Padmāvatī and attendants

Śvetāmbara image of the goddess Padmāvatī and attendants. Popular all over India, but especially in the south, Padmāvatī is a powerful deity associated with wealth and the ability to cure snakebite. She is also the yakṣī or female attendant deity of the 23rd Jina, Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva, who is the small figure above her head, sheltering under a canopy of snakehoods. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA, provides views of both sides of the artefact.

Padmāvatī and snakehoods

Flickr provides a 2011 photograph of a damaged statue of the goddess Padmāvatī. The snakehoods above the figure's head and her ornate jewellery help identify her. Padmāvatī is the female attendant deity – yakṣī – of the 23rd Jina Pārśva and is popular throughout India as an independent goddess.

Painting of Candraprabha

This striking 18th-century painting of the eighth Jina, Candraprabha-svāmī or Lord Candraprabha, clearly shows his emblem of the crescent moon. One of six paintings of Jinas in the set, the artwork shows the Jina in a typical pose of deep meditation. The piece is available to view on the website of the Christie's auction-house.

Painting of Padmāvatī

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London provides a video of a British Jain, Dinesh Shah, explaining the significance of the goddess Padmāvatī. He describes the history and appearance of a family painting of the deity. Padmāvatī is the yakṣī – female attendant deity – of the 23rd Jina, Pārśva, and is also a popular goddess in her own right.

Parable of the tree

Jain Square recounts the well-known parable of the tree, which shows how actions indicate the colour of the soul – leśyā. This karmic stain or soul colour reflects the soul's spiritual condition.

Parents of a Jina

Stone relief of the parents of a Jina. This somewhat damaged sculpture comes from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, and shows a richly bejewelled king and queen with attendants. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA, provides this black and white photograph.

Parshvanath Vidyashram Research Institute

The Parshvanath Vidyashram Research Institute focuses on research into Śvetāmbara Jainism. Based in Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, it has a manuscript library and publishes books and the Śramaṇ journal in Hindi and English.

Pārśva and attendants

A painting of the 23rd Jina Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva in the lotus pose of meditation, held aloft by a four-armed goddess. Either side of him with hands clasped in prayer are his attendant deities, represented as half-snake, half-human figures. His yakṣa Dharaṇendra is on the left and his yakṣī Padmāvatī on the right. This 19th-century image is available via Calisphere, a service of the UC Libraries, powered by the California Digital Library.

Pārśva and multiple Jinas

The Norton Simon Museum in California provides a zoomable photograph of a metal altarpiece featuring the 23rd Jina Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva. Surrounded by the symbols and divine attendants who form the entourage of the Jina image – parikara – Pārśva is presented against a background of many other Jinas, all sitting in deep meditation.

Pārśva and retinue

An 11th-century image of the 23rd Jina Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva and two unidentified Jinas. At the bottom sit his male attendant deity – yakṣa – Dharaṇendra and his female attendant deity – yakṣī – Padmāvatī. Dharaṇendra is the reincarnation of a snake Pārśva saved from death while Padmāvatī is a popular goddess in her own right, also closely associated with snakes. This photograph of the bronze image is on the website of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, USA.

Pārśva meditating

The National Gallery of Australia offers an elaborately illustrated page from a 15th-century manuscript of the Kalpa-sūtra. The 23rd Jina Pārśva sits in the lotus posture of meditation. He is easily identifiable from his seven-headed snake headdress.

Pārśvānātha and his yakṣas

Eleventh-century bronze image of the 23rd Jina Pārśvānātha, or Lord Pārśvā, and his divine retinue. He sits under his characteristic canopy of snakehoods, fanned by attendants on each side. At the bottom he is flanked by his male attendant deity – yakṣa – and his female attendant deity – yakṣī. The British Museum provides this photograph and notes on the artefact.

Partial English translation of pratikramaṇa

English translation of part of the prayer of pratikramaṇa on YouTube. One of the daily duties of monks and nuns, reciting the pratikramaṇa is a rite of confession that for lay Jains forms a key part of the annual festivals of Paryuṣaṇ and Daśa-lakṣaṇa-parvan. As part of this confession ritual, Jains say the Prakrit phrase Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ, meaning ‘May no harm come from my actions’. This is a formulaic apology that festival-goers are supposed to perform.

Parts of a siddhacakra

Academic K. V. Mardia has created a diagram describing the different parts of a siddhacakra or navapada. The foremost Jain yantra, the siddhacakra summarises some of the holiest elements of the Jain religion.

The Yorkshire Jain Foundation in the UK provides a downloadable and printable PDF. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer to open PDF files.

Paryuṣaṇ in the United States

The Pluralism Project at Harvard offers a short essay on the festival of Paryuṣaṇ, called 'Paryushan and the Festival of Forgiveness'. It focuses on contemporary Jainism in the United States.

