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Jainism In India

Jainism is the philosophy of eternity. Traditionally Jainism was known as Jain Dharma. Jains live throughout but minority in India. Large Jain community resides in the United States, Western Europe and Africa. Jainism prescribes a way of nonviolence towards all living beings. In Jainism it is obeyed that in every half-cycle of time twenty-four tirthankaras grace his part of the universe to teach the unchanging doctrine. Lord Mahavir, who was a contemporary of Gautam Buddha was the 24th tirthankara of current cycle. Both Vardhmana Mahavir and Gautam Buddha were Kshatriya and also they were against caste system.


In common both were of high ranked warrior family. Vardhaman Mahavir was born in 615 BC in a royal family in Bihar. In pursuit of spiritual awakening, at the age of 30 Vardhamana Mahavir left his family as well as home. After achieving enlightenment doing extreme meditation, he travelled all over Bharat to preach Jain philosophy. Jainism is one of the prominent religion in the world. Ancient Jain peoples went in the different corners of India to teach Jainism. All these ancient places become the monuments and worship place for the Jains. Therefore, in India Jain pilgrimages is in every corner. Throwing a glimpse in North India, we found Bhavanganja in Madhya Pradesh, also some places like Muktagiri, Kampil and many others temple, cave and statues in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. In Madhya Pradesh there is an incomprehensible artistic statue of lord Mahavir of about 72 ft. Coming towards the south-Kolanupaka, is the famous worshipping place for Jains. As Bihar is the birth state of lord Mahavir, the places like Rajgir, Pawapuri and Vaishali are the famous destination for Jain pilgrimages.

Jains Diaspora:
As India is the birthplace of many religions like- Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism, it is also the birthplace of Jainism. Although the share of Jains in the population of India is low but it is widely spread over the country. Out of 35 states and Union territories, Jains are spread in 34 states and union territories, with Lakshdweep is the only union territory without Jains.

Philosphy :
The three main principles of Jainism-nonviolence, non-absolutism and non-possessiveness, impressed the whole world. Humanity is in the root of Jainism. Its great impact is on the education as Jains scholarship and libraries are much famous.

Jainism has a greater influence on Indian population as its share in population is about 0.457 %. Jainism is widely spread in India. Its majority is in the states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.


According to Jainism, souls are pure and it has the potential of infinite knowledge, infinite perception, infinite bliss and infinite energy. And the ultimate goal of soul is to attain moksha, which means liberation i.e. completely freeing it from karmic bondage. Jains also believe that all souls are equal as they all possess the potential of being liberated and attain Moksha and all living beings have an eternal soul called Jiva. Jains practice of nonviolence is the hallmark of Jain identity, therefore Jains are completely vegetarian. Also a majority of Jains is practicing lacto vegetarianism. Anekantavada and Syadavada are the principle of Jainism. Anekantavada means maintaining open-mindedness. This principle of Jainism influenced Mahatma Gandhi to adopt principles of ahimsa. Syadvada means “in some ways” or “from some perspective”. It is the principle of partial standpoints. These are the tools for overcoming inherent biases.

As mentioned above in Jainism non-violence i.e. ahimsa is the most fundamental thing. Nonviolence towards humans, animals and insects, compassion for all life,efforts not to harm or destroy plats any more than necessary are the principles of Jainism. Jains runs a numerous number of animal shelters, bird hospital and many more such things to save the life of living beings. Devout Jains avoid eating potato, garlic and onion. And also they do not eat, drink or travel after sunset. Historians reveal that several Hindu has become vegetarian due to the strong influence of Jains. Due to their different beliefs, Jain Dharma is divided into two major denominations- one of them is Digambara and another one is Svetambara. On the basis of belief, that possessions increase dependency and desire for material things, and desire for anything ultimately leads to sorrow. Digambara monks do not wear clothes.

Worship:
In Jainism type of worshipping is somehow different from other religions. Jains practice “seeing” (darsana) of Jina images, meditation and they light candles. Almost Jains bow and offer prayer-the Navkar Mantra daily. Jains cultivate personal wisdom and self- control through five main vows. Jains have selfless motto in worshipping. They pray their God to make them free from the net of worldly attachments and desires. They pray to god for the liberation of the soul. Sadhumargi Svetambara Jains such as-terapanthi doesn’t believe in statue and temple. Because of common roots, Jain marriage ceremony and family rites are usually a variation of orthodox Hindu rituals. Marwari Hindus converted to Jainism to leave violence and to have vegetarianism. Panch kalyanaka pratishtha, panch kalyanaka puja, snatra puja and idol worshipping are some of the rituals of Jainism. They celebrate the five major stage of life of lord Mahavir i.e. conception, birth, renunciation, enlightenment, and final release after death.

Pilgrimages:
Besides visiting on festivals, Jain pilgrimages are the place where one can relax, enjoy and learn as well.India is also a place of attraction for the Jain pilgrims as its temples are spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. 1>Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir,Delhi,2>Shri 1008 Parshvanath Digambar Jain Mandir, Delhi, 3>Shri Parsvanath Jain Mandir Bhattaraka,Delhi,4>Ayodhyapuram tirth,Gujarat, 5>choolgiri, Jaipur etc. are the major Jain pilgrimage in India. Varanasi(Benaras) is the birthplace of three Jain Tirthankars namely Suparshvanath (7th), Shreyansanath (11th) and Parshvanath (23rd). Shree Parshvanath Digambar Jain Tirth Kshetra (a Temple) is situated at Bhelupur which have a great religious importance to Jains.

Due to its grand celebration, special rituals, proper manner, logical doings, magical prayer, sacredness, artistic architectures, literature, Jainism is the matter of attraction for people all around the globe. Not only the Jains but all other religions celebrate the festivals of Jains. Spending holidays at Jain pilgrimages is really an astounding and memorable experience. Specially, in India tourists have a good option for Jain pilgrimages. Tourists have the first choice of Jain pilgrimage for making their holidays memorable, enjoying and amazing. Really, the entire doings in Jainism enlighten one spiritually.

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Duration: 4Nights / 5Days
Destination:Varanasi – Kushinagar – Shravasti – Allahabad – Varanasi/Ayodhya
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