indian constitution and population, their contributions to culture and society in India are extremely significant.
Jainism had a major influence in developing a system of philosophy and ethics that had a great impact on all aspects of Indian culture. Scholarly research and evidences have shown that philosophical concepts considered typically Indian – karma, ahimsa, moksa, reincarnation and the like – were propagated and developed by Jain teachers.

Jains have also contributed to the culture and language of the Indian states Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

, Gujarat and Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

. Jain scholars and poets authored Tamil classics of the Sangam period such as the Silappatikaram, Civaka Cintamani
Civaka Cintamani
Civaka Cintamani is a classical epic poem. It is a Jain religious epic authored by Tirutakkatevar.It belongs to the Sangam tradition of Tamil literature, and is considered one of the five great Tamil epics. In its form, it anticipates the Ramayana of Kambar. Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi was much appreciated...

, Manimekalai
Manimekalai
Manimekalai or Maṇimekalai , written by the Tamil Buddhist poet Seethalai Saathanar is one of the masterpieces of Tamil literature. It is considered to be one of the five great epics of Tamil literature. Manimekalai is a poem in 30 cantos...

 and Nālaṭiyār
Nalatiyar
Naaladiyar is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. This belongs to the 'post Sangam period corresponding to between 100 – 500 CE. Naaladiyar contains 400 poems, each containing four lines...

. In the beginning of the medieval period, between the 9th and 13th centuries, Kannada authors were predominantly of the Jain and Lingayati
Lingayatism
Lingayatism, also known as Veerashaivism, is a distinct Shaivite denomination in India. It makes several departures from mainstream Hinduism and propounds monotheism through worship centered on Lord Shiva. It also rejects the authority of the Vedas and the caste system. The adherents of this faith...

 faiths. Jains were the earliest known cultivators of Kannada literature, which they dominated until the 12th century. Jains wrote about the Tirthankaras and other aspects of the faith. Adikavi Pampa
Adikavi Pampa
Pampa , called by the honorific Ādikavi is one of the greatest Kannada poets of all time.He is very famous even today for his philosophical beliefs...

 is one of the greatest Kannada poets of all time and was the court poet of Chalukya
Chalukya dynasty
The Chalukya dynasty was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. During this period, they ruled as three related yet individual dynasties. The earliest dynasty, known as the "Badami Chalukyas", ruled from Vatapi from the...

 king Arikesari, a Rashtrakuta
Rashtrakuta Dynasty
The Rashtrakuta Empire was a royal dynasty ruling large parts of the Indian Subcontinent between the sixth and the 10th centuries. During this period they ruled as several closely related, but individual clans. Rastrakutas in inscriptions represented as descendants of Satyaki, a Yadava well known...

 feudatory, and is best known for his Vikramarjuna Vijaya
Vikramarjuna Vijaya
Vikramarjuna Vijaya , also known as Pampa Bharatha is a classic work of the 10th century Jain poet Pampa . It is an Kannada version of the great epic, the Mahabharata of Vyasa. Pampa choose the Arjuna, the central figure of the Pandava Clan, as the hero of his epic...

. The works of Adikavi Pampa, Ponna
Ponna
Ponna is a comune in the Province of Como in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 60 km north of Milan and about 20 km north of Como. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 264 and an area of 6.0 km²....

 and Ranna
Ranna
Ranna was one of the earliest poets of Kannada language.Ranna, Adikavi Pampa and Sri Ponna together are called "three gems of Kannada literature".-Early days:Ranna was born on 949 C.E. in Muduvolalu Bagalkot district, Karnataka....

, collectively called the "three gems of Kannada literature", heralded the age of classical Kannada in the 10th century. The earliest known Gujarati text, Bharata-Bahubali Rasa, was written by a monk. Some important people in Gujarat's history were Acharya Hemachandra
Acharya Hemachandra
Acharya Hemachandra was a Jain scholar, poet, and polymath who wrote on grammar, philosophy, prosody, and contemporary history. Noted as a prodigy by his contemporaries, he gained the title Kalikāl Sarvagya "all-knowing of the Kali Yuga"....

 and his pupil, the Solanki
Solanki
The Solanki was a royal Hindu Indian dynasty that ruled parts of western and central India between the 10th to 13th centuries. A number of scholars including V. A. Smith assign them Gurjar origin....

 ruler Kumarpal
Kumarpal
Kumarpal was a famous ruler of the Solanki dynasty of Gujarat at Anahilavada, India. During his reign, Jainism became prominent in Gujarat. He was a devoted disciple of the great Jain polymath Acharya Hemachandra. Kumarpal was responsible for restoring ruined Somnath. He also built several...

