Jainism

  • Important Features:
  1. Independent existence of soul and matter.
  2. No divine creator.
  3. Uncreated and eternal universe.
  4. Highly focus on Karma.
  5. Non-violence.
  6. Ultimate goal is liberation of the soul.
  • Principles of Jainism:
  1. Ahimsa (Non-violence):  No harm to living beings is Ahimsa. There is no difference between intentional and unintentional harm to other living creatures. Due to extreme focus on this, farmers cannot adopt Jainism as during agriculture, unintentionally many insects are being killed. Some followers use masks for breathing to avoid killing bacteria. 
  2. Satya (Truth):  In a situation where speaking truth could lead to violence, silence is to be observed. Ahimsa gets priority over Satya.
  3. Asteya: Asteya in simple words is not stealing anything or unwillingly taking from others.
  4. Brahmacharya: Being away from sexual activity.
  5. Aparigraha: Aparigraha is to observe detachment from people, places and material things. It is similar to Sanyas in Hinduism.
  • Jain metaphysics is based on seven or nine fundamentals which are known as Tattva. These are an attempt to explain the nature and solution to the human predicament. These Fundamentals are:
  1. Jīva: The living entities are called Jiva. It is a substance which is different from the body that houses it. Consciousness, knowledge and perception are the fundamental attributes of the Jiva.
  2. Ajīva: The non-living entities which consists of matter, space and time falls into the category of Ajiva.
  3. Asrava: Due to the interaction between the two substances, jīva and ajīva, there is flow of a special ajiva called karma into the soul. The āsrava, that is, the influx of karmic occurs when the karmic particles are attracted to the soul on account of vibrations created by activities of mind, speech and body. This karma then sticks to the soul like dust on a mirror.
  4. Bandha: It is the mutual intermingling of the soul and karmas (fine matter). The karma shadows the jiva and restricts it from gaining perfect knowledge and perception.
  5. Samvara: It means stoppage—the stoppage of the influx of the material karmas into the soul consciousness. It means stopping the flow of additional karma through right conduct.
  6. Nirjarā: It is the conduct to burn up the existing karma.
  7. Moksha: The jiva which has removed its karma is said to be liberated and have its pure, intrinsic quality of perfect knowledge- Kaivalya- in its true form.
  • However, as per one sect of Jain i.e. Shwetamber (Sthanakwasi), there are a total nine tattva (truths or fundamental principles).
  • Seven tattva are same as above but 2 more tattva are there namely :-
  1. Punya (alms-deed) – which purifies our soul and provides happiness to others.
  2. Paap (sinful acts) – which impurifies our soul.
  • Who are Tirtankara (तीर्थकर):
  • Jainism has been preached by a succession of twenty-four propagators of faith known as Tirthankara. A human being who helps in achieving liberation and enlightenment as an “Arihant” by destroying all of their soul. Remember the word “Arihant”.
  • There are 24 Tīrthaṅkaras and each of them revitalized the Jain Order.
  • Tirthankara “full moon,” a metaphorical reference to Kevala Jnana. Keval Gnan is a state of permanent, perpetual, absolute knowledge of the Soul. It is the precursor to moksha, final liberation from samsara, the cycle of birth and death.
  • Jaina tradition identifies Rishabha (Adinath) as the first tirthankara. The last two tirthankara, Parshva and Mahavira are historical figures whose existence is recorded. Remember Mahavira is not the first Tirthankara.
  • Who are Chakravarti:
  • A Chakravarti is an emperor of the world and lord of the material realm. Jaina puruna gives a list of twelve Chakravarti. One of the greatest Chakravarti mentioned in Jaina scriptures is Bharata. Some authors mention that India came to be known as Bharata-varsha in the name of this Bharata.
  • There are nine sets of baladeva, vāsudeva and prativāsudeva. 
  • Baladeva are non-violent heroes and in true sense, a Jain sect.
  • Vasudeva are violent heroes and Vasudeva ultimately kills prati vasudeva but prati vasudeva goes to heaven and vasudeva go to hell on account of their violent exploits, even if they were to uphold righteousness.
