Kanji Panth

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Kanji Panth or "Pure Terapanth" is a Universal stream of Digambara, a school of Jainism that posits that the discriminative knowledge between the "true pure knowledge self" and "the other" is the true and the only procedure of self-realization and the path of liberation where definitions of "true pure knowledge self" and "the other" is as originally practiced and described in Samaysara (Essence of Self), Pravachanasara (Essence of Doctrine) and Pancastikayasara (The five cosmic constituents) and their commentaries.[1][2][3][4] They also quote Amritchandra for their support: "In this world, only those are liberated who have understood the 'art of discriminative knowledge'; In this world, only those are in bondage who do not know the 'art of discriminative knowledge'".

The Digambara Jain scholar Kundakunda, in his Pravacanasara states that a Jain mendicant should meditate on "I, the pure self". Anyone who considers his body or possessions as "I am this, this is mine" is on the wrong road, while one who meditates, thinking the antithesis and "I am not others, they are not mine, I am one knowledge" is on the right road to meditating on the "soul, the pure self".[5][citation not found] This meditative focus contrasts with the anatta focus of Buddhism, and the atman focus in various vedanta schools of Hinduism such as the advaita and vishistadvaita schools.[6][citation not found][7][citation not found]

Philosophy[edit]

A special stress is placed on "pure real perspective"(Nishchay Naya), predeterminism, compatibility of predeterminism and free will, and "knowledge of self". The scripture of Samayasara is given the highest status as this book describes path to liberation from "pure real perspective" in contrast to Tattvartha Sutra that describes the same subject matter and has approximately same chapters, but from a different point of view. Gatha 1, Gatha 8, Gatha 11, Gatha 13, Gatha 38, Gatha 73, Gatha 320 and Gatha 412 of Samayasara and Gatha 80, Gatha 114 and Gatha 172 of Pravachanasara are considered particularly important because they include techniques of realizing pure self. Commentaries by Amritchandra on Samaysaara and Pravachansara is also given utmost importance and is considered an integral part of the book. They often site this statement from Einstein in support of their philosophy: "Events do not happen. They already exist and are seen on the Time Machine.".[8] Kanji Panth philosophy is similar to that of the Digambara Terapanth denomination in the lineage of Pandit Todarmal, Banarasidas, Rajmal, Deepchand Kasliwal and Shitalprasad which was largely extinct when Kanji Swami arrived on the scene.[9]

Followers also believe that Kanji Swami, Champaben and Shantaben were present when Kundakunda visited to listen to the Tirthankara Simandhara Swami in Mahavideha as remembered by Champaben. After this, Kundakunda wrote his Essence of the Doctrine. Another tenet is that after Kanji Swami's death, he would be reborn as Tirthankara Suryakirti in the continent of Dhatakikhanda with Champaben and Shantaben born as their sons (Devkirti and Chandrakirti) and Ganadhara.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Kanji Swami was a swetambara monk. He read all the swetambara books with utmost sincerity and followed all the conduct strictly, but somehow felt that it doesn't describe real path to liberation. One day, he was given Samayasara, the Digambara Jain bible, by one of his followers. Reading Samayasara, Kanji Swami immediately recognized and realized the real path of liberation that was described in the book clearly and unambiguously. He started preaching the message of Samaysara while still retaining swetambara monkhood. But, he was not particularly happy with this contradiction of reading Digambara text while retaining swetambara monkhood. Eventually, Kanji Swami left swetambara jainism and converted to digambara jainism. Most of his Swetambara followers also followed him. Soon, hundreds of new digambara temples were built in the region of Saurashtra. Samaysaara, Pravachansaara and other digambar texts were translated in Gujarati and Hindi afresh and with correct interpretations. Millions of copies of Samaysara and Pravachanasara were sold all over the world. Slowly, original digambaras from other parts of India recognized the importance of Samayasara and joined Kanjiswami in his Adhyatmic movement.

Conventions and rituals[edit]

Listening to audio or video recordings of Kanji Swami's and Champaben's discourses in the mornings and evenings in the temple is the integral part of the daily routine. Followers are also encouraged to read and reflect the scriptures directly and listen to the discourses at home to realize the pure self as described in Samayasara. All the temples have a big Study Room, equipped with multimedia player and hard copies of Samaysara and Pravachanasara where followers gather to listen to the recordings of Kanji Swami.

The Digambar Jain temples of this lineage are identical to those of the Bispanthi sect except for the presence of a photograph and/or statue of Kanji Swami; a photograph of Champaben, Srimad Rajchandra, and Acharya Kundakunda, and the absence of photographs of monks and aryikas of Bisapanthi sects. Some temples have Samayasāra / Pravachanasara written on the walls of the temple. Flowers, cooked food and milk are not used for Abhisheka / Pooja. Some temples have an idol of Kanji Swami in the form of the future Tirthankara.[citation needed]

In addition to celebrating usual Jain festivals of Das Lakshana , Mahavir Jayanti and Shruta Panchami; they celebrate birthdays and anniversary days of Kanji Swami and Champaben as well as Samyak Jayanti of Champaben.

Temples[edit]

There is no centralized management of temples. All Temples are managed independently by a local board of trustees. Apart from numerous temples in India,[10] temples exist in Brampton, Canada;[11] Harrow, London, ;[12] and Mombasa, Kenya.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jainism". Philtar.ac.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Kanji Svami Panth". Philtar.ac.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Kanji Svami Panth" (PDF). p. 24.
  4. ^ "Kanji Swami Panth".
  5. ^ Johnson 1995, pp. 137–143.
  6. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, pp. 74, 102, Part I: 1–3, 10–11, 24, Part II: 20–28.
  7. ^ Mahony 1997, pp. 171-177, 222.
  8. ^ "Reference to Predetermination" (PDF). p. 27.
  9. ^ "extinction of terapanthi digambar in 1950-60" (PDF). p. 13.
  10. ^ "Jain Literature and Jain Logic: World-Wide Contacts". Atmadharma.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Bhagwan 1008 Adinatha Swamy Jain Temple". Jaintemplecanada.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Shree Digamber Jain Association". Sdja.co.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Kanji Svami Digambar Jain Temple in Mombasa".