.

Jains are among the wealthiest Indians. They run numerous schools, colleges and hospitals and are important patrons of the Somapuras, the traditional temple architects in Gujarat. Jains have greatly influenced Gujarati cuisine
Gujarati cuisine
Gujarati cuisine refers to the cuisine of the Gujaratis from India, who are predominant in western India. It is primarily a vegetarian cuisine, despite having an extensive coastline for sea food, due influence of Jain vegetarianism and traditional Hinduism...

. Gujarat is predominantly vegetarian (see Jain vegetarianism
Jain vegetarianism
Jain vegetarianism is the diet of the Jains, the followers of Jainism. It is the most strict form of religiously-motivated diet regulation in the Indian subcontinent....

), and its food is mild as onions and garlic are omitted.

Jains encourage their monks to do research and obtain higher education. Jain monks and nuns, particularly in Rajasthan, have published numerous research monographs. This is unique among Indian religious groups and parallels Christian clergy. The 2001 census states that Jains are India's most literate community and that India's oldest libraries at Patan and Jaisalmer are preserved by Jain institutions.

Literature


Jains have contributed to India's classical and popular literature
Indian literature
Indian literature refers to the literature produced on the Indian subcontinent until 1947 and in the Republic of India thereafter. The Republic of India has 22 officially recognized languages....

. For example, almost all early Kannada literature
Kannada literature
Kannada literature is the corpus of written forms of the Kannada language, a member of the Dravidian family spoken mainly in the Indian state of Karnataka and written in the Kannada script....

 and many Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 works were written by Jains.
  • Some of the oldest known books in Hindi and Gujarati were written by Jain scholars. The first autobiography in the ancestor of Hindi, Braj Bhasha, is called Ardhakathānaka and was written by a Jain, Banarasidas
    Banarasidas
    Banarasidas was a Shrimal Jain businessman and poet of Mughal India. He is known for his poetic autobiography - Ardhakathānaka, , composed in Braj Bhasa, an early dialect of Hindi linked with the region around Mathura. It is the first autobiography written in an Indian language...

    a, an ardent follower of Acarya Kundakunda
    Kundakunda
    Kundakunda is a celebrated Jain Acharya, Jain scholar monk, 2nd century CE, composer of spiritual classics such as: Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pancastikayasara, Pravacanasara, Atthapahuda and Barasanuvekkha. He occupies the highest place in the tradition of the Jain acharyas.He belonged to the Mula...

     who lived in Agra
    Agra
    Agra a.k.a. Akbarabad is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, west of state capital, Lucknow and south from national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 , it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most...

    .
  • Many Tamil
    Tamil language
    Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

     classics
    Sangam literature
    Sangam literature refers to a body of classical Tamil literature created between the years c. 600 BCE to 300 CE. This collection contains 2381 poems composed by 473 poets, some 102 of whom remain anonymous The period during which these poems were composed is commonly referred to as the Sangam...

     are written by Jains or with Jain beliefs and values as the core subject.
  • Practically all the known texts in the Apabhramsha
    Apabhramsha
    Apabhraṃśa is a term used by Sanskrit grammarians since Patañjali to refer to dialects that deviate from the norm of Sanskrit grammar. The term in Sanskrit literally means "corrupt" or "non-grammatical language". It is used as a cover term for the dialects forming the transition between the late...

     language are Jain works.


The oldest Jain literature is in Shauraseni and the Jain Prakrit
Jain Prakrit
Jain Prakrit is a term loosely used for the language of the Jain Agamas . The books of Jainism were written in the popular vernacular dialects , and therefore encompass a number of related dialects...

 (the Jain Agamas
Jain Agamas
Agamas are canonical texts of Jainism based on Mahavira’s teachings. Mahavira’s preaching were orally compiled by his disciples into various Sutras which were collectively called Jain canonical or Agamic literature. Traditionally these sutras were orally passed on from teachers to the disciples...

, Agama-Tulya, the Siddhanta texts, etc.). Many classical texts are in Sanskrit (Tattvartha Sutra
Tattvartha Sutra
Tattvartha Sutra is a Jain text written by Acharya Umaswati. It was an attempt to bring together the different elements of the Jain path, epistemological, metaphysical, cosmological, ethical and practical, otherwise unorganized around the scriptures in an unsystematic format...

