Most Important and Interesting Facts about Jainism- A Must Read Facts

Updated December 20, 2022

Jainism is a non-theistic religion founded in India in the 6th century BC by the Jina Vardhamana Mahavira as a reaction against the teachings of orthodox Brahmanism, and still practised there. The Jain religion teaches salvation by perfection through successive lives, and non-injury to living creatures, and is noted for its ascetics. To know more about Jainism (Jain Dharma), do follow the below article and keep Visiting The site to get such Interesting and Important topics which can be proved very crucial for competitive exams.

Jainism is traditionally known as Jain Dharma which is an ancient Indian religion. Followers of Jainism are called “Jains”. The word “Jain” was derived from the Sanskrit word jina (victor) referring to the path of victory in crossing over life’s stream of rebirths by destroying karma through an ethical and spiritual life. Jainism is a transtheistic religion, and Jains trace their spiritual ideas and history through a succession of twenty-four victorious saviours and teachers known as tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha, who according to Jain tradition lived millions of years ago, the twenty-third Tirthankara Parshvanatha in 900 BCE, and the twenty-fourth Tirthankara the Mahavira around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology. Their religious texts are called Agamas.

The main religious premises of Jainism are ahiṃsa (non-violence), anekantavada (many-sidedness), aparigraha (non-attachment) and asceticism. Devout Jains take five main vows which are: ahiṃsa (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy or chastity or sexual continence), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness). These principles have affected Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle that avoids harm to animals and their life cycles. Parasparopagraho Jivanam (the function of souls is to help one another) is the motto of Jainism. Ṇamokara mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism.

Jainism has two major ancient sub-traditions Digambaras and Svetambaras. Several smaller sub-traditions emerged in the 2nd millennium CE. The Digambaras and Svetambaras have different views on ascetic practices, gender and which Jain texts can be considered canonical. Jain mendicants are found in all Jain sub-traditions except Kanji Panth sub-tradition, with laypersons (sravakas) supporting the mendicants’ spiritual pursuits with resources.

Jainism has between four and five million followers, with most Jains residing in India. Outside India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Europe, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Suriname, Fiji, and the United States. Jainism is also growing in Japan, where more than 5,000 ethnic Japanese families have converted to Jainism. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Ashtanika, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, and Dipawali.

Some of the most Important and Interesting Facts about Jainism related, Jain Trithankras, Life of Mahavira and Doctrine of Jainism which can add more depth to your Ancient History Knowledge

Jain Trinthankaras

1.According to Jain tradition there were 24 Trithankras (literally Ford Maker, across the stream of existence) the first being Rishabhadeva / Adinatha and last being Mahavira.

2. The Vishnu Purana & the Bhagavat Purana Rishabha as incarnation of Narayana.

3. The name of two Jain Trithankaras, Rishabha and Arishtanemi are found in Rig Veda.

4. we have a Historical proof of only the last two Trithankaras that are Parshwanath (23rd) & Mahavira (24th).

5. Parshwanath was a prince of Banaras who abondaned the throne and led the life of a hermit and died at Sammet-Shikar / Parshwanath (Parasanath) Hill, Hazaribagh Jharkhand. His four main teachings (Chaturthi) were (a). Ahimsa (non-in-jury), (b). Satya (Non-lying), (c). Asteya (non-stealing), (d). Aparigraha (non-possession). Mahavira adopted all these four teachings and added one more that is Brahamcharya (Chastity) to it.

Here is the list of 24 Jain Trithankaras along with its symbol presented below in the table

Sl. No.NameSymbol
6.PadmaprabhuRed Lotus
8Chandraji PrabhuMoon
21NeminathBlue Lotus
22ArishtanemiConch Shell

Life of Mahavira

6. Mahavira was born in 540 BC in a village Kundgrama near Vaishali in Bihar.

7. His father Sidhartha was the head of the Jnathrika Kshtriya clan under Vajji of Vaishali and his mother Trishala was the sister of Chetka, the king of Vaishali. Mahavira was also related to Bimbisara, the ruler of Magadha who had married Chellana (the daughter of Chetka).

8. Mahavira was married to Yashoda (daughter of Samarvira king) and produced a daughter Anonja Priyadarshini whose husband Jamali became the first disciple of Mahavira.

9. At the age of 30, after the death of his parents he renounced his family and became an ascetic and proceeded in search of truth. He was accompanied by Makkhali Gosala but later due to some differences Gosala left him and founded Ajivika sect.

10. At the age of 42, under a sal tree at Jimbhikagrama on the bank of river Rijupalika, Mahavira attained Kaivalya (Supreme Knowledge).

11. From now onwards he was called Kevalin (perfect learned), Jina or Jitendriya (one who conquered his senses), Nirgrantha (free from all bonds), Arhant (blessed one) and Mahavira (the brave) and his followers were named Jain.

12. He delivered his first sermon at Pava to his 11 disciples (known as 11 Gandharas). Later he founded a Jain Sangha (Jain Commune) at Pava.

13. At the age of 72 in 468 BC, he passed away at Pavapuri near Biharsharif in Bihar. Sudharma only one of 11 Gandharas who survived after the death of Mahavira.

Doctrine of Jainism

14 . Three Gems (Triratna) of Jainism are:

I. Samyak Shradha / viswas (Right faith)- It is the belief in Thirathankras.

II. Samyak Jnan (Right Knowledge)- it is the knowledge of the Jain creed.

III. Samyak Karma / Acharana (Right action / conduct)- It is the practice of 5 vows of Jainism.

15. Five Vows (Pancha Mahavaratas) of Jainism are:

I. Ahimsa (non-injury)

II. Satya (non-lying)

III. Asteya (non-stealing)

IV. Aparigraha (non-possession)

V. Brahamcharya (Chastity)

The first four vows were laid down by Parshwanath and the fifth one was added by Mahavira.

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