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Researched and edited by: Ryan,Preethika,Cherry, Kelly

How did the religion develop? Did someone found the religion?

Jainism is breakaway from the hinduism.

Jainism is a religion that originated in India around 550 BC. It was not founded by any one person, but the religion was developed by the Tirthankaras, or teachers. The last Tirthankara was Mahavira.

Jainism is a religion that dates back to the Indus valley civilisation, though it does not have one single founder. But it devoloped from Tirthankaras (teachers) that they are the guides for the Jains. The last Tirthankara was Lord Mahavira. He was the last Tirthankar and so he was the one who finished the teachings of the Tirthankaras. And so he was the hero of the Jains.

Jainism is an Indian religion but it does not have an specific founder, it is build up by the Tirthankaras (also teachers). Which the last Tirthankaras was Mahavira. Most people think that Lord Mahavira was the one who found this religion.

Are there any important days? Which ones? What happens on those days?


Samayika is the practice of equanimity, translating to meditation.
Pratikraman is performed in the morning for the __repentance__ of __violence__ committed during the night, and in the evening for the violence during the day and additionally on certain days of the year.

Jains celebrate festivals by fasting, reciting holy manuscripts, worshipping, speaking or writing. Festivals were based on the lunar calendar.

These are some of the most important festivals that Jains celebrate:

Mahavira Jayanthi: The birthday of Lord Mahavira the last Tirthankara . On this day, Jains will gathering temples and hear the teachings of Lord Mahavir.
This takes place in about April 18.

Paryushan ( Swetamber): Eight days of fasting and pujas. Puja means it can be though reading and reciting the Holy script or meditate. Jains also take place in donating to the poor.This takes place in August 28.

DiIwali: Jains celebrate Diwali because on this day, Mahavira achieved enlightenment Jains stop all buisness and rewrite some of the accounts in their books. And all busness is stopped for 8 days. This takes place in October 28.

A few importants days and festivals celebrated by Jains are:

  • Mahavira Jayanti- On this day Jains gather in temples and read the teachings of Mahavira, because Mahavira Jayanti is the birthday of Mahavira. Groups of Jains also parade images of Mahavira through the streets.

  • Paryushana- This word literally means “to stay in one place”. This celebration consists of 8 days of fasting and repentance. Groups often invite monks to read holy teaching aloud.

  • Diwali- This festival is celebrated throughout India but has special significance to Jains, because on this day, in 527 BC, Mahavira preached his last teachings and attained liberation of the soul. When celebrating Diwali, parents give children candy and light lamps. Some very religious Jains follow the example of Mahavira and fast on Diwali.

Mostly Jain celebrations are dates of the births and deaths. The dates aren’t fixed, it changes every year because there are two Shravan in the Jain calendar this year (2012). This is why last year’s celebration of Mahavir Jayanti was on 5 April 2012 and this coming up year it is on the 23 April 2013.


The left date is date of the celebration in 2012 and on the right it will be on the date in 2013.
3 September- Anata Chaturdasi-->9 September: Anata Chaturdasi
5 November- Bhai Beej-->15 November- Bhai Beej
8 November- Jnan Panchami -->18 November- Jnan Panchami


Anant Chaturdashi
- Celebrates during Paryushan and they have special worship for this
Bhai Beej
- This celebration is similar to the Hindu Raksha Bandhan
- Celebrates the brother of Shraman Bhagawan Mahavir who got taken care by his sister Sudarshana
Jnan Panchami
- This celebration is five days after the Diwali
- On this day followers fast, meditate, atonement, worship of the holy books, and holy recitation


How many gods does the religion have?


Actually Jains do not worship the gods but they contemplate about the 24 Tirthankaras(like buddhas)

Jains do not have Gods, but, they do have human beings that they believe are divine or at least perfect. Jainism has 24 Divine Human Beings. They called by many names, but the most famous is Tirthankara. Tirthankaras are born as regular human beings, but have a state of perfection or enlightenment (Divineness). Mahavira was born as a prince in Bihar and at the age of 30, he left his family. And he gave up all his wealthy belongings including his clothing. Then, he became a monk. He spent twelve years meditating in silence without eating anything for long time periods. And finally, he realised perfection, bliss, power, knowledge and perception. And he spent 30 years spreading his teachings all over India. He was the last Tirthankara who finished the teachings of Jainism.