Paryuṣaṇ recipes

Recipes suitable for cooking during the Śvetāmbara festival of Paryuṣaṇ from the ramkicooks blog. During this annual festival of eight days, observant Jains tend to follow stricter than normal rules regarding food. Most families give up fresh vegetables, eating only grains, pulses and dairy produce. Taking additional vows to fast completely or partly for any given day of the festival, particularly the first and last days, is common.

Past images of Mount Abu

Historical photographs and drawings of Mount Abu, a famous Jain pilgrimage site boasting white marble temples with ornate carvings. These images are presented by Professor Frances W. Pritchett of Columbia University in New York.

Paṭa of Mount Shatrunjaya

A 19th-century Rajasthani example of a paṭa – decorative map of a holy site – of the pilgrimage centre of Mount Shatrunjaya. Owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the United States, the paṭa can be enlarged by clicking on the icon of the magnifying glass. A paṭa can be used to complete a mental pilgrimage to the place depicted, which is believed to be of even more religious value than making the physical journey.|11

Path To Liberation: A Prayer

In his 1998 book ABC of Jainism, Shanti Lal Jain presents an English translation of Budhjan's 'Prabhu Patit Paawan' by Shri Girdhar Lal Jain. The reciter of the prayer extols those who have broken free of the cycle of rebirth and resolves to follow their example to reach salvation. The translation is provided by the HereNow4U website.

Performance of Śālibhadra

This YouTube video films children from the Jain Center of Greater Phoenix, in Texas, USA performing an English version of part of the story of Śālibhadra. Children often perform a shortened version of the tale, which emphasises the duty of giving alms to monks and nuns.

Photos of the ‘Victorious Ones’ exhibition

This photo set on Flickr captures some views of the major exhibition called 'Victorious Ones: Jain Images of Perfection' held at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York from 18 September 2009 to 15 February 2010.

Phyllis Granoff – ‘Victorious Ones: Jain Images of Perfection’

Information about the book Victorious Ones: Jain Images of Perfection, edited by Phyllis Granoff. Published jointly by Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd, Ahmedabad, India, and Rubin Museum of Art, New York, in September 2009, the book accompanied an exhibition of Jain art at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, which ran from 18 September 2009 to 15 February 2010.

Pilgrimage site of Shravana Belgola

This YouTube video shows the Digambara pilgrimage site of Shravana Belgola in Karnataka. Centred on the 18-metre-tall Bāhubali statue at the top of Vindhya-giri, the site also has many temples and holy spots. A small metal image of Gommaṭeśvara or Bāhubali sits at the feet of the colossus, which is flanked by two female figures. The video was uploaded in 2010 by Indiavideodotorg.

Play of Śālibhadra

Children perform the story of Śālibhadra in this YouTube video from 2011. The play was organised by the Jain Vishwa Bharati of North America, which is based in New Jersey, USA.

Popularise tenets of Anuvrat movement: Gehlot

This article in The Hindu newspaper reports on the Anuvrat Convention in 2010. Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Chief Minister, praises the Aṇuvrat Movement and Ācārya Mahāśramaṇa, leader of the Śvetāmbara Terāpanthins, also addresses the gathering.

Poṣa-daśamī – part 1

The Poṣa-daśamī festival celebrates the birth of the 23rd Jina, Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva. Held in late December or early January in the Western calendar, Poṣa-daśamī is also known as Pārśvanātha-jayantī. Typically of many Jain festivals, an idol from a local temple is the centre of a procession through the streets – ratha-yātrā. The procession includes decorated animals, musicians, lay Jains and white-clad nuns. The Jina image is hung with bright flower garlands and is fanned with fly-whisks, symbolic of royalty. Lay Jains dance, sing and clap as the statue is brought into the temple at the end of the procession.

This two-part YouTube video records the 2010 Poṣa-daśamī festival in Jaipur, Rajasthan as celebrated by Śvetāmbara Jains. This is the first part .

Watch the second part here
Poṣa-daśamī – part 2

Commemorating the birth of the 23rd Jina, Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva, the Poṣa-daśamī festival is also known as Pārśvanātha-jayantī. It is celebrated in late December or early January in the Western calendar. Following a street procession – ratha-yātrā – the garlanded statue of Pārśva is brought into the local temple, while a conch is blown and a bell rung. The local community gathers around it and sings hymns in celebration. Chanting, they move a tray of fire in circles, offering pūja or worship to the statue. All the other images of Jinas in the temple are also decorated with flowers.

