Damaged sculpture of Ambikā

Damaged stone figure of Ambikā or Kūṣmāṇḍinī, the Jain goddess associated with children and motherhood. A smaller image of the 22nd Jina Nemi sits in her headdress. Ambikā is his female attendant deity – yakṣī. The auction house Christie's provides notes and a zoomable photograph of the sculpture.


Decorated figure of Brahmadeva

The Jain Heritage Centres website provides this photograph of a decorated image of Brahmadeva or Brahmayakṣa, the attendant deity of the tenth Jina, Śītala. This Digambara image, from a temple in Bangalore in Karnataka, shows him holding weapons and riding a horse in his role as guardian god of the temple. It has been garlanded with flowers and anointed with precious substances in a recent ritual of worship.


Decorated figure of Kūṣmāṇḍinī

Free-standing stone sculpture of the goddess Kūṣmāṇḍinī or Ambikā in Shravana Belgola. She is the guardian deity of this Digambara holy place in Karnataka. This 2006 photograph on Flickr shows the statue draped with garlands of flower offerings. Kūṣmāṇḍinī is worshipped all over India and among the Jain diaspora for her associations with fertility and children, and for her protective powers. She is also the female attendant deity – yakṣī – of the 22nd Jina Nemi.


Decorated figure of Padmāvatī

Richly decorated statue of the goddess Padmāvatī in Leicester, England on the Flickr website. A contemporary Śvetāmbara image, the figure has flower offerings at her feet. This goddess is the female attendant deity – yakṣī – of Pārśva, the 23rd Jina. She is also a very popular individual deity, worshipped across India and among the Jain diaspora.


Decorated idol of Mahāvīra surrounded by lights

One of the most important Jain festivals, Dīvālī takes place over several days in late September or October. Jains commemorate the final liberation of the 24th Jina, Mahāvīra. At Dīvālī, as in other festivals, statues and temples are lavishly decorated, as shown in this 2007 Flickr photograph of the statue of Mahāvīra in the Katraj temple in Pune, Maharashtra. The lights surrounding the image indicate why the festival is known as the 'Festival of Lights'. 


Definition of leśyā

The concept of leśyā, a fundamental part of the doctrine of karma, is defined in Wikipedia.


Descriptions of main Jain festivals

The Jainworld website offers summaries of the principal Jain festivals.


Devotional song to Candraprabha

This 2011 video on YouTube features a hymn praising the eighth Jina, Candraprabhanātha or Lord Candraprabha.


Dharmasthala Bāhubali

A large statue of Bāhubali is found at the Hindu pilgrimage site at Dharmasthala in Karnataka. The temple management of the Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple provides information about the story of Bāhubali and Bharata and the history of the statue at the site. 


Digambar Jain Trilok Shodh Sansthan

Opened in 1985, the Digambar Jain Trilok Shodh Sansthan – Digambar Jain Institute of Cosmographic Research – in Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh, was founded by Āryikā Jñānamati. A centre of research into Jain cosmology, the institute publishes the Vira Jñānodaya Granthamālā series and the Samyagjñāna journal and also houses a boys' boarding school. Several temples attract pilgrims but the main draw is the large 3-D model of Jambūdvīpa, complete with a 30-metre-tall Mount Meru.


Digambara monk takes alms from lay women

This video on YouTube shows a Digambara monk eating alms offered by lay women. The women gather round and put spoonfuls of food into his cupped hands. He moves his thumbs quickly through it to ensure it is pure enough to eat.


Digambara nuns pluck out their hair

In the keśa-loca rite, part of the renunciation ceremony of dīkṣā, new monks and nuns pull out their hair, which indicates indifference to worldly concerns, including pain. Ashes are smeared on the roots of the hair, making it easier to pluck out and reducing pain. In the Digambara sects, keśa-loca is a public ceremony. This rite took place among Digambara nuns, as shown by the peacock-feather broom – piñchī – one of them holds in this YouTube video. The dīkṣā was conferred by the nun Gaṇinī Āryikā Viśuddhamati mātājī in Kota, Rajasthan, a few years ago, though the precise date is unknown. The language used is Hindi, with Sanskrit and Prakrit for recitations from the scriptures.


Digambara sculptures from north-eastern India

The HereNow4U website provides text and pictures from Gerd Mevissen's lecture, 'North Bengal (Ancient Varendra): An Innovative Sub-Centre of Jaina Sculptural Art'. It was delivered on 7 March 2008 at the tenth Jaina Studies Workshop, on the theme of Jaina Art and Architecture, held at SOAS in London.


Digambaras celebrate Mahāvīr Jayanti

This 2009 YouTube video shows a Mahāvīr Jayanti celebration in the temple in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Digambara novice monks carry an idol of Mahāvīra in the centre of a colourful procession. Lay people perform rās-garba dances with sticks. A local lay man and his wife, who ride an elephant in this celebration, play the king and queen of the gods. The annual festival commemorates the birth of the 24th Jina, Mahāvīra.


Dīvālī lights

Dīvālī is known as the 'Festival of Lights', taking its name from a corruption of the Sanskrit term dīpa, the traditional clay lamp. Celebrated by the major Indian religions, Dīvālī always features lights on every available surface, arranged both inside and outside buildings, in the streets, around statues and altars. With different meanings for various religions, the festival commemorates the final liberation of the 24th Jina, Mahāvīra, for Jains. This 2008 Flickr photograph shows dīpas in Kolkata, West Bengal.


Doctrine Of The Soul And Re-Birth

Ninth leader of the Śvetāmbara Terāpanth sect, Ācārya Mahāprajña discusses the 'subtle body' that accompanies the soul through the cycle of birth in this chapter from Philosophical Foundations Of Jainism (An Introduction). First published under the title of Jain I Darshan ke Mool Sutra, the book was translated by M. P. Lele under the guidance of Muni Mahendra Kumar ji and Muni Dulahraj ji. The translation is available online on the HereNow4U website.

Read more in the next chapter by clicking on an arrow or sliding the button along the scroll bar at the top and bottom of each page.


Doctrines of Jainism

In this chapter from his 1985 book, Paul Marett uses everyday language to explain the key points of Jain doctrine, including:

  • karma
  • soul
  • five fundamental principles
  • omniscience
  • liberation.

The online version is available on the HereNow4U website.


Dreams of Triśalā

Jainworld.com provides pictures and explanations of the dreams of Queen Triśalā. Women carrying babies who grow up to become Jinas all experience auspicious dreams, which signal the great spiritual leadership of their children. The Digambara sect specifies 16 dreams while the Śvetāmbaras have14 dreams.


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