|Part of a series on|
Jainism (pronounced [dʒɛːnɪzəm]), traditionally known as Jaina dharma, is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings and emphasises spiritual independence and equality between all forms of life. Practitioners believe that non-violence and self-control are the means by which they can obtain liberation from the cycle of reincarnations. Currently, Jainism is divided into two major sects; Digambara and Śvētāmbara.
Jainism is one of the oldest religions of the world,1 identified with the Śramaṇa tradition of ancient India and connected by some to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Jains traditionally trace their history through a succession of twenty-four propagators of faith known as tirthankara with Ādinātha as the first tirthankara and Mahāvīra as the last. For long periods of time Jainism was the state religion of Indian kingdoms and widely adopted in the Indian subcontinent. The religion has been in decline since the 8th century CE due to the growth of Hinduism and oppression by Muslim invaders.
Jainism is a religious minority in India, with 4.2 million followers, and there are small but notable immigrant communities in Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the United States.2 Jains have the highest degree of literacy for a religious community in India,3 and their manuscript libraries are the oldest in the country.4
Jainism is a representative of the Śramaṇa tradition, which was a non-Vedic movement parallel to the historical Vedic religion. Each of these streams of ancient Indian religion influenced the other. The Śramaṇa tradition was responsible for the related concepts of saṃsāra (cycle of birth and death) and mokṣa (liberation).1 There is also reference to Rishabha, the first jaina tirthankara, in Vedic literature.5
The depiction of nude male figures in standing meditative positions was prevalent in the Indus Valley Civilisation, showing connections with Jainism.67 Ram Prasad Chanda, who supervised Indus Valley Civilisation excavations, states:8
Not only the seated deities on some of the Indus seals are in yoga posture and bear witness to the prevalence of Yoga in the Indus Valley Civilisation in that remote age, the standing deities on the seals also show Kayotsarga (a standing or sitting posture of meditation) position. The Kayotsarga posture is peculiarly Jain. It is a posture not of sitting but of standing. In the Adi Purana Book XV III, the Kayotsarga posture is described in connection with the penance of Rishabha.
Pārśva is the earliest tirthankara who can be reliably dated; he lived in the 9th century BCE.9 Tradition says that Mahāvīra's parents followed his teachings. However, he cannot be regarded as the founder of Jainism. Herman Jacobi, a noted indologist, writes:5
There is nothing to prove that Parshva was the founder of Jainism. Jain tradition is unanimous in making Rishabha the first tirthankara as its founder and there may be something historical in the tradition which makes him the first tirthankara.
In the 6th century BCE, Mahāvīra became one of the most influential teachers of Jainism.10 He built up a large group of disciples who learned and followed his teachings. The disciples referred to him as jina, which literally means conqueror. His later followers used a derivation of this title to refer to themselves: Jain, followers of the jina.11
The ancient city Pithunda, capital of Kalinga, is described in the jaina text Uttaradhyana Sutra as an important centre at the time of Mahāvīra, and was frequented by merchants from Champa.12 Rishabha, the first tirthankara, was revered and worshiped in Pithunda and is known as the Kalinga Jina. Mahapadma Nanda (c. 450–362 BCE) conquered Kalinga and took a statue of Rishabha from Pithunda to his capital in Magadha. Jainism is said to have flourished under Nanda empire.13
The Mauryan dynasty came to power after the downfall of Nanda empire. The first Mauryan emperor, Candragupta (c. 322–298 CE), became a Jain in the latter part of his life. He was a disciple of Badhrabahu, a jaina ācārya who was responsible for propagation of Jainism in south India.14 The Mauryan king Ashoka was converted to Buddhism and his pro-Buddhist policy subjugated the Jains of Kalinga. Ashoka's grandson Samprati (c. 224–215 BCE), however, is said to have converted into Jainism by a jaina monk named Suhasti. He is known to have erected many jaina temples. He ruled a place called Ujjain.15