, Puranas
Puranas
The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

, Kosh, Sravakacara, mathematics, Nighantus etc.). "Abhidhana Rajendra Kosha" written by Acharya Rajendrasuri
Acharya Rajendrasuri
Acharya Rajendrasuri was the major Svetambara Jain reformer of the 18th and 19th centuries. He was born on 3 December 1826 at Bharatpur, Rajasthan. In 1880, as the leader of the Tapa Gaccha, he led a movement to restore the orders of wandering monks, leading to near extinction of the Yati...

, is only one available Jain encyclopedia or Jain dictionary to understand the Jain Prakrit, Sanskrit, Ardha-Magadhi and other languages, words, their use and references with in oldest Jain literature.

Jain literature was written in Apabhraṃśa (Kahas, rasas, and grammars), Standard Hindi (Chhahadhala, Moksh Marg Prakashak
Moksh Marg Prakashak
Moksh Marg Prakashak is a book written by Pandit Todarmal. The book could not be completed by Todarmal due to his death and is thus incomplete after the middle of the ninth chapter. "Moksha marg prakashak" means the illuminator of the path to liberation. It is a polemic book written from the...

, and others), Tamil (Nālaṭiyār
Nalatiyar
Naaladiyar is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. This belongs to the 'post Sangam period corresponding to between 100 – 500 CE. Naaladiyar contains 400 poems, each containing four lines...

, Civaka Cintamani
Civaka Cintamani
Civaka Cintamani is a classical epic poem. It is a Jain religious epic authored by Tirutakkatevar.It belongs to the Sangam tradition of Tamil literature, and is considered one of the five great Tamil epics. In its form, it anticipates the Ramayana of Kambar. Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi was much appreciated...

, Valayapathi
Valayapathi
Valayapathi is a fragmentary Tamil Jain epic. Tamil literary tradition places it among the five great epics, alongside such works as the Manimekalai and Cilappatikaram.-Sources:...

, and others), and Kannada
Kannada language
Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...

 (Vaddaradhane
Vaddaradhane
Vaddaradhane by Shivakotiacharya is the earliest extant prose work in Kannada. It is a didactic work consisting of nineteen stories and is based on Harisena's Brhatkathakosa. It gives a detailed description of the life of Bhadrabahu of Shravanabelagola. The work is dated to the 9th century but...

 and various other texts). Jain versions of the Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

 and Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

 are found in Sanskrit, the Prakrits, Apabhraṃśa and Kannada.

Jains literature exists mainly in Jain Prakrit
Jain Prakrit
Jain Prakrit is a term loosely used for the language of the Jain Agamas . The books of Jainism were written in the popular vernacular dialects , and therefore encompass a number of related dialects...

, Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

, Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

, Rajasthani
Rajasthani language
Rajasthani Rajasthani Rajasthani (Devanagari: , Perso-Arabic: is a language of the Indo-Aryan languages family. It is spoken by 50 million people in Rajasthan and other states of India and in some areas of Pakistan. The number of speakers may be up to 80 million worldwide...

, Dhundari
Dhundari language
Dhundari is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Dhundhar region of northeastern Rajasthan state, India. Dhundari-speaking people are found in three districts – Jaipur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, Dausa, and Tonk. The derivation of the name “Dhundari” is thought to be from two origins...

, Marwari
Marwari language
The Marwari language , also variously Marvari, Marwadi, Marvadi), is spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Marwari is also found in the neighboring state of Gujarat and Haryana and in Eastern Pakistan...

, Hindi, Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu
Tulu language
The Tulu language |?]]]) is a Dravidian language spoken by 1.95 million native speakers mainly in the southwest part of Indian state Karnataka known as Tulu Nadu. In India, 1.72 million people speak it as their mother tongue , increased by 10 percent over the 1991 census...

 and more recently in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

.

Constitutional status in India



In 2005 the Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India...

 declined to issue a writ of mandamus
Mandamus
A writ of mandamus or mandamus , or sometimes mandate, is the name of one of the prerogative writs in the common law, and is "issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly".Mandamus is a judicial remedy which...

 towards granting Jains the status of a religious minority throughout India. The Court noted that Jains have been declared a minority in five states already, and left it to the rest of the States to decide on the minority status of Jain religion.

In 2006 the Indian Supreme Court, in a judgment pertaining to an Indian state, opined that "Jain Religion is indisputably not a part of the Hindu Religion".

Jainism and other religions


Jains are not a part of the Vedic Religion (Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

). Ancient India had two philosophical streams of thought: The Shramana
Shramana
A shramana is a wandering monk in certain ascetic traditions of ancient India including Jainism, Buddhism, and Ājīvikism. Famous śramaṇas include Mahavira and Gautama Buddha....

 philosophical schools, represented by Jainism movement, and the Brahmana
Brahmana
The Brāhmaṇas are part of the Hindu śruti literature. They are commentaries on the four Vedas, detailing the proper performance of rituals....

