Identification of the Aura and the Current of Feeling

HereNow4U provides an excerpt from Transmutation Of Personality Through Preksha Meditation that briefly discusses the qualities of leśyā or soul colour. The excerpt takes the form of an interview with Ācārya Tulsi, the eighth leader of the Śvetāmbara Terāpanthin sect. Although he uses scripture to explain leśyās, Ācārya Tulsi considers the concept partly in the context of the 'insight meditation' – prekṣā dhyāna – of the Śvetāmbara Terāpanthins, which may also be practised by those who do not follow this sect.

Identifying Jainism in Indian Art lecture

John Guy, Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art in the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art gave this lecture in March 2010, available on YouTube. The lecture was staged to accompany the New York museum’s exhibition, ‘Peaceful Conquerors: Jain manuscript painting and sculpture’, which ran from 10 September 2009 to 28 March 2010.

Idol of Mallī

A Śvetāmbara statue of the 19th Jina is provided on Flickr. The black colour of the image makes the wide open eyes and tilaka – symbolising the third eye – very noticeable. According to Śvetāmbara Jains, Mallinātha or Lord Mallī is the only Jina who is female. Artistic depictions of Mallī as a woman are rare or inconclusive, however, as most representations of Jinas are highly stylised and undifferentiated from one another.

Idol of Vimala

This 2011 photograph on Flickr is of the 13th Jina, Vimalanātha or Lord Vimala. The black statue is extravagantly decorated, probably to celebrate a festival. With wide open eyes and lavish jewellery, the idol belongs to the Śvetāmbara sect.

Image of Ananta

This Flickr photo shows a statue of Anantanātha or Lord Ananta, the 14th Jina. The unadorned style of the scuipture and the closed eyes indicate that it is from the Digambara sect.

Image of Dharma

A highly decorated idol of Dharmanātha or Lord Dharma, the 15th Jina. Found in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, this statue has an elaborate backpiece and headdress, underlining the high status of the Jina. This Śvetāmbara sculpture on Flickr sits in the lotus pose indicating meditation.

Images of Bāhubali

The Digital South Asia Library at the University of Chicago provides detailed information about the images of Bāhubali found at historical sites in:

  • Karnataka – Aihole, Bādāmi, Hallur, Kārkala and Mudabidri
  • Uttar Pradesh – Banpur.

The black-and-white photographs can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Images of Jain temples and idols

A small selection of drawings and photographs of Jain temples and statues provided by Professor Frances W. Pritchett of Columbia University in New York.

Images of Jinas

A few photographs of Jina images in various styles, ranging from tenth-century sculptures to a contemporary depiction, provided by Professor Frances W. Pritchett of Columbia University in New York.

Images of Shravana Belgola

The best-known Digambara pilgrimage site, Shravana Belgola in Karnataka is centred around the immense statue of Bahūbali. Depicted standing in deep meditation, the statue has drawn pilgrims and interest from visitors since the tenth century. This collection of drawings and photographs is presented by Professor Frances W. Pritchett of Columbia University in New York.

Indian PM hails teachings of Mahāvīra

The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, greets Jains in the run-up to the annual celebrations of Mahavir Jayanti, reports the Hindu newspaper in a piece dated 27 March 2010.

Indian universities with departments of Jain studies

Jainworld provides a list of Indian universities that have departments with researchers in or courses investigating aspects of Jainism.

Information about Ratnapuri provides information for pilgrims and visitors about the town of Ratnapuri in Uttar Pradesh, India. The town has several Śvetāmbara and Digambara temples dedicated to the 15th Jina. It is a sacred site because it is the scene of the birth, initiation and omniscience of Dharmanātha or Lord Dharma.

Institut Français de Pondichéry

The French Institute of Pondicherry is a research centre of the French Ministry of Foreigh Affairs. Founded in 1955, it undertakes scholarly research and training in South and South-East Asia. The website is in English.

Institute of Oriental Manuscripts

Based in St Petersburg, the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts holds 150 Jain manuscripts. The website gives full information in English about the history and work of this research institute, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Interior of Jain caves at Ellora

This YouTube video uploaded in 2011 presents the Jain caves at Ellora, Maharashtra. The interiors of the five caves boast intricate carved pillars, detailed figures of Jinas and deities, and the remnants of rich frescoes and bright colours.

International Digamber Jain Organization

Based in the United States, the International Digamber Jain Organization aims to widen knowledge of Digambara Jainism, promote community life and work towards the construction of temples in the USA. It provides:

  • information on the Digambara tradition
  • resources for learning and practice, such as lectures and literature in various formats, yantras and prayers,
  • digitised manuscripts
  • downloadable artwork and photographs.

Introduction to Jainism – part 1

This extract from a BBC documentary called The Frontiers of Peace introduces the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. A Śvetāmbara monk explains some of the main principles of Jainism, especially non-violence. The programme mentions the influence of Jains in India and on the work of Mahātma Gandhi. This 2010 YouTube video is the first of four parts. See the next part at:

Introduction to Jainism – part 2

This extract from a BBC documentary called The Frontiers of Peace explores the relationship between Jain traditions and modernity. A Jain lay man tells how he reconciles his faith with his industrial business interests. A Śvetāmbara monk explains the significance of his monastic broom – known as a rajoharaṇa or oghā – including the eight auspicious symbols wrapped around the handle. A nun leads lay followers in the rite of confession – pratikramaṇa. A young woman creates auspicious symbols in rice as an offering as she talks about her decision to become a nun. This 2010 YouTube video is the second of four parts. See the next part at:

Introduction to Jainism – part 3

This extract from a BBC documentary on Jainism called The Frontiers of Peace explores the concept of renunciation. The video follows a young woman's decision to become a nun and a rich lay man's faith. The ritual of keśa-loca is filmed, in which monks and nuns pull out their hair. The lay man is shown making the auspicious symbols of the svastika, three dots representing the 'three jewels' of right insight, right knowledge and right conduct and the horizontal crescent of the siddha-śilā, where liberated souls live. This 2010 YouTube video is the third of four parts. See the next part at:

Introduction to Jainism – part 4

This extract from a BBC documentary called The Frontiers of Peace explores the mendicant element of the traditional fourfold community. A man talks about his decision to stop being a Jain monk and return to the householder life, while a young woman fulfils her wish to becomes a nun. This 2010 YouTube video is the last of four parts. See the first part at:

Introduction to Shravana Belgola

This audio slideshow on YouTube introduces the pilgrimage centre of Shravana Belgola in Karnataka. Sacred to the Digambara sect in particular, Shravana Belgola is dedicated to Bāhubali, also called Gommaṭeśvara or ‘Lord of Gommaṭa’. The site is found on the twin hills of Vindhya-giri and Candra-giri, with a large reservoir and the town between them. The centre of the site is the 18-metre-tall statue of Bāhubali on Vindhya-giri. This slideshow was uploaded by Boltell in 2010.

Invitation scroll

This brightly coloured invitation scroll is painted with gold and silver, and dates from the 19th century. An invitation scroll – vijñapti-patra – is a formal letter from a particular lay community inviting a Jain monastic leader and his companions to spend the rainy season in their village or area. This zoomable photograph is on the Christie's website.

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