In the 1st century BCE the emperor Kharvela of Mahameghavahana dynasty conquered Magadha. He retrieved Rishabha's statue and installed it in Udaygiri, near his capital Shishupalgadh. Kharavela16 was responsible for the propagation of Jainism across the Indian subcontinent. Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveller, (629–645 CE) notes that there were numerous Jains present in Kalinga during his time.17 The Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves near Bhubaneswar are the only surviving stone jaina monuments in Orissa.18
King Vanaraja (c. 720–780 CE) of cavada dynasty in nothern Gujarat was raised by a jaina monk Silunga Suri. He supported Jainism during his rule. The king of kannauj Ama (c. 8th century CE) was converted to Jainism by Bappabhatti, a desciple of famous jaina monk Siddhasena Divakara.19 Bappabhatti also converted Vakpati, the friend of Ama who authored a famous prakrit epic named Gaudavaho.20
Around the 8th century CE, Hindu philosophers Kumārila Bhaṭṭa and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya tried to restore the orthodox Vedic religion, and Shaivite poets like Sambandar and Appar (c. 7th century CE) introduced Jains to Shaivism. Under these influences, jaina kings became Shaivite.21 Sundara, a Pandya ruler, is known to have persecuted about eight thousand jaina monks who refused to convert along with him. During the 11th century Brahmana Basava, a minister to the jaina king Bijjala, succeeded in converting numerous Jains to the Lingayata, a Shaivite sect hostile to Jains. They destroyed various temples belonging to Jains and adapted them to their use.21 Vishnuism appeared around the same time as Shaivism; the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana (c. 1108–1152 CE) became a follower of Visnu under the influence of Ramanuja. It is said that he ordered the Jains to be thrown in an oil mill and crushed if they did not convert. Events such as these resulted in the growth of Hinduism to the detriment of Jainism. Jains compromised by following Hindu rituals and customs and invoking Hindu deities in jaina literature.21
The Muslims who conquered India, like Mahmud Ghazni (1001) and Mohammad Ghori (1175), further oppressed the jaina community.22 They vandalized idols and destroyed temples or converted them into mosques. They also burned jaina books and killed Jains. Some conversions were peaceful, however; Pir Mahabir Khamdayat (c. 13th century CE) is well known for peaceful propagation of the Islam.2223
The jaina community is divided into two major sects, Digambara and Śvētāmbara. Digambara monks do not wear clothes because they believe these, like other possessions, increase dependency and desire for material things—and desire for anything ultimately leads to sorrow. This practice restricts full monastic life (and therefore moksa) to males, as Digambaras do not permit women to be nude; female renunciates wear white and are referred to as Aryikas. Śvētāmbara monastics, on the other hand, wear white seamless clothes for practical reasons, and believe there is nothing in the scriptures that condemns the wearing of clothes. Women are accorded full status as renunciates and are often called sadhvi, the feminine of sadhu, a term often used for male munis. Śvētāmbara believe women may attain liberation and that the tirthankara Mallinath was female.24
The earliest record of Digambara beliefs is contained in the Prakrit Suttapahuda of the Digambara mendicant Kundakunda (c. 2nd century CE).25 Digambaras believe that Mahāvīra remained unmarried, whereas Śvētāmbara believe Mahāvīra married a woman who bore him a daughter. The two sects also differ on the origin of Mata Trishala, Mahāvīra's mother. Digambaras believe that only the first five lines are formally part of the Namokar Mantra (the main jaina prayer), whereas Śvētāmbara believe all nine form the mantra.
Excavations at Mathura revealed jaina statues from the time of the Kushan Empire (c. 1st century CE). Tirthankara, represented without clothes, and monks with cloth wrapped around the left arm are identified as the Ardhaphalaka ("half-clothed") mentioned in texts. The Yapaniyas, believed to have originated from the Ardhaphalaka, followed Digambara nudity along with several Śvētāmbara beliefs.26
Śvētāmbara sub-sects include Sthanakavasi, Terapanthi, and Murtipujaka. The Sthanakvasi and Terapanthi are aniconic. Śvētāmbara follow the twelve agama texts. Digambara sub-sects include Bisapanthi, Kanjipanthi, Taranapanthi and Terapanthi.27 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.