/Vedic
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

/Puranic schools represented by Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

, Vaishnava and other movements. Both streams have existed side by side for few thousands of years, influencing each other.

The Hindu scholar, Lokmanya Tilak credited Jainism with influencing Hinduism and thus leading to the cessation of animal sacrifice in Vedic rituals. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Lokmanya Tilak –, was an Indian nationalist, teacher, social reformer and independence fighter who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities derogatorily called the great leader "Father of the Indian unrest"...

 has described Jainism as the originator of Ahimsa
Ahimsa in Jainism
Ahiṃsā in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term "ahimsa" means “non-violence”, “non-injury” or absence of desire to harm any life forms. Vegetarianism and other non-violent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of Ahiṃsā...

 and wrote in a letter printed in Bombay Samachar
Bombay Samachar
The Mumbai Samachar is the oldest continuously published newspaper in India. It is published in Gujarati and is one of the most trusted newspapers of Mumbai-History:...

, Mumbai:10 December 1904: "In ancient times, innumerable animals were butchered in sacrifices. Evidence in support of this is found in various poetic compositions such as the Meghaduta
Meghaduta
Meghadūta is a lyric poem written by Kālidāsa, considered to be one of the greatest Sanskrit poets.A short poem of 111 stanzas, it is one of Kālidāsa's most famous works...

.

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda , born Narendranath Dutta , was the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission...

 also credited Jainism as influencing force behind the Indian culture and said:

"What could have saved Indian society from the ponderous burden of omnifarious ritualistic ceremonialism, with its animal and other sacrifices, which all but crushed the very life of it, except the Jain revolution, which took its strong stand exclusively on chaste morals and philosophical truths? Jains were the first great ascetics and they did some great work. "Don't injure any and do good to all that you can, and that is all the morality and ethics, and that is all the work there is, and the rest is all nonsense." And then they went to work and elaborated this one principle all through, and it is a most wonderful ideal: how all that we call ethics they simply bring out from that one great principle of non-injury and doing good."
  • Relationship between Jainism and Hinduism – According to the Encyclopedia Britannica Article on Hinduism,"...With Jainism, which always remained an independent Indian religion. Hinduism has some common concepts and practices that nowadays some Hindus tend to consider Hinduism to have been derived its roots from Jainism.
  • Independent Religion – From the Encyclopedia Britannica Article on Jainism: "...Along with Hinduism and Buddhism, it is one of the three most ancient Indian religious traditions still in existence. ...While often employing concepts shared with Hinduism and Buddhism, the result of a common cultural and linguistic background, the Jain tradition must be regarded as an independent phenomenon. It is an integral part of South Asian religious belief and practice, but it is not a Hindu sect or Buddhist heresy, as earlier scholars believed." The author Koenraad Elst
    Koenraad Elst
    Koenraad Elst is a Belgian writer and orientalist .He was an editor of the New Right Flemish nationalist journal Teksten, Kommentaren en Studies from 1992 to 1995, focusing on criticism of Islam, various other conservative and Flemish separatist publications such as Nucleus, t Pallieterke,...

     in his book, Who is a Hindu?
    Who is a Hindu?
    Who is a Hindu? is a book by Koenraad Elst published in 2001 by Voice of India.In the first part of the book, Elst tries to give a definition to the term "Hindu", although he writes that "there is no simple solution for the complex question, “Who is a Hindu?”" He also compares Hinduism with...

    , summarises on the similarities between Jains and the mainstream Hindu society.
  • Monier Williams, in his article of Jainism, mentions that Jains outdo every other Indian sect in carrying the prohibition of violence to the most extent.

Further reading


  • Alsdorf, Ludwig. Jaina Studies: Their Present State and Future Tasks. Eng. tr. Bal Patil. Edited by Willem Bollée. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 1. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2006.
  • Amiel,Pierre. Les Jaïns aujourd'hui dans le monde Ed. L'Harmattan, Paris, 2003 translated in English and printed under the title "Jains today in the world" by Parshwanath Vidyapeeth, Varanasi,India, 2008
  • Amiel,Pierre.B.A.-BA du Jaïnisme Editions Pardès,Grez sur Loing,2008
  • Balbir, Nalini (Ed.) Catalogue of the Jain Manuscripts of the British Library. Set of 3 books. London: Institute of Jainology, 2006.
  • Bollée, Willem. The Story of Paesi Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 2. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2005.
  • Bollée, Willem. Vyavahara Bhasya Pithika. Prakrit text with English translation, annotations and exhaustive Index by Willem Bollée. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 4. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2006.
  • Caillat, Colette
    Colette Caillat
    Prof. Dr. Colette Caillat was a French professor of Sanskrit and comparative grammar. She was also one of the world's leading Jain scholars.-Biography:...

