Bathing the dieties - 'Abhisheka' at Krishna Janmashtami

Abhisheka

Abhisheka Abhiṣeka or abhisheka in Sanskrit means “bathing of the divinity to whom worship is offered.” It is a religious rite or method of prayer in which a devotee pours a liquid offering on an image or murti of a God or Goddess. Abhiṣeka is common to Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Hinduism An abhiṣeka...

Satguru Bodhinatha gives samaya diksha, initiation into the sacred Aum Nama Sivaya mantra, to a devotee at Tirunnavamalai in 2008.

Diksha

Diksha Diksha (दीक्ष, dīkṣā) also spelled deeksha or deeksa in common usage, translated as a “preparation or consecration for a religious ceremony”, is giving of a mantra or an initiation by the guru (in Guru–shishya tradition) of Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Diksa is given in a one-to-one ceremony, and typically includes the taking on...

Shingon Buddhist priests practice homa ritual, which sometimes includes beating drums and blowing horagai (lower, conch).

Homa (ritual)

Homa (ritual) Homa is Sanskrit for a ritual, wherein an oblation or any religious offering is made into fire. A homa is sometimes called a “sacrifice ritual” because the fire destroys the offering, but a homa is more accurately a “votive ritual“. The fire is the agent, and the offerings include those that...

Taj Mahal Agra India Marble Taj Mahal Mausoleum

Religion in India

Religion in India Religion in India is characterised by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. The preamble of Indian constitution states that the entire constitution is rooted in Hinduism as it encompasses all the different faiths, doctrines and theories that exist. However, at a later stage, the word secularism...

Religion Buddha Temple Spirituality Monk Prayer

Japa

Japa Japa (जप) is the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name. It is a practice found in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Shintōism. The mantra or name may be spoken softly, enough for the practitioner to hear it, or it may be spoken within the reciter’s mind. Japa may be performed while...

Wheel of the chariot of the sun, Konark Sun Temple.

Dharmachakra

Dharmachakra The Dharmachakra or  Dharma Chakra (Dharma Chakra, dhammacakka, “Wheel of Dharma“) is a widespread symbol used in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Historically, the dharmachakra was often used as a decoration in Hindu and Buddhist temples, statues and inscriptions, beginning with the earliest period of Indian Buddhism to the present. It remains a major...

Rangoli decorations, made using coloured fine powder or sand, are popular during Diwali.

Diwali

Diwali Diwali, Divali, Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights, usually lasting five days and celebrated during the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”. The festival...

Dhyan Buddha

Samadhi

Samadhi Samadhi or Samādhi (समाधी, also called samāpatti), in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and yogic schools, is a state of meditative consciousness. In the yogic traditions, and the Buddhist commentarial tradition on which the Burmese Vipassana movement and the Thai Forest tradition rely, it is a meditative absorption or trance, attained by the practice...

Human Religion Buddha Monk Adult Sadhu Nepal

Sramana

Sramana Sramana or Śramaṇa (श्रमण; samaṇa) means “one who labours, toils, or exerts themselves (for some higher or religious purpose)” or “seeker, one who performs acts of austerity, ascetic”. The term in early Vedic literature is predominantly used as an epithet for the Rishis with reference to Shrama associated with the ritualistic exertion. The term in these texts...

A 1st- to 2nd–century CE water tank relief panel showing two ardhaphalaka Jain monks carrying colapatta cloth on their left hand found in the ruins of Mathura (Brooklyn Museum 87.188.5).[7] This cloth carrying tradition to cover genitalia by ancient Jain monks in principle resembles the beliefs of the Svetambara and now extinct Yapaniya subtradition.

Svetambara

Svetambara The Svetambara (śvētapaṭa; also spelled Svetambar, Shvetambara or Swetambar) is one of the two main branches of Jainism, the other being the Digambara. Śvētāmbara means “white-clad”, and refers to its ascetics‘ practice of wearing white clothes, which sets it apart from the Digambara “sky-clad” Jains, whose ascetic practitioners go naked. Śvētāmbaras, unlike Digambaras, do not believe that...