  • Prativāsudeva can be termed as villains. 
  • It is mentioned that after the great famine during 4th century in Magadha, the jainism developed two major divisions –
  • Digambara (sky clad ascetics) and Bhadrabahu is the first leader of this community.
  • Svetambara (white robed ascetics) and Sathbahahu is the first leader of this community.
  • Both Digambara and Svetambara communities have continued to develop, almost independently of each other.
  • The four main sects 
  1. Digambara (like Mahavira, practice total nudity to avoid all attachments)
  2. Svetambara (white dressed. They also accepted women into the monastic community)
  3. Sthanakvasi and 
  4. Terapanthi.
  • Contribution of Jainism on Art and culture:
  • Jaina Literature:
  • The fourteen Purvas was a body of Jain scriptures preached by tirthankara of Jainism. These teachings were memorized and passed on through ages, but became fairly vulnerable and died off within one thousand years after Lord Mahavira’s nirvana (liberation).
  • Agamas are canonical texts of Jainism based on Mahavira’s teachings. Mahavira’s preachings were orally compiled by his disciples into various Sutras (texts) which were collectively called Jain canonical or Agamic literature. These Agamas are composed of forty-six texts: twelve angās, twelve upanga āgamas, six chedasūtras, four mūlasūtras, ten prakīrnaka sūtras and two cūlikasūtras.
  • Svetambaras accept thirty-two to forty-five agamas, final redaction of which took place at the Council of Valabhi (453 – 466 BCE). 
  • Digambaras accept two canonical texts Satkhandaagama and Kasaayapahuda composed in the 2nd century CE.
  • Developing a system of philosophy and ethics that had a great impact on Indian culture.
  • Culture and language of the Indian states Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • Jain Rituals: 
  • Navkar Mantra is the fundamental prayer of Jainism. In this prayer there is no mention of names, including that of the tirthankara. It does not ask for favors or material welfare. It simply serves as a gesture of deep esteem towards beings they believe are more spiritually advanced and to remind followers of Jainism of their ultimate goal of nirvana. 
  • Jains follow six obligatory duties known as 
  1. Avashyakas includes samyika (pracitising serenity),
  2. chatur vimsati (praising tirthankara), 
  3. vandan (respecting teachers and monks), 
  4. Pratikramana, 
  5. Kayotsarga,
  6. pratyakhyana (renunciation).
  • Festival:
  1. Paryushana is one of the most important festivals for the Jains. Normally Svetambara Jains refer it as Paryushana, while Digambara Jains refer it as Das Lakshana. It is believed that the deva do ashta prakari puja of tirthankara and it takes them eight days to do this ashta prakari puja. This is called Ashtanhika Mahotsav, so at the very same time Jains celebrate it as Paryushan. Paryushana lasts eight days for Svetambara Jains and ten days for Digambaras Jains. Remember the word “Paryushan”.
  2. Mahavira Jayanti, the birthday of Mahavira, is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the fortnight of the waxing moon, in the month of Chaitra.
  3. A unique ritual in this religion involves a holy fasting until death called Sallekhana. Through this one achieves a death with dignity and dispassion as well as a reduction of negative karma to a great extent. This form of dying is also called Santhara. Remember the case of SC judgement on Sallekhana(https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-lifts-stay-on-santhara-ritual-of-jains/article7600851.ece)
  • In South India there were states to protect Jainism –
  1. Gang
  2. Kadamb
  3. Chalukyas
  4. Rashtrakuta
  • Some Important points for preliminary exam
  1. Kharavel’s Hathigunfah Anchart, Khandakagiri, Udayagiri caves receive the remains of Jainism.
  2. Udayan, Bimbisar, Ajatshatru, Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusar, Kharwale were the supporters and guardians of Jain religion in the kings.
  3. Rashtrakutas king Amoghwarsh Jain had become a sanyasi, he composed a book titled Ratnamalka.
  4. Chandpa’s ruler was the first lady monk of Chandna Mahavira, daughter of Dadhivahan.
  5. The first Jain Tirthankara Rishabhdev died on Kailash Mountain.
  6. 23rd Tirthankar of Jain religion was son of Lord kashi Ashwaseen.
