Jain Temples and Worship practice
Jainism, or the path of the Jinas, or conquerors, is India's longest continuous monastic tradition. Its devotees use austere behaviors and even self-mutilation to achieve identity. Mahavira was born to a reigning family in the town of Vaishali, which is now part of the current state of Bihar, according to tradition. He sacrificed his prosperous life at the age of thirty and dedicated himself to fasting and self-mortification to cleanse his mind and uncover the meaning of life.
Many practices of Jainism and Hinduism are similar. Around the same period as Buddhism, a Brahmin school called Jainism was built. Since then, the faith has persisted unbroken in the Indian subcontinent. There is no way to know when it started because there were few archaeological Jain ruins in India before this period. Still, the earliest evidence implies that Jainism was already a well-established faith.
There are two sects of Jaisim: Digambars and Svetambaras. Both believe in the fundamentals of Jain principles and the five vows in Jainism but possess different views to follow them.
Jainism is a Hindu branch with many parallels to Buddhism; however, it is considered more rigorous and austere. Jains pay their respects to Jina idols by bowing to them and burning a lamp in front of them. For many Jains, this is the best way to start the day. As mentioned, more sophisticated forms of worship (puja) are a daily routine generally performed in temples. Jain Puja/worship may take numerous forms. The ritual bathing of the picture (Snatra Puja) is a representation of the gods showering the newborn Tirthankaras (celestial beings). Touching one's forehead with the liquid used to wash the statue is a simple symbolic act. Before Mahavira, there was evidence of Jain's practices. The Jain writings mention a lineage of prophets (Tirthankaras) dating back to legendary times. Mahavira was the 24th and final prophet of this group.
According to Jain's belief, the soul is a living substance that interacts with many types of nonliving matter and gathers particles of matter that stick to it and influence its fate via action.
Before heading to work, a pious Jain who lives near a temple might do daily devotion of the Tirthankara image at the temple. Otherwise, it can be done at home in front of the shrine. Then, he will bend before the picture and repeat the Navkar Mantra while bathed and clothed, potentially only in two pieces of cloth like a monk.
Jain shrines or temples have a central tower and an inner sanctum, similar to Hindu temples. These temples are generally dedicated to a Tirthankara instead of a god, with an image of the Tirthankara inside the sanctuary. Temples are more often used for study and meditation than for worship. Praying might include anything from repeating mantras while looking at an image to lavishly adorning and anointing the picture. The language in which the rites are performed lends them a distinct charm. The ancient Magadha area in northeast India, where Mahavira resided, spoke Ardhamagadhi.
Another set of logic lines constructed by Jain philosophers postulates that there can be up to seven modes of prediction in every given scenario. This teaches the notion of probability by introducing an element of uncertainty into the forecasts. Ardhamagadhi is still used in Jain prayers and rituals, even though this is no longer a spoken dialect, not only for the symphonic grandeur of its rippling sounds but since a Jain might accompany the traditional prayers and chanting irrespective of their dialect. The worship culminates in the charming aarti ritual, which involves the waving of fivefold lights in front of the picture. Of course, the concept is simply a symbolic depiction of the Tirthankara and not an actual god. Nonetheless, it is deemed necessary for an adequately sanctified image to be worshipped and attended to regularly.
Jain Sanctuary/Temples to Visit
1. Ranakpur Jain Temple, Ranakpur (Rajasthan)
The temple was constructed with the aid of the Mewar monarch by Dharna Shah, a well-known trader of the period. The Jain temple, which rises to three levels and is supported by 1,444 carved marble pillars, is a sight to behold. The complex has several temples, the most important of which is the four-faced Chaturmukha Temple dedicated to Adinatha, the first Jain Tirthankara. The spiritual ecstasy you'll find here is truly unparalleled, making Ranakpur one of India's must-see Jain temples.
2. Dilwara Temple, Rajasthan
The Jains' sacred trip reflects their principles. Your senses are enamored by the modest yet magnificent architecture, sculptures, and fantastic decorations. Even though there are many Jain temples throughout Rajasthan, cultural vultures see Dilwara Temple as one of the best instances of architectural grandeur. Devotees who come here feel a great connection to divinity and appreciate the peace and tranquility of the surroundings.
3. Sonagiri Temples, Datia (Madhya Pradesh)
Sonagiri central temple is the 57th Jain temple, which is located on the top of the hill. It is visited by ascetic monks and devotees seeking freedom from the cycle of life and death by self-discipline. The exquisite carvings and beautiful spires contribute to the breathtaking magnificence.
4. Gomateshwara Temple, Vindhyagiri Hill (Karnataka)
On Vindhyagiri Hill, a statue of Bahubali has been constructed. Two standing figurines of Yaksha and Yakshi flank the statue on both sides (Chauri bearers). This medieval Jain figure is considered one of the world's most significant monolithic monuments. There are inscriptions in Prakrit at the bottom of the Bahubali monument that thank the King who created this place.
5. Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, Chandni Chowk (Delhi)
The temple is thought to have been built during the Mughal rule when a Jain officer in his tent worshipped a Tirthankara idol. This drew the attention of other Jain army officers, and in 1656, a temple was built on the spot. The atmosphere is peaceful, and you'll appreciate the serenity. This is a facility were ill or wounded birds are treated and cared for. The prominent devotional space is located on the first level, where devotees may frequently be seen praying or relaxing.
Jain Books to read- from spiritual to eternal!
After Mahavira, Jain theology grew forward through the teachings of highly knowledgeable monks, which had to be memorized like Mahavira's teachings. As a result, the amount of information that the monks had to retain progressively rose. According to the Jains, nature is complicated, with each item having three aspects: a substance, intrinsic attributes, and an endless variety of shapes it may take in time and space. There are some best books of Jainism that one can read through; in order to understand this religion in more detail, you can refer to Mann no Mediclaim.
It is not enough to read Jain books. They aren't designed to be read-only. They are intended for serious study, which means that one should read and then reflect on what is being stated to get the content. Any rationale that is offered should be given special attention. Jains do not believe in a creation myth since they consider that cosmos has no origin or finish and goes through an unlimited number of cosmic cycles, each with periods of ascension and downfall that mirror the highs and lows of human’s civilization.
The Jains' traditional belief system is based on explicit knowledge of how karma works, how it affects the living soul (jiva), and the conditions for an action to cease and the soul to be released. We mentioned some Jain temples and worship places that one can visit intrigue themselves in its surrounding, although you can also refer to Jinalaya Nirman Vidhi Vidhana, which is indeed a fantastic book to skim through.
The Jain religion is best described as a route to emancipation or cleansing. This is characterized as having authentic faith, correct comprehension, and perfect behavior. The Jain doctrine, in all of its forms, is an elaboration of these 'three jewels,' whose order is crucial and stresses concern for rationality as one follows the other.
According to this belief, the genuine essence of the soul is pure, clear and full of knowledge. The soul is separated from the truth by karmas, and it passes through life and death cycles. The strength and length of karmic links are determined mainly by our level of purpose. It means that the power and length of our karma are selected by our motivations at the moment of executing any deed. With this, we'd conclude this article. We hope this article proved to be valuable and insightful for you.