Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Jainism (pronounced /ˈdʒaɪnɪzəm/) is one of the oldest religions that originated in India. Jains believe that every soul is divine and has the potential to achieve God-consciousness. Any soul which has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called jina (Conqueror or Victor). Jainism is the path to achieve this state. Jainism is often referred to as Jain Dharma (जैन धर्म) or Shraman Dharma or the religion of Nirgantha or religion of "Vratyas" by ancient texts.

Jainism was revived by a lineage of 24 enlightened ascetics called tirthankaras[1] culminating with Parsva (9th century BCE) and Mahavira (6th century BCE).[2][3][4][5][6] In the modern world, it is a small but influential religious minority with as many as 10 million followers in India,[7] and successful growing immigrant communities in North America, Western Europe, the Far East, Australia and elsewhere.[8]

Jains have sustained the ancient Shraman (श्रमण) or ascetic religion and have significantly influenced other religious, ethical, political and economic spheres in India.

Jains have an ancient tradition of scholarship and have the highest degree of literacy in India.[9] Jain libraries are India's oldest.[10]

Principles and beliefs

Jainism differs from other religions in its concept of God. Every living soul is potentially divine. When the soul sheds its karmic bonds completely, it attains God-consciousness. It prescribes a path of non-violence to progress the soul to this ultimate goal.

A Jain is a follower of Jinas ("conquerors").[11][12] Jinas are spiritually advanced human beings who rediscover the dharma, become fully liberated and teach the spiritual path to benefit all living beings. Practicing Jains follow the teachings of 24 special Jinas who are known as Tirthankaras "('ford-makers", or "those who have discovered and shown the way to salvation"). Tradition states that the 24th, and most recent, Tirthankar is Shri Mahavir, lived from 599 to 527 BCE. The 23rd Tirthankar, Shri Parsva, is a historical person, who lived from 872 to 772 BC.[13][14]

Jainism encourages spiritual development through reliance on and cultivation of one's own personal wisdom and self-control (व्रत, vrata).[15] The goal of jainism is to realize the soul's true nature. "Samyak darshan gyan charitrani moksha margah", meaning "true/right perception, knowledge and conduct" ( known as the triple gems of Jainism) provides the path for attaining liberation (moksha) from samsara (the universal cycle of birth and death). Moksha is attained by liberation from all karma. Those who have attained moksha are called siddha (liberated souls), and those who are attached to the world through their karma are called samsarin (mundane souls). Every soul has to follow the path, as described by the Jinas (and revived by Tirthankaras), to attain the ultimate liberation.

Jaina tradition identifies Rishabha (also known as Adhinath) as the First Tirthankar of this declining (avasarpini) kalachakra (time cycle).[16] The first Tirthankar, Rishabhdev/ Adhinath, appeared prior to the Indus Valley Civilization. The swastika symbol and naked statues resembling Jain monks, which archaeologists have found among the remains of the Indus Valley Civilization, tend to support this claim.

Jains hold that the Universe and Dharma are eternal, without beginning or end. However, the universe undergoes processes of cyclical change. The universe consists of living beings ("Jīva") and non-living beings ("Ajīva"). The samsarin (worldly) soul incarnates in various life forms during its journey over time. Human, sub-human (animal, insect, plant, etc.), super-human (deity or devas), and hell-being are the four macro forms of the samsari souls. All worldly relations of one's Jiva with other Jiva and Ajiva (non-living beings) are based on the accumulation of Karma and its conscious thoughts, speech and actions carried out in its current form.

The main Jain prayer (Namokar Mantra) therefore salutes the five special categories of souls that have attained God-consciousness or are on their way to achieving it, to emulate and follow these paths to salvation.

Another major characteristic of Jain belief is the emphasis on the consequences of not only physical but also mental behaviours.[17]

Jain practices are derived from the above fundamentals. For example, the principle of non-violence seeks to minimize karmas which may limit the capabilities of the soul. Jainism views every soul as worthy of respect because it has the potential to become Siddha (Param-atma - "pure soul"). Because all living beings possess a soul, great care and awareness is essential in one's actions in the incarnate world. Jainism emphasizes the equality of all life, advocating harmlessness towards all, whether these be creatures great or small. This policy extends even to microscopic organisms. Jainism acknowledges that every person has different capabilities and capacities and therefore assigns different duties for ascetics and householders. The "great vows" (mahavrata) are prescribed for monks and "limited vows" (anuvrata) are prescribed for householders.

There are five basic ethical principles (vows) prescribed. The degree to which these principles must be practiced is different for renunciant and householder. Thus:

  • Non-violence (Ahimsa) - to cause no harm to living beings.
  • Truth (Satya) - to always speak the truth in a harmless manner.
  • Non-stealing (Asteya) - to not take anything that is not willingly given.
  • Celibacy (Brahmacarya) - to not indulge in sensual pleasures.
  • Non-possession (Aparigraha) - to detach from people, places, and material things.

Ah(imsa), "Non-violence", is sometimes interpreted as not killing, but the concept goes far beyond that. It includes not harming or insulting other living beings either directly or indirectly through others. There can be even no room for thought to injure others, and no speech that influence others to inflict harm.[18]. It also includes respecting the view of others (non-absolutism and acceptance of multiple view points).

Satya, "truthfulness", is also to be practiced by all people. Given that non-violence has priority, all other principles yield to it, whenever there is a conflict. For example, if speaking truth will lead to violence, it is perfectly ethical to be silent. Thiruvalluvar in his Tamil classic devotes an entire chapter clarifying the definition of 'truthfulness'.

Asteya, "non-stealing", is the strict adherence to one's own possessions, without desire to take another's. One should remain satisfied by whatever is earned through honest labour. Any attempt to squeeze others and/or exploit the weak is considered theft. Some of the guidelines for this principle are:

  • Always give people fair value for labor or product.
  • Never take things which are not offered.
  • Never take things that are placed, dropped or forgotten by others
  • Never purchase cheaper things if the price is the result of improper method (e.g. pyramid scheme, illegal business, stolen goods, etc.)

Brahmacarya, "monastic celibacy", is the complete abstinence from sex, which is only incumbent upon monastics. Householders, practice monogamy as a way to uphold brahmacarya in spirit.[19].