The principle of non-violence or ahimsa is the most distinctive and well known aspect of Jain religious practice. The Jain understanding and implementation of ahimsa is more radical, scrupulous, and comprehensive than in other religions.28 Non-violence is seen as the most essential religious duty for everyone.29
When Mahāvīra revived and reorganised the Jain movement in the 6th century BCE,30 ahimsa was already an established, strictly observed rule. Pārśva, the 23rd Jain tirthankara founded the community to which Mahāvīra's parents belonged,31 and ahimsa was already part of the Caujjama, four vows taken by Pārśva's followers. For centuries following Mahāvīra's time, Jains were at odds with both Buddhists and Hindus, whom they accused of negligence and inconsistency in the implementation of ahimsa. In the practice of ahimsa the requirements are less strict for laypersons who have undertaken anuvrata (lesser vows), than for the monastics who are bound by the mahavrata (great vows).32
A scrupulous and thorough application of non-violence to everyday activities, and especially to food, is the most significant hallmark of Jain identity.33 The Jain diet, observed by the followers of Jain culture and philosophy, is one of the most rigorous forms of spiritually motivated diet found either on the Indian subcontinent or elsewhere. It is completely vegetarian, excludes onions and garlic, and may additionally exclude potatoes and other root vegetables. The strictest forms of Jain diet are practised by the ascetics.34 For Jains, lacto-vegetarianism is mandatory: food which contains even small particles of the bodies of dead animals or eggs is absolutely unacceptable. Jain scholars and activists support veganism, as the production of dairy products is perceived to involve violence against cows. Strict Jains do not eat root vegetables, such as potatoes and onions, because tiny organisms are injured when the plant is pulled up, and also because a bulb or tuber's ability to sprout is seen as characteristic of a living being.35
Jains make considerable efforts in everyday life not to injure plants any more than necessary. Although they admit that plants must be destroyed for the sake of food, they accept such violence only inasmuch as it is indispensable for human survival, and there are special instructions for minimizing violence against plants. Jains also go out of their way not to hurt even small insects and other minuscule animals. They rarely go out at night, when it is more likely that they might trample insects. In their view, injury caused by carelessness is like injury caused by deliberate action.36 Eating honey is strictly outlawed, as it would amount to violence against the bees. Jains avoid farming because it inevitably entails unintentional killing or injuring of small animals, such as worms and insects, but agriculture is not forbidden in general and Jain farmers exist.37 Additionally, because they consider harsh words to be a form of violence, they often keep a cloth for a ritual mouth-covering, serving as a reminder not to allow violence in their speech.38
Although every life-form is said to deserve protection from injury, Jains admit that this ideal cannot be completely implemented in practice. Hence they recognise a hierarchy of life that gives less protection to immobile beings than to mobile ones, which are further distinguished by the number of senses they possess, from one to five. A single-sensed animal has touch as its only sensory modality. The more senses a being has, the more care Jains take for its protection. Among those with five senses, rational beings (humans) are the most strongly protected by ahimsa. Nonetheless, Jains agree that violence in self-defence can be justified,39 and that a soldier who kills enemies in combat is performing a legitimate duty.40 Jain communities have accepted the use of military power for their defence, and there have been Jain monarchs, military commanders, and soldiers.4139
Jainism encourages spiritual development through cultivation of personal wisdom and through reliance on self-control through vows.42 Jains accept different levels of compliance for ascetics and lay followers.42 Ascetics of this religion undertake five major vows:
- Ahimsa: Ahimsa means non-violence. The first major vow taken by ascetics is to cause no harm to living beings. It involves minimizing intentional and unintentional harm to other living creatures.
- Satya: Satya literally means "truth". This vow is to always speak the truth. Given that non-violence has priority, other principles yield to it whenever they conflict: in a situation where speaking truth could lead to violence, silence is to be observed.42
- Asteya: The third vow, asteya, is to not take anything that is not willingly offered.42 Attempting to extort material wealth from others or to exploit the weak is considered theft.
- Brahmacharya: The vow of brahmacharya requires the exercise of control over the senses by refraining from indulgence in sexual activity.
- Aparigraha: Aparigraha is to observe detachment from people, places and material things.42 Ascetics completely renounce property and social relations.
Laymen are encouraged to observe the five cardinal principles of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possessiveness within their current practical limitations, while monks and nuns are obligated to practise them very strictly.42
According to Jains, souls are intrinsically pure and possess the qualities of infinite knowledge, infinite perception, infinite bliss and infinite energy.43 In contemporary experience, however, these qualities are found to be defiled and obstructed, on account of the soul's association with a substance called karma over an eternity of beginningless time.44 This bondage of the soul is explained in the Jain texts by analogy with gold, which is always found mixed with impurities in its natural state. Similarly, the ideally pure state of the soul has always been overlaid with the impurities of karma. This analogy with gold further implies that the purification of the soul can be achieved if the proper methods of refining are applied.44 Over the centuries, Jain monks have developed a large and sophisticated corpus of literature describing the nature of the soul, various aspects of the working of karma, and the means of attaining liberation.44
- Jīva: The essence of living entities is called jiva, a substance which is different from the body that houses it. Consciousness, knowledge and perception are its fundamental attributes.
- Ajīva: Non-living entities that consist of matter, space and time fall into the category of ajiva.
- Asrava: The interaction between jīva and ajīva causes the influx of a karma (a particular form of ajiva) into the soul, to which it then adheres.
- Bandha: The karma masks the jiva and restricts it from having its true potential of perfect knowledge and perception.
- Saṃvara: Through right conduct, it is possible to stop the influx of additional karma.
- Nirjarā: By performing asceticism, it is possible to shred or burn up the existing karma.
- Moksha: The jiva which has removed its karma is said to be liberated and to have its pure, intrinsic quality of perfect knowledge in its true form.