Followers of Jainism do not believe in a creator god. They follow the teachings of 24 teachers, or Tirthankaras.

Jains do not worship any deities, they only think about the 24 Tirthankaras (similar to the Buddhists) like Mahavira and Parshvanath. Many ordinary Jains pray to the Hindu deities, also some of the Jain temples have minor Hindu deities such as Saraswati up on their walls for decoration.

How do the followers contact or pray to their gods?


Jains do not believe in a God or gods in the way other religions believe, but they do believe in divine (or perfect) beings who are worthy of devotion.
Jains don’t believe in that worship to please gods or in the hope of getting return from god in return. The main difference between Jain and Hindu worship is that Jains appear to worship the tirthankaras, but Jains do not worship them as a person but as what tirthankaras have achieved.

Jains have a universal prayer which is called Navkar Mantra. Jains will start the day by reciting the Navkar Mantra, forgiveness prayer and a prayer for bliss for all.

Jains do not worship to get something back from god, but they prayer to :
  • Improves the spirtual status of the worshipper
  • Can destroy bad karm attached to the body.
  • It acknowledges the diviness of the worshipper.
  • It reminds the worshipper about the Ideal that the worshipper is to follow.

Jains mostlly prayer through meditating reciting scripts and reading from the kalp sutra.

Not all Jains pray in the same way, They have couple within the major Jain division. Both Svetambara and Digambara are the one that do not believe in idols. These ones are the other ones, Taranapantha, Sthanakvasi, and Tera panthi. For the sects that do not believe in idols they study of scriptures, silent prayers, and they meditate. For the ones that utilize idols, daily worships occurs in a sacred place at home or in a community temple.
1. A devotee will shower first and dress themselves with simple white or special clothings.
2. They bring in “Namo Jinanam” which means “I bow to the Jina.”
3. After this prayers repeat “Nishii” three times to help remove the outer thoughts and brings focus to worship.
4. At this moment, devotees will bow and recite the most important mantra in the Jain faith. “Namo Arihantanam (I bow to Arihanta)
Namo Siddhanam (I bow to Siddha)
Namo Ayariyanam (I bow to Acharya)
Namo Uvajjhayanam (I bow to Upadhyaya)
Namo Loe Savva-sahunam (I bow to Sadhu and Sadhvi) ”
5. After these major part of worshipping, devotees could, shift to silent prayers or to sit and meditate.
6. Next food offering will be made such as (fruits, flowers or grain) and it must have fallen naturally.
Jains do not believe in a god so they do not contact a god. But they still pray When praying, Jains bow down and recite the Navkar mantra. The purpose of the prayer is to receive aid in being released from worldly desires and objects. During the prayer, they never say names, because they do not ask for favors.

What are the rules? What do people have to do in their lifetime?


They believe in the sanctity and right to life of all of God's creatures, so they won't hurt any creature.

Jains have 5 Anuvratas this means Limited or Lesser Vows.


The first Anuvrata is the Ahimsa which is the non-violence. And all Jains must avoid intentionally hurting a living organism. And this should be done by filtering the water, not eating at night and so on.
  • All Jains must be vegetarians.


The second Anuvrata is Satya which is truthfulness:
  • Jains must always be truthful.
  • Jains must conduct business honestly.
  • Never be Dishonest about doing something.

Third Anuvrata is Achaurya or Asteya meaning non-stealing:
  • Jains should not steal.
  • Jains should not avoid paying the taxes.
  • Jains should not cheat.


There is Fourth Anuvrata is Bramcharya meaning Chastity
  • Jains are only allowed to have sex with the person that they are married to.
  • Jains must avoid sexual indulgence even with the person that they are married to.
  • Jains must stop sex after they have a son if possible


The Last Anuvrata is the Aparigraha meaning Non-possessions.
  • Jains must only posse what they need.
  • Jains must use surplus possessions to benefit others.