Aparigraha, "non-possession", is the renounciation of property and wealth, before initiation into monkhood, without entertaining thoughts of the things renounced. This is done so one understands how to detach oneself from things and possessions including home and family so one may reach moksa[20]. For householders, non possession is owning without attachment, because the notion of possession is illusory. The reality of life is that change is constant, thus objects owned by someone today will be property of someone else in future days. The householder is encouraged to discharge his or her duties to related people and objects as a trustee, without excessive attachment.

Main points

  • Every living being has a soul.[14]
  • Every soul is divine with innate, though typically unrealized, infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss.
  • Therefore, regard every living being as yourself, harm no one, manifest benevolence for all living beings.
  • Every soul is born as a celestial, human, sub-human or hellish being according to its own karmas.
  • Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter. [21].
  • When a soul is freed from karmas, it becomes free and god-conscious, experiencing infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss.[22]
  • Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct (triple gems of Jainism) provide the way to this realization.[23] There is no supreme divine creator, owner, preserver or destroyer. The universe is self-regulated and every soul has the potential to achieve the status of god-consciousness (siddha) through one's own efforts.
  • Non-violence (Ahimsa) is the foundation of right View, the existence of right Knowledge and the kernel of right Conduct. Non-violence is compassion and forgiveness in thoughts, words and actions toward all living beings. It includes respecting views of others (Non-absolutism).
  • Control of the senses.
  • Limit possessions and lead a pure life that is useful to yourself and others. Owning an object by itself is not possessiveness; however attachment to an object is.[24]. 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 those afflicted and tolerate the perversely inclined.[25].
  • Four things are difficult to attain by a soul: 1, human birth, 2, knowledge of the law, 3, faith in the law and 4, practicing the right path.
  • It is important not to waste human life in evil ways. Rather, strive to rise on the ladder of spiritual evolution.
  • Navakar Mantra is the fundamental prayer in Jainism and can be recited at any time of the day. Praying by reciting this mantra, the devotee bows with respect to liberated souls still in human form (Arihantas), fully liberated souls (Siddhas), spiritual leaders (Acharyas), teachers (Upadyayas) and all the monks. By saluting them, Jains receive inspiration from them for the right path of true bliss and total freedom from the karma of their soul. In this main prayer, Jains do not ask for any favors or material benefits. This mantra serves as a simple gesture of deep respect towards beings who are more spiritually advanced. The mantra also reminds followers of the ultimate goal, nirvana or moksha.[26].
  • 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.


The statue of Gomateshwara of Digambar tradition in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka is the tallest monolith of its kind in the world

Like other Indian religions, knowledge of the truth (dharma) is considered to have declined and revived cyclically throughout history. Those who rediscover dharma are called Tirthankara. The literal meaning of Tirthankar is 'ford-builder', or god. Jains, like Buddhists, compare the process of becoming a pure human to crossing a swift river, an endeavour requiring patience and care. A ford-builder has already crossed the river and can therefore guide others. One is called a 'victor' (Skt: Jina) because one has achieved liberation by one's own efforts. Like Buddhism, the purpose of Jain dharma 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.

Having purified one's soul of karmic impurities, a tirthankar is considered omniscient, and a role model. Identified as god, these individuals are called bhagavan, lord (e.g., Bhagavan Rishabha, Bhagavan Parshva, etc.). Tirthankar are not regarded as gods in the pantheistic or polytheistic sense, but rather as examplars who have awakened the divine spiritual qualities which lie dormant in each of us. There have been 24 Tirthankaras in what the Jains call the 'present age'. The last two Tirthankaras: Parsva and Mahavira are historical figures whose existence is recorded.[citation needed]

Mahavira established the fourfold community (chaturvidhi sangha) of monks, nuns, and male and female laypersons.

The 24 Tirthankaras, in chronological order, are Adinath (Rishabhnath), Ajitnath, Sambhavanath, Abhinandan Swami, Sumatinath, Padmaprabhu, Suparshvanath, Chandraprabhu, Pushpadanta (Suvidhinath), Sheetalnath, Shreyansanath, Vasupujya Swami, Vimalnath, Anantnath, Dharmanath, Shantinath, Kunthunath, Aranath, Mallinath, Munisuvrata Swami, Nami Nath, Neminath, Parshvanath and Mahavir (Vardhamana).


Jains believe that every human is responsible for his/her actions and all living beings have an eternal soul, jīva. Jains believe all souls are equal because they all possess the potential of being liberated and attaining moksha. Tirthankaras are role models only because they have attained moksha. Jains insist that we live, think and act respectfully and honor the spiritual nature of all life. Jains view God as the unchanging traits of the pure soul of each living being, described as Infinite Knowledge, Perception, Consciousness, and Happiness (Ananta Jnāna, Ananta Darshana, Ananta Cāritra and Ananta Sukha). Jains do not believe in an omnipotent supreme being, creator or manager (kartā), but rather in an eternal universe governed by natural laws.

Jains hold that this temporal world inflicts much misery and sorrow, thus to attain lasting bliss one must transcend the cycle of transmigration. Otherwise, one will remain eternally caught up in the never-ending cycle of transmigration. The only way to break out of this cycle is to practice detachment through rational perception, rational knowledge and rational conduct.

Jain scriptures were written over a long period of time, but the most cited is the Tattvartha Sutra, or "Book of Reality" written by the monk-scholar, Umasvati (aka Umāsvāmi) almost 1800 years ago. The protagonists of this sutra are Tirthankaras. The two main sects of jainism are called Digambar and Svetambar, both sects affirm ahimsa (or ahinsā), asceticism, karma, sanskār, and jiva.

Though practice differs between the two sects, Jain doctrine is uniform, with great emphasis placed on rational perception, rational knowledge and rational conduct. {"samyagdarśanajñānacāritrāṇimokṣamārgaḥ", Tattvārthasūtra, 1.1}

Compassion for all life, both human and non-human, is central to Jainism. Human life is valued as a unique, rare opportunity to reach enlightenment. To kill any person, no matter their crime, is considered unimaginably abhorrent. It is the only religion that requires monks and laity, from all its sects and traditions, to be vegetarian.

History suggests that various strains of Hinduism became vegetarian due to strong Jain influences.[27]. Jains run animal shelters all over India. For example, Delhi has a bird hospital run by Jains. Every city and town in Bundelkhand has animal shelters run by Jains where all manner of animals are sheltered, even though the shelter is generally known as a Gaushala ("sacred cow").