Some authors add two additional categories: the meritorious and demeritorious acts related to karma. These are called puṇya and pāpa respectively. The knowledge of these fundamentals is essential for the liberation of the soul.46
One of the most important and fundamental doctrines of Jainism is anēkāntavāda. It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, and to the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, no single one of which is complete.4748
Jains contrast all attempts to proclaim absolute truth with this theory, which can be illustrated through the parable of the blind men and an elephant. In this story, each blind man feels a different part of an elephant: its trunk, leg, ear, and so on. All of them claim to understand and explain the true appearance of the elephant but, due to their limited perspectives, can only partly succeed.49 This principle is more formally stated by observing that objects are infinite in their qualities and modes of existence, so they cannot be completely grasped in all aspects and manifestations by finite human perception. Only Kevalis—omniscient beings—can comprehend objects in all aspects and manifestations; others are only capable of partial knowledge.50 Accordingly, no single, specific, human view can claim to represent absolute truth.47
Anekāntavāda encourages its adherents to consider the views and beliefs of their rivals and opposing parties. Proponents of anekāntavāda apply this principle to religions and philosophies, reminding themselves that any of these—even Jainism—that clings too dogmatically to its own tenets is committing an error based on its limited point of view.51 The principle of anekāntavāda also influenced Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to adopt principles of religious tolerance, ahiṃsā and satyagraha.52
Syādvāda is the theory of conditioned predication, which recommends the expression of anekānta by prefixing the epithet Syād to every phrase or expression.53 Syādvāda is not only an extension of anekānta into ontology, but a separate system of logic capable of standing on its own. The Sanskrit etymological root of the term syād is "perhaps" or "maybe", but in the context of syādvāda it means "in some ways" or "from some perspective". As reality is complex, no single proposition can express its nature fully. The term "syāt" should therefore be prefixed to each proposition, giving it a conditional point of view and thus removing dogmatism from the statement.54 Since it comprises seven different conditional and relative viewpoints or propositions, syādvāda is known as saptibhaṅgīnāya or the theory of seven conditioned predications. These seven propositions, also known as saptibhaṅgī, are:55
- syād-asti—in some ways, it is;
- syād-nāsti—in some ways, it is not;
- syād-asti-nāsti—in some ways, it is, and it is not;
- syād-asti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, and it is indescribable;
- syād-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is not, and it is indescribable;
- syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, it is not, and it is indescribable;
- syād-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is indescribable.
Each of these seven propositions examines the complex and multifaceted nature of reality from a relative point of view of time, space, substance and mode.55 To ignore the complexity of reality is to commit the fallacy of dogmatism.48
Nayavāda is the theory of partial standpoints or viewpoints.56 Nayavāda is a compound of two Sanskrit words: naya ("partial viewpoint") and vāda ("school of thought or debate"). It is used to arrive at a certain inference from a point of view. Every object has infinite aspects, but when we describe one in practice, we speak only of relevant aspects and ignore the irrelevant.56 This does not deny the other attributes, qualities, modes and other aspects; they are just irrelevant from a particular perspective. As a type of critical philosophy, nayavāda holds that philosophical disputes arise out of confusion of standpoints, and the standpoints we adopt are "the outcome of purposes that we may pursue"—although we may not realise it. While operating within the limits of language and perceiving the complex nature of reality, Māhavīra used the language of nayas. Naya, being a partial expression of truth, enables us to comprehend reality part by part.57
Jain beliefs postulate that the universe was never created, nor will it ever cease to exist. It is independent and self-sufficient, and does not require any superior power to govern it. Elaborate description of the shape and function of the physical and metaphysical universe, and its constituents, is provided in the canonical Jain texts, in commentaries and in the writings of the Jain philosopher-monks. The early Jains contemplated the nature of the earth and universe and developed detailed hypotheses concerning various aspects of astronomy and cosmology.5859
According to the Jain texts, the universe is divided into three parts, the upper, middle, and lower worlds, called respectively urdhva loka, madhya loka, and adho loka.60 It is made up of six constituents:61 Jīva, the living entity; Pudgala, matter; Dharma tattva, the substance responsible for motion; Adharma tattva, the substance responsible for rest; Akāśa, space; and Kāla, time.61
Time is beginningless and eternal; the cosmic wheel of time, called kālacakra, rotates ceaselessly. It is divided into halves, called utsarpiṇī and avasarpiṇī.62 Utsarpiṇī is a period of progressive prosperity, where happiness increases, while avsarpiṇī is a period of increasing sorrow and immorality.63
Jainism "views animals and life itself in an utterly different light, reflecting an indigenous Asian scientific analysis that yields a different definition of the soul, the human person, the structure of the cosmos, and ethics."64
According to Jain legends, sixty-three illustrious beings called Salakapurusas have appeared on earth.65 The Jain universal history is a compilation of the deeds of these illustrious persons.66 They comprise twenty-four tīrthaṅkaraa, twelve cakravartī, nine baladeva, nine vāsudeva and nine prativāsudeva.65
Tīrthaṅkara are the human beings who help others to achieve liberation. They propagate and revitalize Jaina faith and become role-models for those seeking spiritual guidance. They reorganize the fourfold Jain order that consists of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen.67 Jaina tradition identifies Rishabha (also known as Adinath) as the first tirthankara. The last two tirthankara, Pārśva and Mahāvīra, are historical figures whose existence is recorded.68
A cakravarti is an emperor of the world and lord of the material realm.65 Though he possesses worldly power, he often finds his ambitions dwarfed by the vastness of the cosmos. Jaini puranas give a list of twelve cakravarti. They are golden in complexion.69 One of the greatest cakravarti mentioned in Jaina scriptures is Bharata; tradition says that India came to be known as Bharata-varsha in his memory.