There are also the four Siksavratas:
  • Samayik Vrata is the meditation vow : Jains must carry out sitting meditation for 48 minutes each day.
  • Limited duration of activity vow : Desavakasika is the second Siksavratas:Jains should perform certain jobs in a restricted time period.
  • Limited ascetic's life vow : Pausadha vrata is the third Siksavratas:Jains should regularly adopt the life of a monk or a day.
  • Limited charity vow : Siksavratas: Jains are needed to give to the monks, nuns and the poor.



Their purpose in life is to be released from continuous reincarnation. The way to do this is to dispose of all harmful karma, which is what causes reincarnation. They believe that karma is small particles like dirt, that are attracted to the vibrations created by actions of the mind, speech, and body. One important way to prevent harmful karma from attracting to someone, is ahisma to all living beings which includes small microbes.. Ahisma means non-injury. Some monks go to extreme measures, such as cloth covering the mouth with a cloth to prevent insects from flying in or carrying brooms to gently sweep away small animals in front of them.

The main principles of Jainism are ahisma (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), aparigraha (non-possesion), and brahmacharya (celibacy). Ahisma was explained earlier. Satya means that we should always be truthful. Asteya means we must not steal, cheat, and we should be happy with what we earned from our own work. Aparigraha means we should overcome the desire to have material objects. Brahmacharya means to overcome passion. We must also practice celibacy until the right age, which means to be unmarried.
There are several rules to follow for Jains.
1. Nonviolence
- Jains must avoid any intentional hurt to living things
- Jains must be vegetarians
- May use violence for self-defence
- If the Jain’s work unavoidably causes harm (eg farmer) they must minimize their harm to the least as possible.
2. Truthfulness
- Jains must always be truthful
- Must always conduct their work honestly
- Dishonestly by not doing something that your suppose to is as bad as being actively dishonest.
3. Nonstealing
- They must not steal
- They must not cheat
- They must not avoid paying tax
4. Chasity
- Jains must have only sex with the person their married to
- Jains must avoid sexual satisfaction even with that person
- Jains must give up sex after the marriage has yielded a son (if possible)
5. Nonposession
- Jains must possess what they only need
- Jains must only use their control to benefit others
- Jains must live simply
- Must not use too many resources
Through a Jain’s life, they must
- be a vegetarian
- cause harm to as least things as possible (only use violence when self-defence)
- they must not cheat


Are there any sacred books? What are they called?


They don’t have any sacred books but they had some sacred texts......
The Kalp sutra is the one of the important holy Books it has Bibilographies from the Tirthankaras.

The Akaranga Sutra is another of the most important Holy books. It contains pages of guidance for the Jains about life.

The Agamas are sacred books that contain the teachings of Mahavira. The Agamas were composed of 45 different text about various subjects, such as the original 12 Agamas, books that expand on the meaning of the Agamas, texts about behaviour of monks and stages of monkhood, and a few texts on miscellaneous subjects.
There are many holy books of Jain, but the major one is the Kalpa Sutra, this book is read and illustrated in 8 days festival of Paryushan, and only monks can read this holy book.

What do the holy buildings look like?

Many temples are often placed in a cave. Inside this cave, there is a house form surrounded by four sitting statues and inside there are foot imprints that represent the Jains foot prints. Another type is, the temple is the temple is placed in a open courtyard instead of being in a cave. Later, these temples were also placed in domestic and hall type temples. And there are also other temples that are shaped like towers, but any of these temples have the same structure inside with the housing of the foot imprints.
Jain Temple2.jpg

Jainism is connected to the Hinduism, since it is a part of India’s religion. A Jain temple is called Derasar, Jain temples was built in different designs. The northern part of Jain is way different than the southern part. In the temple there are different names for different parts. In the Derasars, there will be stone carved god idol, this is called Gambhara. Every prayer that comes here have to shower and wear worship (puja) clothes. All Jain temples have marble carved pillars with Demi god postures. Every Derasar will have a main god/goddess known as the mulnayak. Jain temples that are over 100 years are called the Tirtha.
Jain temple.jpg