Jainism's stance on nonviolence goes far beyond vegetarianism. Jains refuse food obtained with unnecessary cruelty. Many practice a lifestyle similar to veganism, due to the violence of modern dairy farms, and others exclude root vegetables from their diets to preserve the lives of these plants.[28] Potatoes, garlic and onions in particular are avoided by Jains.[29]. Devout Jains do not eat, drink, or travel after sunset, and prefer to drink water that is boiled and then cooled to room temperature.[citation needed] Many Jains abstain from eating green vegetables and root vegetables one day each week. The particular day, determined by the lunar calendar is Ashtami (eighth day of the lunar month), New Moon, the second Ashtami and the Full Moon night.

Anekantavada, a foundation of Jain philosophy, literally means "The Multiplicity of Reality", or equivalently, "Non-one-endedness". Anekantavada has tools for overcoming inherent biases in any one perspective on any topic or in reality in general. Anekantavada is defined as a multiplicity of viewpoints, for it stresses looking at things from others' perspectives.

Another tool is the Doctrine of Postulation, Syadva/Syadvada.[clarification needed]

Jains are usually 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, Jains have contributed to Indian philosophy, art, architecture, science, and to Mohandas Gandhi's politics, which led to the mainly non-violent movement for Indian independence.[30]. Note that Mohandas Gandhi's Mother was a devout Jain and Jain Monks visited his home regularly. He spent considerable time under the tutelage of Jain Monks learning the philosophies of non-violence and doing good always.

Creation and cosmology

Bhaktamara Stotra and 10th couplet in Thirukural[3], a Tamil classic: A Tirthankara is a shelter from ocean of rebirths.

According to Jain beliefs, the universe was never created, nor will it ever cease to exist. Therefore, it is shaswat (infinite). It has no beginning or end, but time is cyclical with progressive and regressive spirituality phases.

Jains divide time into Utsarpinis (Progressive Time Cycle) and Avsarpinis (Regressive Time Cycle). An Utsarpini and an Avsarpini constitute one Time Cycle (Kalchakra). Every Utsarpini and Avsarpini 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 Avsarpini half-cycle, these notions deteriorate from the best to the worst. Jains believe we are currently in the fifth Ara of the Avsarpini phase, with approximately 19,000 years until the next Ara. After this Ara we will enter the sixth phase. Which will be for approximately 21,000 years. After this Utsarpini phase will begin, continuing the infinite repetition of the Kalchakra.

Jains believe that at the upswing of each time cycle, people will lose religion again. All wishes will be granted by wish-granting trees (Kalpavrksa), and people will be born in sets of twins (Yugalika) with one boy and one girl who stay together all their lives. This symbolizes the fully integrated human with male and female characteristics in balance.

Jain philosophy is based upon eternal, universal truths. During the first and last two Aras, these truths lapse among humanity and then reappear through the teachings of enlightened humans, those who have reached moksa or total knowledge (Kevala Jnana), during the third and fourth Aras. Traditionally, in our universe and in our time, Lord Rishabha (ऋषभ) is regarded as the first to realize the truth. Lord Vardhamana (Mahavira) was the last Tirthankara to attain enlightenment (599-527 BCE). He was preceded by twenty-three others, making a total of twenty-four Tirthankaras.

It is important to note that the above description stands true "in our universe and in our time" for Jains believe there have been infinite sets of 24 Tirthankaras, one for each half of the time cycle, and this will continue in the future. Hence, Jainism does not trace its origins to Rishabh Deva, the first, or finish with Mahavira, the twenty-fourth, Tirthankara.

According to Jainism, the Universe consists of infinite amount of Jiva (life force or souls), and the design resembles a man standing with his arms bent while resting his hands on his waist. The narrow waist part comprises various Kshetras, for vicharan (roaming) for humans, animals and plants. Currently we are in the Bharat Kshetra of Jambu Dweep (dweep means island).

The Deva Loka (Heavens) are at the symbolic 'chest' of Creation, where all Devas (demi gods) reside. Similarly beneath the 'waist' are the Narka Loka (Hell). There are seven Narka Lokas, each for a varying degree suffering a jiva has to go through to face the consequences of its paap karma (sins). From the first to the seventh Narka, the degree of suffering increases and light reaching it decreases (with no light in the seventh Narka).

The sidhha kshetra or moksha is situated at the symbolic forehead of the creation, where all the jivas having attained nirvana reside in a state of complete peace and eternal happiness. Outside the symbolic figure of this creation nothing but aloka or akaasha (sky) exists.

Jain monks and nuns (Sadhu or Muni Maharaj)

Mulnayak Shri Adinath Bhagwan ,Bibrod Tirth ,

In India there are thousands of Jain Monks, in categories like Acharya, Upadhyaya and Muni. Trainee ascetics are known as Ailaka and Ksullaka in the Digambar tradition.

There are two categories of ascetics, Sadhu (monk) and Sadhvi (nun). They practice the five Mahavratas, three Guptis and five Samitis:

Five Mahavratas

  • Ahimsa: Non-violence in thought, word and deed
  • Satya: Truth which is (hita) beneficial, (mita) succinct and (priya) pleasing
  • Acaurya: Not accepting anything that has not been given to them by the owner
  • Brahmacarya: Absolute purity of mind and body
  • Aparigraha: Non-attachment to non-self objects

Three Guptis

  • Managupti: Control of the mind
  • Vacanagupti: Control of speech
  • Kayagupti: Control of body

Five Samitis

  • Irya Samiti: Carefulness while walking
  • Bhasha Samiti: Carefulness while communicating
  • Eshana Samiti: Carefulness while eating
  • Adana Nikshepana Samiti: Carefulness while handling their fly-whisks, water gourds, etc.
  • Pratishthapana Samiti: Carefulness while disposing of bodily waste matter

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

Digambar followers take up to eleven Pratimaye (oath). Monks take all eleven oaths. They eat only once a day. The Male Digambar monk (Maharajji) eat standing at one place in their palms without using any utensil.