There are nine sets of baladeva, vāsudeva and prativāsudeva. Certain Digambara texts refer to them as balabhadra, narayana and pratinarayana, respectively. The origin of this list of brothers can be traced to the Jinacaritra by Bhadrabahu (c. 3rd–4th century BCE).70 Baladeva are non-violent heroes, vasudeva are violent heroes and prativāsudeva can be described as villains. According to the legends, the vasudeva ultimately kill the prativasudeva. Of the nine baladeva, eight attain liberation and the last goes to heaven. The vasudeva go to hell on account of their violent exploits, even if these were intended to uphold righteousness.71
With 4.2 million followers,3 Jainism is among the smallest of the major world religions. Jains live throughout India. Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat have the largest Jain populations among Indian states. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bundelkhand and Madhya Pradesh also have relatively large Jain populations.72 Outside India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Kenya have large Jain communities. 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. Small Jain communities exist in Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Fiji, and Suriname. In Belgium, 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.73
The fourteen Purvas was a body of Jain scriptures preached by tirthankara of Jainism. These teachings were memorized and passed on through the ages, but became fairly vulnerable and were lost within a thousand years of Mahāvīra's nirvana (liberation) due to famine.74
Agamas are canonical texts of Jainism based on Mahāvīra's teachings. These comprise forty-six works: twelve angās, twelve upanga āgamas, six chedasūtras, four mūlasūtras, ten prakīrnaka sūtras and two cūlikasūtras.75
The Digambara sect of Jainism maintains that these agamas were also lost during the same famine. In the absence of authentic scriptures, Digambars use about twenty-five scriptures written for their religious practice by great Acharyas. These include two main texts, four Pratham-Anuyog, three charn-anuyoga, four karan-anuyoga and twelve dravya-anuyoga.76
Jains developed a system of philosophy and ethics that had a great impact on Indian culture. They have contributed to the culture and language of the Indian states Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Jain scholars and poets authored Tamil classics of the Sangam period, such as the Silappatikaram, Civaka Cintamani, Manimekalai and Nālaṭiyār.77 In the beginning of the mediaeval period, between the 9th and 13th centuries, Kannada authors were predominantly of the Jain and Lingayati faiths. Jains were the earliest known cultivators of Kannada literature, which they dominated until the 12th century. Jains wrote about the tirthankara and other aspects of the faith. Adikavi Pampa is one of the greatest Kannada poets. Court poet to the Chalukya king Arikesari, a Rashtrakuta feudatory, he is best known for his Vikramarjuna Vijaya.78
The earliest known Gujarati poem in Rasa genre, Bharateshwar Bahubali Rasa, was written in 1185 by Shalibhadra Suri, a Jain monk.79 Acharya Hemachandra and his pupil, the Solanki ruler Kumarpal, were important people in Gujarat's history.80
The oldest Jain literature is in Shauraseni and the Jain Prakrit (the Jain Agamas, the Agama-Tulya and Siddhanta texts, among others). The classical texts are in Sanskrit (Tattvartha Sutra, Puranas, Kosh, Sravakacara, mathematical works, Nighantus, and so on).81 Abhidhana Rajendra Kosha, written by Rajendrasuri, is an encyclopedia or a dictionary available for interpreting the oldest Jain literature in Jain Prakrit, Sanskrit, Ardha-Magadhi and other languages.8283
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. The 2001 census states that Jains are India's most literate community.3 Jain libraries, including those at Patan and Jaisalmer, have a large number of well preserved manuscripts.484
Jainism has contributed significantly to Indian art and architecture. Jains mainly depict tirthankara or other important people in a seated or standing meditative posture. Yaksa and yaksini, attendant spirits who guard the tirthankara, are usually shown with them.85 Figures on various seals from the Indus Valley Civilisation bear similarity to Jain images, nude and in a meditative posture.85 The earliest known Jain image is in the Patna museum. It is approximately dated to the 3rd century BCE.85 Bronze images of the 23rd tirthankara, Pārśva, can be seen in the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, and in the Patna museum; these are dated to the 2nd century BCE. A sandalwood sculpture of Mahāvīra was carved during his lifetime, according to tradition. Later the practice of making images of wood was abandoned, other materials being substituted.86
