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Digambara (//; Sanskrit "sky-clad") is one of the two major schools of Jainism, the other being Śvētāmbara (white-clad). The word digambara is a combination of two words: dig (directions) and ambara (clothes). Those whose garments are the element that fills the four quarters of space are called digambara. Monks in the Digambara tradition don't wear any clothes, as it is considered parigraha (possession) which ultimately leads to attachment. The monks carry picchi, a broom made up of fallen peacock feathers (for clearing the place before walking or sitting), Kamandalu, a water gourd and shastra (scripture).
The Digambara sect of Jainism rejects the authority of the Jain Agamas compiled by Sthulabhadra. They believe that by the time of Dharasena, the twenty-third teacher after Indrabhuti Gautama, knowledge of only one Anga was there. This was about 683 years after the Nirvana of Mahavira. After Dharasena's pupils Pushpadanta and Bhutabali, even that was lost.
According to Digambara tradition, Mahavira, the last tirthankara, never married. He renounced the world at the age of thirty after taking permission of his parents. The Digambaras maintain that after attaining Kevala Jnana, omniscient beings or arihant are free from human needs like hunger, thirst, and sleep. One of the most important scholar-monks of Digambara tradition was Kundakunda. He authored Prakrit texts such as the Samayasāra and the Pravacanasāra. Other prominent Acharyas of this tradition were, Virasena (author of a commentary on the Dhavala), Samantabhadra and Siddhasena Divakara.
Every Digambara monk is required to follow 28 vows (vratas) compulsory.
Five Great Vows
|1. Ahimsa||Not to injure any living being in actions or thoughts|
|2. Truth||To speak truth and good words only|
|3. Asteya||Not to take anything if not given|
|4. Brahmacharya||Celibacy in action, words & thoughts.|
|5. Aparigraha||renunciation of worldly things and foreign natures, external and internal|
Fivefold regulation of activities
|6. irya||To walk carefully after viewing land equal to 4 hands|
|7. bhasha||Not to criticise anyone or speak bad words|
|8. eshna||To accept food from a sravaka if it is free from 46 faults|
|9. adan-nishep||Care in lifting things|
|10. pratishtapan||To dispose off the body waste at a place free from living beings|
|Panchindrinirodh||11–15||Strict control on five senses|
|Six Essential Duties||16. Sämäyika||Meditate for equanimity towards every living being|
|17. stuti||Worship of Tirthankaras|
|18. vandan||To pay obeisances to siddhas, arihantas and acharya|
|21. Kayotsarga||Giving up attachment to the body and meditate on soul. (Posture: rigid and immobile, with arms held stiffly down, knees straight, and toes directly forward)|
|22. adantdhavan||Not to use tooth powder to clean teeth|
|23. bhushayan||sleeping on hard ground|
|25. stithi-bhojan||Eat food in standing posture|
|26. ahara||To consume food & water once in a day|
|27. kesh-lonch||To pull out hairs by hand|
|28. nudity||To be nude ('digambar)|
|Acharyas||Time period||Known for|
|Bhadrabahu||3rd century BC||Chandragupta Maurya's spiritual teacher|
|Kundakunda||2nd century AD||Author of Samayasāra, Niyamasara, Pravachansara, Barah anuvekkha|
|Umaswami||2nd century AD||Author of Tattvartha Sutra (canon on science and ethics)|
|Pujyapada||5th century AD||Author of Iṣṭopadeśa (Divine Sermons), a concise work of 51 verses|
|Manatunga||6th century AD||Creator of famous Bhaktamara Stotra|
|Virasena||8th-century AD||Mathematician and author of Dhavala|
|Jinasena||9th century AD||Author of Mahapurana (major Jain text) and Harivamsha Purana.|
|Nemichandra||10th century AD||Author of Dravyasamgraha and supervised the consecration of the Gomateshwara statue.|
|Shantisagar||20th century AD||Reformer of digambara tradition.|
In the 10th century, Digambar tradition was divided into two main orders.
- Mula Sangh, which includes Sena gana, Deshiya gana and Balatkara gana traditions
- Kashtha Sangh, which includes the Mathura gana and Lat-vagad gana traditions
Shantisagar, belonged to the tradition of Sena gana. Practically all the Digambara monks today belong to his tradition, either directly or indirectly. The Bhattarakas of Shravanabelagola and Mudbidri belong to Deshiya gana and the Bhattaraka of Humbaj belongs to the Balatkara gana.
The presence of gymnosophists ("naked philosophers") in Greek records as early as the fourth century B.C., supports the claim of the Digambaras that they have preserved the ancient Sramāna practice.
The Digambara Jains worship completely nude idols of tirthankaras (arihants) and siddha (liberated souls). The tirthankara is represented either seated in yoga posture or standing in the Kayotsarga posture.
The truly "sky-clad" (digambara) Jaina statue expresses the perfect isolation of the one who has stripped off every bond. His is an absolute "abiding in itself," a strange but perfect aloofness, a nudity of chilling majesty, in its stony simplicity, rigid contours, and abstraction.
Kizhavalavu (Keelavalavu) Sculptures
Tirthankara statues, Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh
Digambaras group the texts into four literary categories called 'exposition' (anuyoga). The 'first' (prathma) exposition contains Digambara versions of the Universal History; the 'calculation' (karana) exosition contains works on cosmology; the 'behaviour' (charana) exposition includes texts about proper behaviour for monks and lay people.
- Nudity in religion
- God in Jainism
- Jain Philosophy
- Timeline of Jainism
- Digambar Jain Mahasabha
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