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....

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...

Jain Schools and Branches

Jain Schools and Branches

Jain Schools and Branches Jainism is an Indian religion which is traditionally believed to be propagated by twenty-four spiritual teachers known as tirthankara. Broadly, Jainism is divided into two major schools of thought, Digambara and Svetambara. These are further divided into different sub-sects and traditions. While there are differences in practices, the core...

Das Lakshana (Paryusana) celebrations, Jain Center of America, New York City.

Jain Festivals

Jain Festivals Jain festivals occur on designated days of the year. Jain festivals are either related to life events of Tirthankara or they are performed with intention of purification of soul. See also: Jainism, Jain Philosophy Festivals There are many religious festivals in Jainism. Some of them are associated with five auspicious...

Ranakpur Jain temple, Ranakpur, Rajasthan

Jain Philosophy

What is Jain Philosophy? Jain philosophy is the oldest Indian philosophy that separates body (matter) from the soul (consciousness) completely. Jain philosophy deals with reality, cosmology, epistemology (study of knowledge) and Vitalism. It attempts to explain the rationale of being and existence, the nature of the Universe and its constituents,...

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