Remnants of ancient Jain temples and cave temples can be found all around India. Decorated manuscripts are preserved in Jain libraries, containing diagrams from Jain cosmology.87 Most of the paintings and illustrations depict historical events, known as Panch Kalyanaka, from the life of the tirthankara. Rishabha, the first tirthankara, is usually depicted in either the lotus position or kayotsarga, the standing position. He is distinguished from other tirthankara by the long locks of hair falling to his shoulders. Bull images also appear in his sculptures.88 In paintings, incidents of his life, like his marriage and Indra's marking his forehead, are depicted. Other paintings show him presenting a pottery bowl to his followers; he is also seen painting a house, weaving, and being visited by his mother Marudevi.89 Each of the twenty-four tirthankara is associated with distinctive emblems, which are listed in such Jain texts as Tiloyapannati, Kahavaali and Pravacanasaarodhara.90
A monolithic, 18 m statue of Bahubali referred to as "Gommateshvara", built by the Ganga minister and commander Chavundaraya, is situated on a hilltop in Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district of Karnataka state. This statue was voted by Indians the first of the Seven Wonders of India.91
Navkar Mantra is the fundamental prayer of Jainism. In this prayer there is no mention of names, including that of the tirthankara. Jains do not ask for favours or material benefits from the tirthankara or from monks. This mantra simply serves as a gesture of deep respect towards beings they believe are more spiritually advanced and to remind followers of Jainism of their ultimate goal, nirvana.34
The purpose of Jain worship or prayer is to break the barriers of worldly attachments and desires, so as to assist in the liberation of the soul. Jains follow six obligatory duties known as avashyakas: samyika (practising serenity), chaturvimshati (praising the tirthankara), vandan (respecting teachers and monks), pratikramana (introspection), kayotsarga (stillness), and pratyakhyana (renunciation).93 Related to the five auspicious life events of tirthankara called Panch Kalyanaka are such rituals as the panch kalyanaka pratishtha mahotsava, panch kalyanaka puja, and snatra puja.9495
Paryushana is one of the most important festivals for Jains. Śvētāmbara Jains normally refer to it as Paryushana, with the literal meaning of "abiding" or "coming together", while Digambara Jains call it Das Lakshana. It is a time when the laity take on vows of study and fasting with a spiritual intensity similar to temporary monasticism. Paryushana lasts eight days for Śvētāmbara Jains and ten days for Digambara Jains.96
Mahāvīra Jayanti,97 the birthday of Mahāvīra, the last tirthankara, is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the fortnight of the waxing moon in the month of Chaitra, which date falls in late March or early April of the Gregorian calendar. Lectures are held to preach the path of virtue. People meditate and offer prayers.
Diwali is a Jain festival that takes place during the month of Kartik in the Indian lunisolar calendar, around the full-moon day (Purnima). This usually falls in October or November. Mahāvīra attained his nirvana at the dawn of the amavasya (new moon). According to the Kalpa Sūtra by Acharya Bhadrabahu, 3rd century BCE, numerous deva were present there, illuminating the darkness.98 On 21 October 1974 the 2500th Nirvana Mahotsava was celebrated by Jains throughout India.99
Most Jains fast at special times, particularly during festivals. A Jain, however, may fast whenever it seems appropriate. A unique ritual in this religion involves a holy fast to death, called sallekhana. Through this one achieves a death with dignity and dispassion as well as a great reduction of negative karma.100 When a person is aware of approaching death, and feels that all his or her duties have been fulfilled, he or she may decide to gradually cease eating and drinking. This form of dying is also called Santhara. It can take as long as twelve years of gradual reduction in food intake. Considered extremely spiritual and creditable, with awareness of the transitory nature of human experience, santhara has recently been the centre of a controversy in which a lawyer petitioned the High Court of Rajasthan to declare it illegal. Jains see santhara as spiritual detachment requiring a great deal of spiritual accomplishment and maturity, a declaration that a person has finished with this world and chooses to leave.101
Jain scriptures offer extensive guidance on meditation techniques. Jains have developed a type of meditation called Samayika, which term derives from the word samaya. The goal of Samayika is to achieve a feeling of perfect calmness and to understand the unchanging truth of the self. Such meditation is based on contemplation of the universe and the reincarnation of self.102 Samayika is particularly important during the religious festival Paryushana. It is believed that meditation assists in managing and balancing one's passions. Great emphasis is placed on the internal control of thoughts, as they influence behaviour, actions and goals.103