  • Paryushan Parva, 10/8 (Digambar/Svetamber) day fasts, and for observe, 10/8 important principles.
  • Mahavir Janma Kalyanak,[31] Lord Mahavir's birth, it is popularly known as Mahavir Jayanti but the term 'jayanti' is inappropriate for a Tirthankar, as this term is used for mortals.
  • Kshamavaani, The day for asking everyone's forgiveness.
  • Diwali, the nirvana day of Lord Mahavira


Karma theory

Karma in Jainism conveys a totally different meaning than commonly understood in the Hindu philosophy and western civilization.[32] It is not the so called inaccessible force that controls the fate of living beings in inexplicable ways. It does not mean "deed", "work", nor invisible, mystical force (adrsta), but a complex of very fine matter, imperceptible to the senses, which interacts with the soul, causing great changes. Karma, then, is something material (karmapaudgalam), which produces certain conditions, like a medical pill has many effects.[33] According to Robert Zydendos, karma in Jainism is a system of laws, but natural rather than moral laws. In Jainism, actions that carry moral significance are considered to cause consequences in just the same way as physical actions that do not carry any moral significance. When one holds an apple in one's hand and then let go of the apple, the apple will fall: this is only natural. There is no judge, and no moral judgment involved, since this is a mechanical consequence of the physical action.[34]

Customs and practices

The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolizes the Jain Vow of Ahimsa, meaning non-violence. The word in the middle is "Ahimsa." The wheel represents the dharmacakra, to halt the cycle of reincarnation through relentless pursuit of truth.

Jain monks and nuns practice strict asceticism and strive to make their current birth their last, thus ending their cycle of transmigration. The laity, who pursue less rigorous practices, strive to attain rational perception and to do as much good as possible and get closer to the goal of attaining freedom from the cycle of transmigration. Following strict ethics, the laity usually choose professions that revere and protect life and totally avoid violent livelihoods.

Jains practice Samayika, which is a Sanskrit word meaning equanimity and derived from samaya (the soul). The goal of samayika is to attain equanimity. Samayika is begun by achieving a balance in time. If this current moment is defined as a moving line between the past and the future, samayika happens by being fully aware, alert and conscious in that moving time line when one experiences atma, one's true nature, common to all life forms. Samayika is especially significant during Paryushana, a special period during the monsoon, and is practiced during the Samvatsari Pratikramana ritual.

Jains believe that Devas (demi-gods or celestial beings) cannot help jiva to obtain liberation, which must be achieved by individuals through their own efforts. In fact, Devas themselves cannot achieve liberation until they reincarnate as humans and undertake the difficult act of removing karma. Their efforts to attain the exalted state of Siddha, the permanent liberation of jiva from all involvement in worldly existence, must be their own.

The strict Jain ethical code for monks/nuns is:

  1. Ahimsa (Non-violence)
  2. Satya (truth)
  3. Achaurya or Asteya (non-stealing)
  4. Brahmacharya (Celibacy)
  5. Aparigraha (Non-attachment to temporal possessions)

Common men and women also have the five vows of non-violence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy and non-possession. It is not possible to observe these vows completely in day-to-day life and therefore followed to a limited extent. As these vows are limited in their scope, they are called ‘Anuvratas’. Apart from these, additionally there are seven vows designed to assist the householders in their spiritual journey.

Nonviolence includes vegetarianism. Jains are expected to be non-violent in thought, word, and deed, both toward humans and toward all other living beings, including their own selves. 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.

For laypersons, brahmacharya means either confining sex to marriage or complete celibacy. For monks and nuns, it means complete celibacy.

While performing holy deeds, Svetambara Jains wear cloths, muhapatti, over their mouths and noses to avoid saliva falling on texts or revered images. It is incorrect to say that this is to avoid accidentally inhaling insects. Many healthy concepts are entwined. For example, Jains drink only boiled water. In ancient times, a person might get ill by drinking unboiled water, which could prevent equanimity, and illness may engender intolerance.

True spirituality, according to enlightened Jains, starts when one attains Samyak darshana, or true perception. Such souls are on the path to moksha, striving to remain in the nature of the soul. This is characterized by knowing and observing only all worldly affairs, without raag (attachment) and dwesh (repulsion), a state of pure knowledge and bliss. Attachment to worldly life collects new karmas, and traps one in birth, death, and suffering. Worldly life has a dual nature (for example, love and hate, suffering and pleasure, etc.), for the perception of one state cannot exist without the contrasting perception of the other.

Jain Dharma shares some beliefs with Hinduism. Both believe in karma and reincarnation. However, the Jain version of the Ramayana and Mahabharata is different from Hindu beliefs, for example. Generally, Hindus believe that Rama was a reincarnation of God, whereas Jains believe he attained moksha (liberation) because they are free from any belief in a creator god.

Along with the Five Vows, Jains avoid harboring ill will and practice forgiveness. They believe that atma (soul) can lead one to becoming parmatma (liberated soul) and this must come from one's inner self. Jains refrain from all violence (Ahimsa) and recommend that sinful activities be avoided.

Mahatma Gandhi was deeply influenced (particularly through the guidance of Shrimad Rajchandra) by Jain tenets such as peaceful, protective living and honesty, and made them an integral part of his own philosophy.[35] Jainism has a distinct idea underlying Tirthankar worship. The physical form is not worshiped, but their Gunas (virtues, qualities) are praised. Tirthankaras remain role-models, and sects such as the Sthanakavasi stringently reject statue worship.

Jain fasting

Fasting is a tool for doing Tapa and to attach to your inner-being. It is a part of Jain festivals. It is three types based on the level of austerity; Uttam, Madhyam and Jaghanya; first being the most stringent:

1. Uttam: Renounce all worldly things including food & water on the day of fasting and eat only once on the eve & next day of fasting.

2. Madhyam: Food & water is not taken on the day of fast.

3. Jaghanya: Eat only once on the day.

During fasting a person immerses himself in religious activities (worshiping, serving the saints & be in their proximity, reading scriptures, Tapa, and donate to the right candidates - Supatra).

Most Jains fast at special times, like 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 Digambars, during the monsoon. The monsoon is considered the best time of fasting due to lenient weather. However, a Jain may fast at any time, especially if s/he feels some error has been committed. 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; it is called sallekhana. Through this one achieves a death with dignity and dispassion as well as no more negative karma. [36] 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.