Artistic representation of a sculpture from the Mathura archaeological site (Kankali Tila) that depicts the last four Tirthankaras, c. 51 CE.

History of Jainism

History of Jainism Jainism is a religion founded in ancient India. Jains trace their history through twenty-four tirthankara and revere Rishabhanatha as the first tirthankara (in the present time-cycle). Some artifacts found in the Indus Valley civilization have been suggested as a link to ancient Jain culture, but this is highly speculative and...

Image of Rishabhanatha at Kundalpur pilgrimage site in Madhya Pradesh, India

Rishabhanatha

Rishabhanatha Rishabhanatha (also Ṛṣabhadeva, Rishabhadeva, or Ṛṣabha) is the first Tīrthaṅkara of Jainism. He was the first of twenty-four teachers in the present half-cycle of time in Jain cosmology, and called a “ford maker” because his teachings helped one across the sea of interminable rebirths and deaths. Jain legends depict him as having lived millions of years ago....

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan India Heritage

Jain Communities

Jain Communities The Jains in India are the last direct representatives of the ancient Śramaṇa tradition. They follow Jainism, the religion taught by the twenty-four propagators of faith called tirthankaras. The total Jain population is estimated to be 4+ million people worldwide. Sangha Main article: Sangha (Jainism) See also: Sangha Jainism has a fourfold order of muni (male...

Shri Mahavirji temple

Timeline of Jainism

Timeline of Jainism Jainism is an ancient Indian religion belonging to the śramaṇa tradition. It prescribes ahimsa (non-violence) towards all living beings to the greatest possible extent. The three main teachings of Jainism are ahimsa, anekantavada (non-absolutism), aparigraha (non-possessiveness). Followers of Jainism take five main vows: ahimsa, satya (not lying), asteya (non stealing), brahmacharya (chastity), and aparigraha. Monks follow...

Lord Mahavira's Jal Mandir (water temple) in Pawapuri, Bihar, India

Mahavira

Mahavira Mahavira, also known as Vardhamana was the 24th tirthankara of Jainism. He was the spiritual successor of 23rd tirthankara Parshvanatha. Mahavira was born in the early part of the 6th century BCE into a royal Kshatriya Jain family in present-day Bihar, India. His mother’s name was Trishala. He abandoned all worldly possessions at the age...

Tirthankara images at Siddhachal Caves inside Gwalior Fort.

Tirthankara

Tirthankara In Jainism, a tirthankara (tīrthaṅkara; literally a ‘ford-maker’) is a saviour and spiritual teacher of the dharma (righteous path). The word tirthankara signifies the founder of a tirtha, which is a fordable passage across the sea of interminable births and deaths, the saṃsāra. According to Jains, a tirthankara is an individual who has conquered the saṃsāra, the...

Gommateshwara statue ಗೊಮ್ಮಟೇಶ್ವರ

Tirtha in Jainism

Tirtha in Jainism In Jainism, a tīrtha (तीर्थ “ford, a shallow part of a body of water that may be easily crossed”) is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the sangha. A tirtha provides the inspiration to enable one to cross over from worldly engagement to the...

Diwali Diya Deepavali Celebration Traditional

Diwali in Jainism

Diwali in Jainism Diwali has a very special significance in Jainism. It marks the anniversary of Nirvana (final release) or liberation of Mahavira‘s soul, the twenty fourth and last Jain Tirthankara of present cosmic age. It is celebrated at the same time as the Hindu festival of Diwali. Diwali marks the end of the year for the Jains and...

Kalpasutra

Jain Agam Literature

Jain Agam Literature Background Lord Mahavir‘s preaching was orally complied by his disciples into many texts. This knowledge was orally transferred from acharyas (gurus) to the disciples over the course of about one thousand years. In olden times, monks strictly followed the five great vows of Jainism. Even religious scriptures...

Jain Scriptures

Jain Scriptures

Jain Scriptures Jain scriptures are called Agamas. They are believed to have been verbally transmitted by the oral tradition from one generation to the next, much like the ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts. The Jain tradition believes that their religion is eternal, and the teachings of their first Tirthankara Rishabhanatha were their scriptures...

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