A few Jain temples are fancy, but some just are plain buildings. Most Jain temples contain pictures of the Tirthankaras inside. Some temples have silver and gold ornaments whereas some have normal, plain walls. Inside, there is a room to worship and pray.
external image GGujBnj01pu_k3Fz5L5SllKkRHRJ9s2-IjzIa_ER3iIdUyf8y7fYSshFN06jjFPhelOznM7bi8L1pNUuvWpdDq7IaBsVrLUgQtG9jCIESxo8PU7e9EyPexternal image vC1NGW1BYTksGfPJBpoqcHUDFlkt_EUzm_K2kWCuK-RlaVqnXOJfTMot-i0FliqVSnno-FSpJXnfJHKaZOREflEn68Lkt9nwy9X11X1VdXxHXmQALUCR
The temple on the left is an example of an extravagant temple, but the temple on the right is just a simple temple.

external image G3EEiawhSRRJRK2_njFX5uQ-YJCb58jVp9eCl6yJqHSXY-DvPlMi4FCGLEXrf7Wh-mr48CmsZHdQCQT8zVX4BM4AujAWXXZC-AMXemYwAgHJkhBj1TkThere are lot of types of jain temple...external image NH5z4R4iqs2fBgItK2jexQx-We9pDOyC-ktE1YgxUVxNbvydRIexy4IM0Lyrmq-Jjdji2jt4qCpCLXkgAGLy_U0-uAyhzmkeXeMdtTgyKQZ0FBKS4x8

What happens to you when you die?

Jains Strongly believe in Karma (the cycle of death and rebirth). And their teachers the Jains or Tirthankara have found Mohka meaning enlightment, bliss and individual knowledge. Also it gives freedom to the soul from the cycle of life and death. And this can only be done by performing good deeds. And if this is done, then the cycle will be broken and the person can attain Moksha.

Jains believe that everyone is caught in an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. They believe in Karma, the karma will continuously appear in their next life. In their lives, they must always keep a rule in mind “nonviolence”. They believe that if they have been harming living things, then they will have bad karma in either this life or their next life.
Jains believe in an endless cycle of reincarnation. This means that when a soul dies it is instantly reborn in a new form, which may be human or animal and maybe neither. If the soul was mostly free from harmful karma when it died, then it will receive a nice body. If the soul had lots of harmful karma when it died, it will be born into a poor quality life.

Are there any religious symbols and writing?


Jains have the symbol of the hand with the wheel resting in the palm of the hand. The hand means stop and in the center of the wheel it says Ahimsa which means non-violence. So overall, it means that we should think before we do something. So that, we do not hurt anyone with your words or actions.The wheel also shows that if we are still not careful, then we will go round and round through the cycle of Karma and will never reach Moksha (enlightment, bliss and individual knowledge and freedom from the cycle of Karma just like the circle that rests in the palm goes round and round. There is also the swastika, its four arms represents that we can turn into four different forms heavenly beings, human beings, animal beings, and hellish beings if we do not achieve Moksha. These symbols are placed in a symbol that represents the universe. At the top of the the symbol, there is a upside down curved arch that ids the place where the liberated souls rest. At the bottom of this outline rests the seven hills. And in the middle, rest our earth and other planets. At the top is the heaven. The universe was not created, but it was there ever since. The universe cannot be destroyed or created but it can change. The three dots above the swastika represent the three Jewels of Jainism: Samyak Darshan (Right Faith), Samyak Jnan (Right Knowledge), and Samyak Charitra (Right Conduct). Each Jain must have these three. The right faith means to have faith in what the Jinas or Tirthankaras say . The right knowledge is that the soul should attain liberation and not the body. The right conduct means we should avoid hatred in our actions and
attachment. Other than, these symbols there religious writing.

Jainism Symbol.gif


The Jain symbol called Swastika has a hand and a blue wheel placed at the palm. The hand shows the fearlessness and the feeling of Ahimsa which is nonviolence. Th blue wheel that is placed where the palm is the wheel of Dharma. It has 24 triangles that connects from the center to the rim. The 24 points represents the 24 Tirthankars.
Swastika.jpg
This is the symbol of Jainism. The hand in the lower half of the symbol can also be used as a symbol of Jainism. external image yZ6yRTIPexLy5_IlrJ8b2MM1zYV62fND0O_RGHLYC3rkcoiQJgnG3lvev8Vp0zZ0mxk0eAsX0Wq0M5AlzatTvCMn3Oyzeu9NybBJyfoyo5z6OXcDyAZ5
The symbol contains many concepts. The first shows the parts of the universe. The top section represents heaven, the middle represents the world, and the bottom section represents hell. The semi-circle at the top represents the realm where all liberated spirits reside. The three dots below it represent right knowledge, right belief, and right conduct, virtues we should have. The 4 arms of the swastika represent 4 different states that a soul can be, depending on how much karma they have. One arm represents demon, one represents animal, another represents human, and the last represents angel. The hand at the bottom symbolizes ahisma (non-violence). The wheel represents the cycle of reincarnation. The 24 spokes in the wheel symbolize the 24 Tirthankaras.