In Jainism, monasticism is encouraged and respected. Rules for monasticism are rather strict. Jain ascetics have neither a permanent home nor possessions, wandering from place to place except during the months of Chaturmas. The life they lead is difficult because of the constraints placed on them: they do not use vehicles and always travel barefoot from one place to another, irrespective of the distance. They do not use such basic services as telephones or electricity. They do not prepare food and live only on what people offer them.104
There are no Jain priests and the monks of Jainism, whose presence is not significant to most Jain rituals, should not be confused with priests. However, sects of Jainism that practice idol-worship often employ a servant, known as a pujari, who need not be a Jain, to perform special daily rituals and other priestly duties.105
- Shah 1998a, p. 8
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 271
- Census 2001 Data on religion released, Government of India, retrieved 1 September 2010
- Dundas 2002, p. 83
- Sangave 2001, p. 131
- Rankin 2010, p. 44
- Sangave 2001, pp. 107–108
- Chatterjee 1932, p. 159
- Charpentier 1922, p. 153
- Fisher, Mary Pat (2008), Living Religions (7th ed.), Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, p. 120
- Sangave 2001, pp. 100–101
- Ghadai, Balabhadra (July 2009), "Maritime Heritage of Orissa", Orissa Review, retrieved 12 November 2012
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 41
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 42
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 44
- Tobias 1991, p. 100
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 45
- Dundas 2002, pp. 113, 201
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 52
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 53
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 70–73
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 74–75
- Emperor Akbar (1542–1605) gave up eating meat after being inspired by Jains, and several Mughal emperors were polite and kind to them.
- Vallely 2002, p. 15
- Jaini 1991, p. 3
- Jaini 2000, p. 167
- Shah 1998a, pp. 74–75
- Sethia 2004, p. 2
- Dundas 2002, p. 160
- Dundas 2002, p. 24
- Dundas 2002, pp. 19, 30
- Dundas 2002, pp. 158–159, 189–192
- Dundas 2002, pp. 176–177
- Shah 1998a, p. 251
- Sangave 1980, p. 260
- Dundas 2002, pp. 161–162
- Dundas 2002, p. 191
- Shah 1987, p. 20
- Dundas 2002, pp. 162–163
- Sethia 2004, pp. 52–60
- Sethia 2004, pp. 53
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 228–231
- Jaini 1998, pp. 104–106
- Jaini 1998, p. 107
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 177
- Vyas 1995, p. 50
- Sethia 2004, pp. 123–136
- Sethia 2004, pp. 400–407
- Sethia 2004, p. 115
- Jaini 1998, p. 91
- Huntington, Ronald. "Jainism and Ethics". Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- Sethia 2004, pp. 166–167
- Sangave 2006, p. 48
- Koller 2000, pp. 400–407
- Sangave 2006, pp. 48–50
- Sangave 2006, pp. 50–51
- Shah 1998b, p. 80
- “This universe is not created nor sustained by anyone; It is self sustaining, without any base or support” “Nishpaadito Na Kenaapi Na Dhritah Kenachichch Sah Swayamsiddho Niradhaaro Gagane Kimtvavasthitah” [Yogaśāstra of Ācārya Hemacandra 4.106] Tr by Dr. A. S. Gopani
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 241
- Shah 1998b, p. 25
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 178–182
- Jaini 1998, p. 124
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 271–272
- Chapple, Christopher Key (Fall 2001), "The Living Cosmos of Jainism: A Traditional Science Grounded in Environmental Ethics", Daedalus: Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? 130 (4): 207–224
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 134–135
- Dundas 2002, p. 12
- Shah 1998a, pp. 2–3
- Shah 1998a, pp. 21–28
- Shah 1987, p. 72
- Jaini 2000, p. 377
- Shah 1987, pp. 73–76
- Office of registrar general and census commissioner (2001). "2001 Census of India". Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
- Wiley 2009, p. 19
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 109–110
- Glasenapp 1999, pp. 112–117
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 124
- Dundas 2002, pp. 116–117
- Glasenapp 1999, p. 134
- Datta, Amaresh (1987), Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature 1, Sahitya Akademi, p. 454, ISBN 9788126018031
- O'Connor, J J; Robertson, E F (February, 2005). "Acharya Hemchandra". University of St Andrews, Scotland. School of Mathematics and Statistics. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
- Shah, Pravin K. "Jain Agama Literature". Jain Study Center of NC. Colorado State University. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
- Shah 1998a, p. 65
- "Acharya Rajendrasuri: Biography". www.herenow4u.net. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- Guy, John (January 2012). "Jain Manuscript Painting". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Heilburnn Timeline of Art History. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
- Shah 1998b, p. 184
- Shah 1998b, p. 198
- Shah 1998b, p. 183
- Shah 1998b, p. 113
- Jain & Fischer 1978, p. 16
- Shah 1998b, p. 187
- "And India's 7 wonders are". The Times of India. 5 August 2007.