Jain worship and rituals

Every day most Jains bow and say their universal prayer, the "Namokara Mantra", aka the Navkar Mantra, Parmesthi Mantra, Panch Namaskar Mantra, Anadhi Nidhan Mantra. Jains have built temples, or Basadi or Derasar, where images of tirthankaras are revered. Rituals may be elaborate because symbolic objects are offered and Tirthankaras praised in song. But some sects refuse to enter temples or revere images. All Jains accept that images of Tirthankaras are merely symbolic reminders of their paths to attain moksha. Jains are clear that the Jinas reside in moksha and are completely detached from the world.

Jain rituals include:

Over time, some sections of Jains also pray deities, which are yakshas and yakshinis.


Jainism timeline
Prior to 10th Century BCE The first 22 TīrthaṇkaraṚṣabha to Neminātha.
The age of Tīrthaṇkaras

2000–1500 BCE

Terracotta seals excavated at site suggest links of Jainism with Indus Valley civilization. Mention of Jain Tīrthaṇkaras in Vedas indicates pre-historic origins of Jainism.

877–777 BCE

The period of Pārśva, the 23rd Tīrthaṇkaras

599–527 BCE

The age of Māhavīra, the 24th Tīrthaṇkaras of Jainism

527 BCE

Nirvāṇa of Māhavīra, Kevala Jñāna of his chief disciple Ganadhara Gautama and origin of Divāli.
The age of Kevalins

523 BCE

As per Jain cosmology, the end of the 4th āra Duḥṣama-suṣamā and start of 5th āra Duḥṣama (sorrow and misery). The age of sorrow is said to have started three years and eight and a half months after the nirvana of Māhavīra.

527–463 BCE

The Reign of the Kevalins — Gautama, Sudharma and Jambusvami
The age of Sruta-kevali's

463–367 BCE

320–298 BCE

The reign of Chandragupta Maurya. became a Jain ascetic at the end of his reign.

2nd century BCE

Khāravela, reign of King of Kalinga (Orissa). Reinstallation of Jina image taken by Nanda Kings of Magadha as per Hathigumpha inscription
The Agamic Age

156 CE

Recitation of Ṣaṭkhaṇdāgama and Kaṣāyapahuda by Ācārya Dharasena to ĀcāryaPuṣpadanta and Ācārya Bhūtabali in Candragumpha in Mount Girnar. (683 years after Māhavīra)

2nd Century CE

Kundakunda, founder of Mūla sangha– the main Digambara ascetic lineage.

2nd – 3rd Century CE

Compilation of Tattvārthasūtra by Umāsvāti (Umāsvāmi). This was the first major Jain work in Sanskrit.

300 CE

Two simultaneous councils for compilation of Āgamas, 827 years after Māhavīra – Mathura Council headed by Ācārya Skandila and The First Valabhi Council headed by Ācārya Nāgārjuna.

453 or 466 CE

Second Valabhi Council headed by Devarddhi Ganin, that is, 980 or 993 AV – Final redaction and compilation of Śvetāmbara Canons.
The Age of Logic
4th – 16th Century CE, also known as the age of logic, was the period of development of Jain logic, Philosophy and Yoga. Various original texts, commentaries and expositions were written. The main Ācāryas were – Samantabhadra, Siddhasena Divākara, Akalanka, Haribhadra, Mānikyanandi, Vidyānandi, Prabhācandra, Hemacandra, Yaśovijaya. For a detailed chronological list of Jain philosopher-monks see Jain Philosophers. It was also a period of formation of modern Jain communities and extensive Jain contribution to Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Gujarati Literature.

981 CE

Construction of Gommaṭeśvara – Statue of Lord Bāhubalī (18 meters- 57 feet, worlds tallest monolithic free standing structure), at Sravana Belagola, Karnataka by Cāmuṇḍarāya, the General-in-chief and Prime Minister of the Gaṅga kings of Mysore.

10th Century CE

Emergence of Śvetāmbara Gacchas out of which, most prominent are – Tapā Gachha, and Kharatara Gaccha

11th–12th Century CE

Construction of Delwara temples at Mount Ābu built by the Jain ministers of the king of Gujarat, Vastupāla and Tejapāla

13th Century CE

Emergence of institution of Bhattāraka

1474 CE

Establishment of non-image worshipping Śvetāmbara sect of Sthānakvasi established by a Jain layman, Lonka Shah.

1506 CE

Establishment of Taranapantha Digambara sect

1683 CE

Establishment of Digambara sect of Terapantha by a Śvetāmbara layman, Banarasidas

1760 CE

Separation of Ācārya Bhikṣu from Sthānakavasi and establishment of Śvetāmbara Terāpantha sect.

1901 CE

Establishment of Kavi Pantha based on the teachings of Srimad Rājacandra (1867 – 1901)

1934 CE

Separation of Kānjisvāmi from Sthānakavasi and establishment of Digambara Kānjipantha

Parshvanatha, the twenty-third Tirthankar, is the earliest Jain leader who can be reliably dated.[13] According to scholars, he probably lived in the 9th Century BCE.[37][38] In the sixth century BCE, Vardhamana Mahavira 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 this title to refer to themselves.[39]

It is generally accepted that Jainism started spreading in south India from the third century BCE. i.e. since the time when Badrabahu, a preacher of this religion and the head of the monks' community, came to Karnataka from Bihar. [40]

Kalinga (modern Orissa and Osiaji) was home to many Jains in the past. Rishabh, the first Tirthankar, was revered and worshipped in the ancient city Pithunda. This was destroyed by Mahapadma Nanda when he conquered Kalinga and brought the statue of Rishabhanatha to his capital in Magadh. Rishabhanatha is revered as the Kalinga Jina. Ashoka's invasion and his Buddhist policy also subjugated Jains greatly in Kalinga. However, in the 1st century BCE 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 are the only surviving stone Jain monuments in Orissa. Earlier buildings were made of wood and were destroyed.

Deciphering of the Brahmi script by James Prinsep 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

Jain temple in Ranakpur

Jainism has been a major cultural, philosophical, social and political force since the dawn of civilization in Asia, and its ancient influence has been noted in other religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism.

This pervasive influence of Jain culture and philosophy in ancient Bihar may have given rise to Buddhism. The Buddhists have always maintained that during the time of Buddha and Mahavira (who, according to the Pali canon, were contemporaries), Jainism was already an ancient, deeply entrenched faith and culture there. (For connections between Buddhism and Jainism see Buddhism and Jainism). Over several thousand years, Jain influence on Hindu philosophy and religion has been considerable, while Hindu influence on Jain rituals may be observed in certain Jain sects. Certain Vedic Hindu holy books contain beautiful narrations about various figures who were adopted by Jains as Tirthankars (e.g., Lord Rishabdev).[clarification needed]

For instance, the concept of puja is Jain. The Vedic Religion prescribed yajnas and havanas for pleasing god. Puja is a specifically Jain concept, arising from the Kannada words, "pu" (flower) and "ja" (offering).[41]

With 10 to 12 million followers,[42] Jainism is among the smallest of the major world religions, but in India its influence is much greater than these numbers would suggest. Jains live throughout India. Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat have the largest Jain populations among Indian states. Karnataka, Bundelkhand and Madhya Pradesh 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 (Punjab's historic capital) and other cities before the Partition of 1947, after which many fled to India. There are many Jain communities in different parts of India and around the world. They may speak local languages or follow different rituals but essentially follow the same principles.

Outside India, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) have large Jain communities. Jainism is presently a strong faith in the United States and several Jain temples have been built there. American Jainism accommodates all the sects. Smaller Jain communities exist in Nepal, South Africa, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Fiji, and Suriname. In Belgium the very successful Indian diamond community, almost all of whom are Jain, are also establishing a temple to strengthen Jain values in and across Western Europe.


It is generally believed[citation needed] that the Jain sangha divided into two major sects, Digambar and Svetambar, about 200 years after Mahāvīra's nirvana. Some historians[who?] believe there was no clear division until the 5th century. In the book Outlines of Jainism, it states, "It seems certain that even at the time of Mahāvīra the two sects were in existence, though he was able to maintain at least a semblance of unity between them. The final 'parting of ways' came much later" [43]. The best available information indicates that the chief Jain monk, Acharya Bhadrabahu, according to the Svetambara version of the split between the two sects, foresaw a 12-year famine and led about 12,000 Digambar followers to southern India[44]. Twelve years later they returned to find the Svetambara sect, and in 453 the Valabhi council edited and compiled the traditional Svetambara scriptures.

The differences between the two sects are minor and relatively obscure. Digambar Jain 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. Svetambar Jain monks, on the other hand, wear white, seamless clothes for practical reasons, and believe there is nothing in Jain scripture that condemns wearing clothes. Sadhvis (nuns) of both sects wear white. In Sanskrit, ambar refers to a covering generally, or a garment in particular. Dig, an older form of disha, refers to the cardinal directions. Digambar therefore means "covered by the four directions", or "sky-clad". Svet means white and Svetambars wear white garments.

Digambars believe that women cannot attain moksha in the same birth, while Svetambars believe that women may attain liberation and that Mallinath, a Tirthankar, was a woman. The difference is because Digambar asceticism requires nudity. As nudity is impractical for women, it follows that without it they cannot attain moksha.[45] This is based on the belief that women cannot reach perfect purity (yathakhyata), "Their lack of clothes can, therefore, be a hindrance to their leading a holy life". The earliest record of this belief is contained in the Prakrit Suttapahuda of the Digambara mendicant Kundakunda (c. second century A.D. ).[46]

Digambars believe that Mahavir was not married, whereas Svetambars believe Mahavir was married and had a daughter. The two sects also differ on the origin of Mata Trishala, Mahavira's mother.

Sthanakavasis and Digambars believe that only the first five lines are formally part of the Namokara 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.

Diagramatic representation of schisms within Jainism along with the timelines.

Excavations at Mathura revealed many Jain statues from the Kushana period. Tirthankaras, represented without clothes, and monks with cloth wrapped around the left arm are identified as Ardhaphalaka and mentioned in some texts. The Yapaniya sect, believed to have originated from the Ardhaphalaka, follows Digambara nudity, along with several Svetambara beliefs.

Svetambaras are further divided into sub-sects, such as Sthanakavasi, Terapanthi and Deravasi. Some are murtipujak (revering statues) while non-Murtipujak Jains refuse statues or images. Svetambar follow the 12 agam literature (voice of omniscient).

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 Samana Suttam.

Jain symbolism

The holiest symbol is a simple swastika. 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. Other major Jain symbols include:

  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 -A fish couple. It signifies Cupid's banners coming to worship the Jina after defeating the God of Love
  8. Darpana -The mirror reflects one's true self because of its clarity
The fylfot (swastika) is among the holiest of Jain symbols. Worshippers use rice grains to create a fylfot around the temple altar.

[edit] Culture

[edit] Jain contributions to Indian culture

A Jain temple in Kochi, Kerala, India.

While Jains represent less than 1% of the Indian population, their contributions to culture and society in India are considerable. Jainism had a major influence in developing a system of philosophy and ethics that had a major impact on all aspects of Indian culture in all ages. Scholarly research and evidences have shown that philosophical concepts considered typically Indian – Karma, Ahimsa, Moksa, reincarnation and like - either originate in the sramana school of thought or were propagated and developed by Jaina teachers.[47]

Jains have also wielded great influence on the culture and language of Karnatak, Southern India and Gujarat most significantly. The earliest known Gujarati text, Bharat-Bahubali Ras, was written by a Jain monk. Some important people in Gujarat's Jain history were Acharya Hemacandra Suri and his pupil, the Calukya ruler Kumarapala.

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. Gujarat is predominantly vegetarian (see Jain vegetarianism), and its food is mild as onions and garlic are omitted. Though the Jains form only 0.42% of the population of India, their contribution to the exchequer by way of income tax is an astounding 24% of the total tax collected.[48]

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.

Jain literature

Jains have contributed to India's classical and popular literature. For example, almost all early Kannada literature and many Tamil works were written by Jains.

  • Some of the oldest known books in Hindi and Gujarati were written by Jain scholars. The first autobiography in Hindi, Ardha-Kathanaka was written by a Jain, Banarasidasa, an ardent follower of Acarya Kundakunda who lived in Agra.
  • Several Tamil classics are written by Jains or with Jain beliefs and values as the core subject.
  • Practically all the known texts in the Apabhramsha language are Jain works.