Is there any special clothing?


There is just white clothing for regular people, but for monks they either wear only simple white cloth or wear no cloths at all. Either they carry a duster around with them to dust the floor before they sit down to meditate just in case they accidental kill an insect . And many people and monks wear cotton piece of cloth over their mouth so that no insect goes inside and is killed.

Jains always wear white clothings, one of the cloth covers the lower body down to the chins. Another one covers the upper body, and one that passes left shoulders down to the ankle is called a Kamli. They also carry a woolen small mat to sit on while they pray. Or some of them don't wear any clothes.
Jain monks and nuns wear only white clothing. Many monks wear a small cloth over their mouth. This stops small insects from flying into their mouth and dying. On holidays many Jains will wear white or orange because orange is the color of India.

Where is the religion most common?

Jainism is most common in India, the country where it was founded.
Jainism is most found in India especially Easter Indian States like Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Jainism is most common in India, and found in Eastern India.

How many people believe in the religion?

Jainism has around 6 million adherents, or followers.
Jainism has at least 5 million followers and at the maximum 10 million people.

There are 4.2 million adherents of Jainism now worldwide.

What are some food recrictions that jains have to follow ?

They have to eat very early because after a while there are bugs in the air and if they fall into the food the are dead and Jains are forbidden to harm any living animals. Also all Jains must be vegetarian. Also they cannot eat any vegetables that have been grown out of the ground such as onions, carrots and potatoes.

What are the names of the Tirthankaras and what are their signs?

There are 24 Tirthankars. Each Tirthankaras has their own symbol to represent them.
These are the following 24 Tirthankaras and their symbol:
  1. Lord Rishabhdev- Ox
  2. Lord Ajitnath- Elephant
  3. Lord Sambhunath- Horse
  4. Lord Abhinandan- Monkey
  5. Lord Sumatinath- Curlew or red goose
  6. Lord Padmaprabhu- Lotus
  7. Lord Supashvanath- The Swastika
  8. Lord Chandra Prabhu Swami- Moon
  9. Lord Suvidhinath- Crocodile
  10. Lord Shitalnath- Ficus religiosa
  11. Lord Shreyanshnath- Rhinoceros
  12. Lord Vasupujya- female buffalo
  13. Lord Vimalnath- Shukar
  14. Lord Anantnath-Falcon
  15. Lord Dharmanath- Thunderbolt
  16. Lord Shantinath- Deer
  17. Lord Kunthunath- Male Goat
  18. Lord Arnath- Fish
  19. Lord Mallinath- Jar
  20. Lord Munisuvrat Swami- Tortoise
  21. Lord Naminath- Blue Lotus
  22. Lord Neminath (Lord Aristhnemi)- Conch
  23. Lord Parshvanath- Snake
  24. Lord Mahavir Swami Lord Vardhman- Lion


Why are the followers of the Tirthankaras called Jains?
The reason is because the name that the Tirthankara were called by was Jina so the followers of the Jinas are known as the Jains.

What practices do Jains take part in?
Jains sometimes practice fasting and meditating. They have developed a form of meditation called Samaya. They meditate in order to become calm and learn more about themselves. Jains believe that fasting will destroy bad karma. They can fast at anytime of the year but they always fast on holy days.

Since Jainism is part of Hinduism, what is the difference between them?
The difference between both Jainism and Hinduism is that Jainism focuses on non-violence and Hinduism focuses on sacrifices. Jains does not believe in any god, but the 24 Tirthankaras. Hindus beileve in Lord Mahavir.
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