- Jain & Fischer 1978, pp. 9–10
- Jaini 1998, p. 190
- Jaini 1998, pp. 196, 343, 347
- Jaini 1998, pp. 196–199
- Cort 1995, p. 160
- Shah 1998a, p. 211
- Jacobi 1884, p. 266
- Upadhye 1982, pp. 231–232
- Williams 1991, pp. 166–167
- Jaini 1998, p. 227
- Jaini 1998, pp. 180–182
- Shah 1998a, pp. 128–131
- Dundas 2002, pp. 152, 163–164
- Shah 1998a, p. 170
- Charpentier, Jarl (1922), "The History of the Jains", The Cambridge History of India (Cambridge) 1
- Chatterjee, Ramananda (1932), The Modern Review 52, Prabasi Press Private Limited
- Cort, John E. (1995), "The Jain Knowledge Warehouses : Traditional Libraries in India", Journal of the American Oriental Society 115 (1): 77, doi:10.2307/605310
- Dundas, Paul (2002), The Jains, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-26605-5
- Glasenapp, Helmuth Von (1999), Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1376-6
- Gopani, A. S.; Surendra Bothara ed. (1989), Yogaśāstra (Sanskrit) of Ācārya Hemacandra, Jaipur: Prakrit Bharti Academy
- Jacobi, Hermann (1884), Jaina Sutras Part I, Sacred Books of the East 22
- Jain, Jyotindra; Fischer, Eberhard (1978), Jaina Iconography, Brill Publishers, ISBN 978-90-04-05259-8
- Jaini, Padmanabh S. (1991), Gender and Salvation: Jaina Debates on the Spiritual Liberation of Women, University of California, ISBN 978-0-520-06820-9, retrieved 10 January 2013
- Jaini, Padmanabh S. (1998), The Jaina Path Of Purification, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-1578-0, retrieved 10 January 2013
- Jaini, Padmanabh S. (2000), Collected Papers On Jaina Studies, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-1691-6, retrieved 10 January 2013
- Koller, John M. (July 2000), "Syādvadā as the Epistemological Key to the Jaina Middle Way Metaphysics of Anekāntavāda", Philosophy East and West (Honululu) 50 (3): 628, doi:10.1353/pew.2000.0009, ISSN 00318221, JSTOR 1400182
- Rankin, Aidan (2010), Many-Sided Wisdom: A New Politics of the Spirit, John Hunt Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84694-277-8
- Sangave, Vilas Adinath (1980), Jaina Community (2nd ed.), Bombay: Popular Prakashan, ISBN 978-0-317-12346-3
- Sangave, Vilas Adinath (2001), Facets of Jainology: Selected Research Papers on Jain Society, Religion, and Culture, Mumbai: Popular Prakashan, ISBN 978-81-7154-839-2
- Sangave, Vilas Adinath (2006), Aspects of Jaina religion (5 ed.), Bharatiya Jnanpith, ISBN 978-81-263-1273-3
- Shah, Natubhai (1998a), Jainism: The World of Conquerors 1, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1-898723-30-1
- Shah, Natubhai (1998b), Jainism: The World of Conquerors 2, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1-898723-31-8
- Shah, Umakant P. (1987), Jaina-Rupa-Mandana, Abhinav Publications, ISBN 978-81-7017-208-6
- Sethia, Tara (2004), Ahiṃsā, Anekānta and Jainism, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-2036-4
- Tobias, Michael (1991), Life Force: The World of Jainism, Jain Publishing Company, ISBN 978-0-87573-080-6
- Upadhye, A. N. (1982), "Mahavira and His Teachings", in Cohen, Richard J., Journal of the American Oriental Society (American Oriental Society) 102 (1), doi:10.2307/601199, JSTOR 601199
- Vallely, Anne (2002), Guardians of the Transcendent: An Ethnology of a Jain Ascetic Community, University of Toronto Press, ISBN 978-0-8020-8415-6
- Vyas, R.T. (1995), Studies in Jaina art and iconography and allied subjects, Abhinav Publications, ISBN 978-81-7017-316-8
- Wiley, Kristi L. (2009), The A to Z of Jainism, Scarecrow Press, ISBN 978-0-8108-6821-2
- Williams, Robert (1991), Jaina Yoga: A Survey of the Mediaeval Śrāvakācāras, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0775-4
- Texts on Wikisource: