Portal:Jainism

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Jainism

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

Jainism /ˈnɪzəm/ is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul toward divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina ("conqueror" or "victor"). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha. Ancient texts also refer to Jainism as shraman dharma (self-reliant) or the "path of the nirganthas" (those without attachments or aversions).

The core principle of Jainism is non-violence. Among the five great vows taken by Jain ascetics, non-violence is the first and foremost. Jains believe in reincarnation; the soul is trapped in the cycle of birth and death (samsara) due to the actions of karmic particles. They emphasize that liberation can be achieved through the three jewels of Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. According to Jains, reality is multifaceted, and humans can grasp only a partial understanding of reality. This has led to the development of doctrines like Anekantavada (theory of multiple viewpoints), Syadvada (theory of conditional predication) and Nayavada (theory of partial viewpoint). Jains follow the teaching of 24 Tirthankara (ford-makers). Contemporary Jainism is divided into two major sects, Digambara and Svetambara.

Selected article

Lesyas depicted in the parable of six travellers

In Jainism, karma is the basic principle within an overarching psycho-cosmology. In the Jain cosmology, human moral actions form the basis of the transmigration of the soul (jīva). The soul is constrained to a cycle of rebirth, trapped within the temporal world (saṃsāra), until it finally achieves liberation (mokṣa). Liberation is achieved by following a path of purification.[1]

In Jain philosophy, karma not only encompasses the causality of transmigration, but is also conceived of as an extremely subtle matter, which infiltrates the soul—obscuring its natural, transparent and pure qualities. Karma is thought of as a kind of pollution, that taints the soul with various colours (leśyā). Based on its karma, a soul undergoes transmigration and reincarnates in various states of existence—like heavens or hells, or as humans or animals.

Jains cite inequalities, sufferings, and pain as evidence for the existence of karma. Jain texts have classified the various types of karma according to their effects on the potency of the soul. The Jain theory seeks to explain the karmic process by specifying the various causes of karmic influx (āsrava) and bondage (bandha), placing equal emphasis on deeds themselves, and the intentions behind those deeds. The Jain karmic theory attaches great responsibility to individual actions, and eliminates any reliance on some supposed existence of divine grace or retribution. The Jain doctrine also holds that it is possible for us to both modify our karma, and to obtain release from it, through the austerities and purity of conduct.

Several scholars date the origin of the doctrine of karma prior to the migration of the Indo-Aryan peoples. They see its current form as a result of development in the teachings of the Śramaṇas, and later assimilation into brahmanical Hinduism, by the time of the Upaniṣads. The Jain concept of karma has been subject to criticism from rival Indian philosophies—like Vedanta Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sāṃkhya.

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.[2][3]

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.[4] 49% votes went in favor of this marvel.

Selected picture

Detail of a leaf with, The Birth of Mahavira (the 24th Jain Tirthankara), from the Kalpa Sutra, c.1375-1400.

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Detail of a leaf with the birth of Mahavira (the 24th Jain Tirthankara), from the Kalpa Sutra, c.1375-1400.

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  1. ^ Chapple, Christopher (1990): p. 255.
  2. ^ History of Kannada literature
  3. ^ Students' Britannica India, Volumes 1-5. Popular Prakashan. p. 78. ISBN 0852297602. 
  4. ^ "And India's 7 wonders are...". The Times of India. August 5, 2007.