The oldest Jain literature is in Shauraseni and Ardha-Magadhi Prakrit (Agamas, Agama-Tulya, Siddhanta texts, etc). Many classical texts are in Sanskrit (Tatvartha Sutra, Puranas, Kosh, Sravakacara, mathematics, Nighantus etc). "Abhidhana Rajendra Kosha" written by Acharya Rajendrasuri, is only one available Jain encyclopedia or Jain dictionary to understand the Jain Prakrit, Sanskrit, and Ardha-Magadhi and other Jain languages, words, their use and references with in oldest Jain literature. Later Jain literature was written in Apabhramsha (Kahas, rasas, and grammars), Hindi (Chhahadhala, Mokshamarga Prakashaka, and others), Tamil (Jivakacintamani and others), and Kannada (Vaddaradhane and various other texts). Jain versions of Ramayana and Mahabharata are found in Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhramsha and Kannada.

Jainism and other religions

Jains are not a part of the Vedic Religion (Hinduism).[49][50][51] Ancient India had two philosophical streams of thought: The Shramana philosophical schools, represented by Jainism , and the Brahmana/Vedic/Puranic schools represented by Vedanta, Vaishnava and other movements. Both streams are subsets of the Dharmic family of faith and have existed side by side for many thousands of years, influencing each other.[52]

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 has described Jainism as the originator of Ahimsa and wrote in a letter printed in Bombay Samachar, Mumbai:10 Dec, 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. Swami Vivekananda[53] also credited Jainism as influencing force behind the Indian culture.

"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. "Don't injure any, 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... Throw it away." And then they went to work and elaborated this one principle, and it is a most wonderful ideal: how all that we call ethics they simply bring out from one great principle of non-injury and doing good."

  • Relationship between Jainism and Hinduism - According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Article on Hinduism,"...With Jainism which always remained an Indian religion, Hinduism has so much in common, especially in social institutions and ritual life, that nowadays Hindus tend to consider it a Hindu sect. Many Jains also are inclined to fraternization..."[54]
  • Independent Religion - From the Encyclopædia 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."[55] The author Koenraad Elst in his book, Who is a Hindu?, summarises on the similarities between Jains and the mainstream Hindu society.
  • Monier Williams, in his article of Jainism, mentions that Jainas outdo every other Indian sect in carrying the prohibition of himsa to the most prosperous extremes.[56]

Languages used in Jain literature

Jain literature exists in Prakrit, Sanskrit, Tamil, Apabhramsha, Rajasthani, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kutchi, Kannada, Tulu, Telugu, Dhundhari (Old Marwari), English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.

Constitutional status of Jainism in India

In 2005 the Supreme Court of India in a judgment stated that Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists are sub-sects or 'special faiths' of Hinduism, and are governed under the ambit of Hindu laws.[57] In the same year however, it declined to issue a writ of Mandamus towards granting Jains the status of a religious minority throughout India. The Court noted that Jains have been declared a minority in 5 states already, and left it to the rest of the States to decide on the minority status of Jain religion.[58]

In 2006 the Supreme Court in a judgment pertaining to a state, opined that "Jain Religion is indisputably not a part of the Hindu Religion". (para 25, Committee of Management Kanya Junior High School Bal Vidya Mandir, Etah, U.P. v. Sachiv, U.P. Basic Shiksha Parishad, Allahabad, U.P. and Ors., Per Dalveer Bhandari J., Civil Appeal No. 9595 of 2003, decided On: 21.08.2006, Supreme Court of India) [2]