  7. The first follower of Pashwarnath was his mother Vama and wife Prabhabati.
  8. After enlightenment, Mahavir Swami founded Jain Sangh in Pavpuri.
  9. Goshal became the first associate of Mahavir Swami.
  10. According to Jainism, the Creator of the universe is not God, but the creation of the universe is made up of 6 substances – living with life, religion (materialism), religion, lawlessness, sky and age.
  11. Sayadadwad means-maybe not even and even.
  12. The sadism of Jainism is also called the principle of Saptabhangi.
  13. First Jain Sabha in Pataliputra, 300 B.C. In the aftermath of Granth and Sambhuti Vijay, under the leadership of Vijay, Jainism was split into two parts after the meeting, which was known as Shwethambar (who wears white clothes) and Digambar (who live in the nagaswara).
  14. Fourth boundary At the end of a terrible famine in south Bihar, a part of the barley went to Mysore under the leadership of Bhadrabahu and remained in Pataliputra under the leadership of sthulabahu.
  15. Second Jain Sabha was held in 513 AD in Vallabhbhai (Gujarat) under the chairmanship of Goddess Wishes.
  16. In the Mauryan period, Mathura was the main center of Jain religion.
  17. In Vishnu Purana and Bhagavad Purana, Rishabhdev is mentioned as Narayan Avatar.
  18. Acharanga Sutra – Interesting description of Mahavira Swamant’s harsh penance and work of class is presented interesting.
  19. The first disciple of Mahavira Swami or the first Sanyasi disciple was Machkhaliputt Gausal, who, after six years, founded the Aavivar Sampraday and left Mahavir Swami.
  20. Mahavira Swami’s first householder was upali, who was a disciple in the rajasthan.
  21. Mahamir Swamy was opposed by Jamalis and tisagupta.
  • The reasons for the collapse of Jainism were:
  1. Fierce differences with Brahmin religion – Jainism was strongly opposed to Brahmin religion and the Brahmins always opposed this religion, due to their opposition, the significance of Jainism ended. Until the reign of Ajaypal (1174-76), the temple of Jains completely abolished its dignity.
  2. Hardness of the principles – The principles of this religion were extremely strict, which the general public could not easily follow. For example, the harsh principles of non-violence could not be adopted by all. They could not tolerate all physical hardships through hardness.
  3. Lack of political asylum – Ashok, Kanishka, etc. were many great kings, who gave their life in the propagation of Buddhism. But Jainism did not find such great kings. The main reason for the decline of Jainism was that this religion did not get the state shelter.
  4. Nonviolence – A major reason for the decline of Jainism was the impractical form of non-violence created by him. The way in which the idea of ​​observing nonviolence was presented. His adherence to the mass was difficult. As a result, the agrarian Indian population became indifferent to Jainism. Only people in the business class living in the city are attracted to him.
  5. Rigorous austerity – There was emphasis on the pursuit of fasting, work-in-death, renunciation, fasting, capillary discharge, attachment etc. in Jainism. But it was not possible for the general householder to live this kind of austerity life.
  6. Sangha Sangathan – Organizational arrangements of Jains associations were monarchic. It had to ignore the thoughts and wishes of the religious leaders and general members. As a result, the interest of the general public diminished.
  7. The weak role of the campaigners- Its campaigners had a very important role in the spread of any religion. Later Jainism lacked good religious preachers and blocked the way for the spread of Jainism. Constant organized efforts were not made for the promotion, so Jainism remained confined to India.
  8. The feeling of discrimination – Mahavir Swami had opened the doors of Jainism to all the castes and religions, but later a sense of discrimination developed.
  9. Partition in Jainism – After the death of Mahavira, Jainism was divided into two sects- Digambar and Shwetambar. Due to differences in these sections, the remaining remains of this religion were also destroyed.
  10. The rule of Muslim rulers – Muslim rulers invaded India and achieved victory and built mosques and tombs on the foundation of Jain temples. Allauddin Khilji has destroyed many Jain temples. Most of the Jaini Talwar ferries were dropped and Jain libraries were destroyed.