     "La cosmologie jaïna" Ed. du Chêne, Paris 1981.
  • Chand, Bool. "Mahavira-Le Grand héros des Jaïns" Maisonneuve et Larose, Paris 1998.
  • Hynson, Colin. Discover Jainism. Ed. Mehool Sanghrajka. London: Institute of Jainology, 2007.
  • Jain, DuliChand. English version of "Baghawan Mahavir ki Vani" – Thus Spake Lord Mahavir. Chennai, Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1998.
  • Jain, Duli Chandra (Ed.) Studies in Jainism. Set of 3 books. New York: Jain Stucy Circle, 2004.
  • Jalaj, Jaykumar. The Basic Thought of Bhagavan Mahavir. Ed. Elinor Velázquez. (5th edition) Jaipur: Prakrit Bharati Academy, 2007.
  • Joindu. Paramatmaprakasha. Apabhramsha text with Hindi tr. by Jaykumar Jalaj. Ed. Manish Modi. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 9. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2007.
  • Joindu. Yogasara. Apabhramsha text with Hindi tr. by Jaykumar Jalaj. Ed. Satyanarayana Hegde. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 10. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2008.
  • Kapashi, Vinod. Nava Smarana: Nine Sacred Recitations of Jainism. Ed. Signe Kirde. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2007.
  • Kundakunda. Atthapahuda Prakrit text with Hindi tr. by Jaykumar Jalaj. Ed. Manish Modi. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 6. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2006.
  • Mardia, K.V. The Scientific Foundations of Jainism. Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, latest edition 2007. ISBN 81-208-0659-X (Jain Dharma ki Vigyanik Adharshila. Parsvanath Vidhyapitha, Varanasi. 2004. ISBN 81-86715-71-1).
  • Mehta, T.U. Path of Arhat – A Religious Democracy, Volume 63, Faridabad: Pujya Sohanalala Smaraka Parsvanatha Sodhapitha, 1993.
  • Nagendra Kr Singh, Indo-European Jain Research Foundation, Encyclopaedia of Jainism ISBN 81-261-0691-3, ISBN 978-81-261-0691-2
  • Natubhai Shah, Jainism: The World of Conquerors, Published by Sussex Academic Press, 1998, ISBN 1-898723-97-4, ISBN 978-1-898723-97-4
  • Patil, Bal. Jaya Gommatesha. Foreword by Colette Caillat
    Colette Caillat
    Prof. Dr. Colette Caillat was a French professor of Sanskrit and comparative grammar. She was also one of the world's leading Jain scholars.-Biography:...

    . Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2006.
  • Prabhacandra. Tattvarthasutra. Sanskrit text with Hindi tr. by Jaykumar Jalaj. Preface by Nalini Balbir. Ed. Manish Modi. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 7. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2008.
  • Pujyapada. Samadhitantra. Sanskrit text with Hindi tr. by Jaykumar Jalaj. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 5. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2006.
  • Pujyapada. Istopadesha. Sanskrit text with Hindi tr. by Jaykumar Jalaj. Ed. Manish Modi. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 14. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2007.
  • Rankin, Aidan. 'The Jain Path: Ancient Wisdom for the West.' Winchester/Washington DC: O Books, 2006.
  • Reymond Jean-Pierre "L'Inde des Jaïns" Ed. Atlas 1991.
  • Roy, Ashim Kumar. A history of the Jains, New Delhi: Gitanjali Publishing House, 1984.
  • Samantabhadra. Ratnakaranda Sravakacara. Sanskrit text with Hindi tr. by Jaykumar Jalaj. Preface by Paul Dundas. Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 3. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2006.
  • Sangave Vilas. 'Le Jaïnisme-Philosophie et Religion de l'Inde" Editions Trédaniel Paris 1999.
  • Todarmal. Moksamarga Prakashaka. Jaipur: Todarmal Smarak Trust, 1992.
  • Vijayashri. Sachitra Pacchis Bol. Agra: Mahasati Kaushalya Devi Prakashan Trust, 2005.


External links


JainGyan.com