This two-part YouTube video records the 2010 Poṣa-daśamī festival in Jaipur, Rajasthan as celebrated by Śvetāmbara Jains. This is the last part.
Poṣa-daśamī in 2009

This YouTube video shows the 2009 festival of Poṣa-daśamī in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Celebrating the birth of the 23rd Jina Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva, the festival is observed by all Jain sects. An idol of the Jina is carried through the streets in a silver crib inside a larger shrine, surrounded by a procession of lay people. The local community makes offerings to the Jina when the procession reaches the temple.

Possible illustration of Śālibhadra

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presents an illustrated folio from a manuscript of the story of Śālibhadra. However, this attribution is uncertain.

Possible shrine to Vāsupūjya

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco presents five high-resolution images of a 15th-century metal shrine that may be dedicated to the 12th Jina, Vāsupūjya.

Possible statue of Ambika

This figure from Bihar, with an elaborate headdress, may be the goddess Ambika or Kūṣmāṇḍinī, who is associated with children and fertility. She is conventionally portrayed holding a mango and accompanied by a small child or two. She is also the yakṣī – female attendant deity – of Nemi, the 22nd Jina. This photograph is on the website of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California, USA.

Potters Bar temple – animation

This video on YouTube is a computer-generated depiction of the Śvetāmbara Jain temple in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire in England. Completed in 2006 using materials and craftsmen from India, the temple clearly displays the traditional three main elements of porch, hall – maṇḍapa – and image chamber – garbha-gr̥ha. Drawing worshippers and tourists alike, the largest Jain temple in Europe is a very visible statement of the Jain presence in the UK.

Practicability of Ahimsa

Jainworld provides information from the scriptures about how lay people can put into practice the principal Jain doctrine of ahiṁsā – non-violence or non-harm. Actively engaging in ahiṁsā can take the form of donating to charity, promoting general welfare and encouraging tolerance.

Praise of the Jinas

This 2010 YouTube video features a rendition of a hymn to the Jinas, sung in Gujarati. A stuti is an old prayer, usually in Prakrit or Apabhraṁśa, that can be either chanted or recited.

Preksha Meditation

The Preksha Foundation is a non-profit spiritual, educational, charitable and humanitarian organisation. Based in Rajasthan, India, it was set up to promote Preksha Meditation around the world. The website provides information about Preksha Meditation, including its history, principles and centres. Details of the practice in text, audio recordings and videos are supplied so website visitors can practise at home.

Preparing for the 2006 anointing ritual

The Hindu newspaper reports the final preparations for the 2006 great head-anointing rite – mahāmastakābhiṣeka – of the monolithic idol of Bāhubali at Shravana Belgola in Karnataka. Dated 25 January 2006, the article lists some of the facilities and decorative efforts to ready the hill of Vindya-giri for the ceremony, which takes place every 12 years and draws thousands of pilgrims and sightseers.

Procession in Madhya Pradesh

This 2013 video on YouTube shows the procession during the festival of Mahāvīr Jayantī in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh. White horses in bright trappings lead the procession – yātrā – while children carry the Jain flag behind them. A boy is dressed as a lion, the emblem of the 24th JIna Mahāvīra. The heart of the procession is the golden statue of Mahāvīra set within a representation of the cosmic axis, Mount Meru. A family takes the positions of high privilege around the image, which they have won by auction – bolī.

Procession of Mahāvīra idol

This 2009 YouTube video shows the procession of a small golden idol of Mahāvīra – rathayātrā – through the streets of New Delhi. The procession takes place during the Digambara festival of Daśa-lakṣaṇa-parvan. The men in orange, some of whom are also crowned, are the prominent lay men who have won the privilege of accompanying the statue in the procession. They put the statue in an ornate shrine on a platform set on a tractor with false horses attached. Before the procession begins, Jain lay women move trays of fire in circles – āratī – offering pūja or worship to the idol. Lay people dance in the procession around the idol, which is fanned by fly-whisks, a sign of high status. Many of the dancers wave bright plastic objects, which are modern equivalents of traditional fly-whisks. The women dressed in orange are the wives of the prominent lay men on the tractor. A model of Bāhubali with vines creeping up his legs is also fanned. Small children ride on the shrine, which is hung with a Jain flag at the back, while musicians and models form part of the procession. Two fully fledged monks take part, accompanied by novice monks in white. At the end of the procession the idol is taken into the temple, placed in front of a large Jina image and given a sacred bath. Food is provided for the participants afterwards. All along, there are various songs or prayers. In the first part, the Pañca-namaskāra-mantra is sung to various tunes, then come hymns in Hindi. For instance, one of them says: ‘Listen to the voice of the Jinas’.

Procession to the renunciation ceremony

Dressed as a bride, the initiation candidate scatters money and gifts in a large public procession on her way to the renunciation ceremony to become a nun – dīkā. Nuns and lay women dressed in wedding saris walk behind her palanquin in this undated ceremony in Gujarat, found on YouTube.

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