See also


  1. ^ Buswell, Robert E. "Encyclopedia of Buddhism" (2004) p. 391
  2. ^ Larson, Gerald James (1995) India’s Agony over religion SUNY Press ISBN 079142412X . “There is some evidence that Jain traditions may be even older than the Buddhist traditions, possibly going back to the time of the Indus valley civilization, and that Vardhamana rather than being a “founder” per se was, rather, simply a primary spokesman for much older tradition. Page 27”
  3. ^ Varni, Jinendra; Ed. Prof. Sagarmal Jain, Translated Justice T.K. Tukol and Dr. K.K. Dixit (1993). Samaṇ Suttaṁ. New Delhi: Bhagwan Mahavir memorial Samiti. “The Historians have so far fully recognized the truth that Tirthankara Mahavira was not the founder of the religion. He was preceded by many tirthankaras. He merely reiterated and rejuvenated that religion. It is correct that history has not been able to trace the origin of the Jaina religion; but historical evidence now available and the result of dispassionate researches in literature have established that Jainism is undoubtly an ancient religion.” Pp. xii – xiii of introduction by Justice T.K.Tutkol and Dr. K.K. Dixit.
  4. ^ Edward Craig (1998) Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor & Francis ISBN 0415073103 “One significant difference between Mahavira and Buddha is that Mahavira was not a founder of a new movement, but rather a reformer of the teachings of his predecessor, Parsva.” p. 33
  5. ^ Joel Diederik Beversluis (2000) In: Sourcebook of the World's Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality, New World Library : Novato, CA ISBN 1577311213 Originating on the Indian sub-continent, Jainism is one of the oldest religion of its homeland and indeed the world having pre-historic origins before 3000 BCE, and before the propagation of Indo-Aryan culture…. p. 81
  6. ^ Jainism by Mrs. N.R. Guseva p.44
  7. ^ Indian Census
  8. ^ Estimates for the population of Jains differ from just over four million to twelve million due to difficulties of Jain identity, with Jains in some areas counted as a Hindu sect. Many Jains do not return Jainism as their religion on census forms for various reasons such as certain Jain castes considering themselves both Hindu and Jain. Following a major advertising campaign[citation needed] urging Jains to register as such, the 1981 Census of India returned 3.19 million Jains. This was estimated at the time to be at least half the true number. There are an estimated 25,000 Jains in Europe (mostly in England), 21,000 in Africa, 20,000 plus in North America and 5,000 in the rest of Asia.
  9. ^ Census of India 2001
  10. ^ The Jain Knowledge Warehouses: Traditional Libraries in India, John E. Cort, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 115, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1995), pp. 77–87
  11. ^ . . .from Hindi Jaina, from Skt. jinah "saint," lit. "overcomer," from base ji "to conquer," related to jayah "victory." entry
  12. ^ Hindi jaina, from Sanskrit jaina-, "relating to the saints", from jinaḥ, "saint, victor", from jayati, "he conquers". entry
  13. ^ a b Jarl Charpentier: The History of the Jains, in: The Cambridge History of India, vol. 1, Cambridge 1922, p. 153; A.M. Ghatage: Jainism, in: The Age of Imperial Unity, ed. R.C. Majumdar/A.D. Pusalkar, Bombay 1951, p. 411-412; Shantaram Bhalchandra Deo: History of Jaina Monachism, Poona 1956, p. 59-60.
  14. ^ a b Mehta, T.U. "Path of Arhat - A Religious Democracy" (DOC). Pujya Sohanalala Smaraka Parsvanatha Sodhapitha. Retrieved on 2008-03-11.
  15. ^ Buswell, Robert E. (2004) "Encyclopedia of Buddhism." p. 383
  16. ^ Singh, Ramjee Dr. Jaina Perspective in Philosophy and Religion, Faridabad, Pujya Sohanalala Smaraka Parsvanatha Sodhapitha, 1993.
  17. ^ Tobias, Michael (1991). Life Force. The World of Jainism. Berkeley, California: Asian manush Press. pp. 6–7, 15. ISBN 0-89581-899-X.
  18. ^ Book: Outlines of Jainism pg. 159, Author: S.Gopalan
  19. ^ Book: Outlines of Jainism pg. 163-164, Author: S.Gopalan
  20. ^ Book: Outlines of Jainism p. 164-165, Author: S.Gopalan
  21. ^ Fisher, Mary Pat and Bailey, Lee W. An Anthology of Living Religions. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2008.
  22. ^ Kastenbaum, Robert (2003) "Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying " p. 491
  23. ^ Tattvartha Sutra
  24. ^ Dulichand Jain (1998) Thus Spake Lord Mahavir, Sri Ramakrishna Math Chennai, ISBN 81-7120-825-8 Page 69
  25. ^ Prof. S.A.Jain. Reality - English Translation of Sarvarthasiddhi by Srimat Pujyapadacharya, 2nd Edition, Chapter 7, Page 195.
  26. ^ Jainism: The World of Conquerors By Natubhai Shah Published 1998 Sussex Academic Press
  27. ^ South India Handbook: The Travel Guide By Robert Bradnock, 2000 Footprint Travel Guides, p. 543, Vegetarianism: A History By Colin Spencer, 2002 Thunder's Mouth Press, p. 342
  28. ^ "Viren, Jain" (PDF). RE Today. Retrieved on 2007-06-14.
  29. ^ "At the Root of Root Vegetables" (PDF). Anekant Education Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-06-14.
  30. ^ Content Pages of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Social Science
  31. ^ JainNet : Mahaveer Janma Kalyanak
  32. ^ Kuhn, Hermann (2001). In: Karma, The Mechanism : Create Your Own Fate. Nevada: Crosswind Publishing.
  33. ^ Dr. H. V. Glasenapp, Doctrine of Karman in Jain Philosophy, Pg 2
  34. ^ Zydenbos (2006)
  35. ^ [1].
  36. ^ Kastenbaum, Robert. "Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying" (2003) pg. 492
  37. ^ "Parshvanatha". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007.
  38. ^ Bowker, John (2000). "Parsva". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.
  39. ^ Jerry Bentley and Herbert Ziegler: "Traditions and Encounters", in: "State, Society, and the Quest for SAlvation in India" p187; McGrawHill, 1999
  40. ^ Jainism by Mrs. N.R. Guseva, p.51
  41. ^ Please refer to "Jaya Gommatesh" for more details on this topic.{Patil, Bal. "Jaya Gommatesha". Foreword by Prof. Dr. Colette Caillat.
  42. ^ Basic Faith Group Information
  43. ^ Outlines of Jainism by S.Gopalan, p.22
  44. ^ Outlines of Jainism by S.Gopalan, p.22-23
  45. ^ Anne Vallely; Guardians of the Transcendent: An Ethnography of a Jain Ascetic Community (page 15)
  46. ^ Gender and Salvation: Jaina Debates on the Spiritual Liberation of Women. Padmanabh S. Jaini University of California Press, 1991
  47. ^ Zydenbos, Robert J. (2006)
  48. ^ Jains’ contribution to exchequer “astounding”, Online Edition, The Hindu (August 20, 2007). Retrieved on August 29, 2008.
  49. ^ J. L. Jaini, (1916) Jaina Law, Bhadrabahu Samhita, (Text with translation ) Arrah, Central jaina publishing House) " As to Jains being Hindu dissenters, and, therefore governable by Hindu law, we are not told this date of secession [...] Jainism certainly has a longer history than is consistent with its being a creed of dissenters from Hinduism." P.12-13
  50. ^ P.S. Jaini, (1979), The Jaina Path to Purification, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, p. 169 "Jainas themselves have no memory of a time when they fell within the Vedic fold. Any theory that attempts to link the two traditions, moreover fails to appreciate rather distinctive and very non-vedic character of Jaina cosmology, soul theory, karmic doctrine and atheism"
  51. ^ Y. Masih (2000) In : A Comparative Study of Religions, Motilal Banarsidass Publ : Delhi, ISBN 8120808150 “There is no evidence to show that Jainism and Buddhism ever subscribed to vedic sacrifices, vedic deities or caste. They are parallel to native religions of India and have contributed much to the growth of even classical Hinduism of the present times.” Page 18
  52. ^ Harry Oldmeadow (2007) Light from the East: Eastern Wisdom for the Modern West, World Wisdom, Inc ISBN 1933316225 "What is historically known is that there was a tradition along with vedic Hinduism known as sramana dharma. Essentially, the sramana tradition included it its fold, the Jain traditions, which disagreed with the eternality of the Vedas, the needs for ritual sacrifices and the supremacy of the Brahmins". Page 141
  53. ^ Dulichand Jain (1998) Thus Spake Lord Mahavir, Sri Ramakrishna Math Chennai, ISBN 81-7120-825-8 Page 15
  54. ^ [2]
  55. ^ Jainism - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  56. ^ Cited in T.G. Kalghati, Jaina View of Life (Sholapur: Jaina Samskriti Samrakshaka Sangha, 1969) p.163
  57. ^ Supreme court of India, in the judgement of Bal Patil vs. Union of India, Dec. 2005.
  58. ^

External links