Portal:Jainism

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Jainism

The Jain symbol that was agreed upon by all Jain sects in 1975.
Jain flag

Jainism (/ˈnɪzəm/), traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian religion. Followers of Jainism are called "Jains", a word derived from the Sanskrit word jina (victory) and connoting the path of victory in crossing over life's stream of rebirths through an ethical and spiritual life. Jains trace their history through a succession of twenty-four victorious saviours and teachers known as tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha, who is believed to have lived millions of years ago in Jain tradition, and twenty-fourth being the Mahāvīra around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology.

The main religious premises of Jainism are ahiṃsā ("non-violence"), anekāntavāda ("many-sidedness"), aparigraha ("non-attachment") and asceticism. Jain monastics, renunciants, and devout householders take five main vows known as vratas, outlined in their oldest surviving text, the Acaranga Sūtra: ahiṃsā ("non-violence"), satya ("truth"), asteya ("not stealing"), brahmacharya ("celibacy or chastity"), and aparigraha ("non-attachment"). These principles have impacted Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle that avoids harm to animals and their life cycles. Parasparopagraho Jīvānām ("the function of souls is to help one another") is the motto of Jainism. Ṇamōkāra mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism.

Jainism has two major ancient sub-traditions, Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras; and several smaller sub-traditions that emerged in the 2nd millennium CE. The Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras have different views on ascetic practices, gender and which Jain texts can be considered canonical. Jain mendicants are found in all Jain sub-traditions, with laypersons (śrāvakas) supporting the mendicants' spiritual pursuits with resources.

Jainism has between four and five million followers, with most Jains residing in India. Outside India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Europe, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Suriname, Fiji, and the United States. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Jayanti, and Diwali. Read more...

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Parshavanatha, 23rd Tīrthaṅkara

In Jainism, a Tīrthaṅkara (Sanskrit: तीर्थंकर "ford-Maker", Tamil: கடவுள் Kaṭavuḷ) is a human being who in addition to achieving liberation and enlightenment (Arihant) by destroying all of their soul constraining (ghati) karmas, became a role-model and leader for those seeking spiritual guidance.[1][2] Thirthankaras revitalise Jain Society by organisation of four fold Jain Order consisting of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.[3] Not all Arihants can become Thirthankaras. There are 24 Thirthankar in this time era and each of them revitalized the Jain Order.

Selected biography

Bahubali monolith of Shravanabelagola dates from 978-993 AD.

Bahubali (Sanskrit: बाहुबली) also called Gomateshwara (Kannada: ಗೊಮ್ಮಟೇಶ್ವರ Tulu: ಗೊಮ್ಮತಾ) was a Jain monk. According to Jainism he was the second of the hundred sons of the first Tirthankara, Rishabha,and king of Podanpur. The Adipurana, a 10th century Kannada text by Jain poet Adikavi Pampa (fl. 941 CE), written in Champu style, a mix of prose and verse and spread over in sixteen cantos, deals with the ten lives of the first tirthankara, Rishabha and his two sons, Bharata and Bahubali.[4][5]

A monolithic statue of Bahubali referred to as "Gommateshvara" built by the Ganga minister and commander Chamundaraya is situated 60 feet (18 m) above a hill in a place called Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. It was built in the 10th century AD.[citation needed] Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, devotees and tourists from all over the world flock to the statue once in 12 years for an event known as Mahamastakabhisheka. On August 5, 2007, the statue was voted by Indians as the first of Seven Wonders of India.[6] 49% votes went in favor of this marvel.

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  1. ^ "Britannica Tirthankara Definition". Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Tirthankara Definition". Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Tirthankara reestablishes the four fold order". Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ History of Kannada literature
  5. ^ Students' Britannica India, Volumes 1-5. Popular Prakashan. p. 78. ISBN 0852297602. 
  6. ^ "And India's 7 wonders are..." The Times of India. August 5, 2007. 
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