Saturday, 24 June 2017

Jain festivals

Jain festivals

 Jain festivals occur on designated days of the year. Jain festivals are either related to life events of Tirthankara or they are performed with intention of purification of soul.

There are many religious festivals in Jainism. Some of them are associated with five auspicious life events of Tirthankara known as Panch Kalyanaka.


Paryushana Parva is one of the most important festival for Jains. Paryusana is formed by two words meaning ‘a year’ and ‘a coming back’. This festival comes in the months of Shravana and Bhadra (August or September). Svetambara Jains celebrate it for eight-days while Digambara Jains celebrate it for ten days. It is also known as Das Lakshana Parva. It is a festival of repentance and forgiveness. Many Jains fast and carry out different religious activities. Jain monks stop walking during chaturmas and reside at one place where they lecture on various religious subjects during paryushana. This festival is believed to remove accumulated karma of the previous year and develop control over new accumulating new karma, by following Jain austerities and other rituals. There are regular rituals at the Jain temples. Discourses of Kalpa Sutra are given by monks. Kalpa Sutra describes life of Mahavira and other Tirthankaras. On the third day, procession of Kalpa Sutra is carried out. On the fifth day, auspicious dreams of Trishala, mother of Mahavira are demonstrated and after that birth of Mahavira is celebrated. The tenth day of festival is called Anant Chaurdsashi. Anant Chaturdashi is the day when Lord Vasupujya attained moksha(nirvan). Usually, a procession is taken out by Jains on this day. Kshamavani is generally observed a day after Anant Chaturdashi. On Kshamavani, Jains ask for forgiveness from everybody for any acts during the previous year which may had hurt them.

Mahavir Jayanti

Mahavira was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the Jain calendar month of Chaitra, probably 599 BCE. It falls in March or April. This festival marks birth of Mahavira. Procession is carried out and lectures on message of Mahavira is presented. The idols of Mahavira is ceremonially bathed and rocked in a cradle. Events related to birth are also recited from sacred texts by monks.


Diwali is one of the most important festival in India. Mahavir attained nirvana followed by moksha on this day in 527 BCE. It falls on the last day of Ashvina month of Jain calendar. It is also the last day of Indian calendar. It comes during October or November. It is believed that the eighteen kings of northern India, followers of Mahavira, decided to light lamps (known as dipa) symbolizing knowledge of Mahavira. So it is known as Deepavali or Diwali. Jains are forbidden to burst crackers.On Diwali morning, Nirvan Ladoo is offered after praying to Lord Mahavira in all Jain temples all across the world. Gautam Gandhar Swami, the chief disciple of Lord Mahavira achieved omniscience (Kevala Gyan) later the same day.

New Year

After celebrating Divali at the end of Ashwina, Jains celebrate new year on the first day of the following month of Kartika. Ritual of Snatra Puja is performed at the temple. Mahavira's chief disciple Gautama Swami attained keval gyan on this day.

Gyana Panchami

The fifth day of Kartika is known as Gyana Panchami. It is considered knowledge day. On this day holy scriptures are displayed and worshipped.

Pausha Dashmi

It is celebrated on 10th day of dark half of Pausha (Pushya) month of Hindu calendar(December/January). It marks Janma Kalyanaka (Birth) of 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvanath. Three days fast known as Attham is observed by many Jains.

Varshi Tapa or Akshay Tritiya Tapa

It is believed that the first Jain Tirthankara Rishabhdev completed of an austerity on 3rd day of the bright fortnight of Vaishakh month of Jain calendar after fasting for 13 months and 13 days continuously. People who performed austerity known as Varshi tapa regarding these event complete the austerity on this day by taking sugar-cane juice.


Maun Agiyaras or Ekadashi marks Kalyanaka of many Tirthankaras. It is celebrated on 11th day of Magshar month of Jain calendar(October/November). On this day, complete silence is observed and fasting is kept. Meditation is also performed.

Navapad Oli

The nine-day Oli is a period of semi-fasting. During these period Jains take only one meal a day of very plain food. It comes twice a year during March/April and September/October.


Mahamastakabhisheka is a festival held once every twelve years in the town of Shravanabelagola, Karnataka. It is held in veneration of an immense 18 meter high statue of Bahubali. The last anointing took place in February 2006, and the next ceremony will occur in 2018.

Roth Teej

Roth Teej is celebrated on Bhadrapada Shukla Tritiya. On Roth Teej, the Jains are supposed to eat only one type of grain food, roth, once during the day. The festival is a reminder that material wealth is not important, only relinquishment leads to true happiness.

Shrut Panchami

Shrut Panchami is celebrated by Jains every year in the month of May commemorating Acharya Pushpadanta and Bhutabali.

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Friday, 2 June 2017

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Friday, 19 May 2017

Famous Jain Temples in India -

Famous Jain Temples and Pilgrimage in India

India is a land of many religions and Jain Dharma is one of them belonging to the śramaṇa tradition. The three main principles of Jainism are Ahimsa (non-violence), Anekantavada (non-absolutism), and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness). There are many Jain temples and pilgrimage in India known for their marvellous architecture and stone carvings. Read on to know about most visited and beautiful Jain Temples and pilgrimage in India. Though there are lots more Jain temples and pilgrimage places all over the India these are the famous ones.

  •   Lal Mandir: Delhi

    Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is a beautiful and oldest Jain temple located opposite Red Fort in Old Delhi.  It is dedicated to 23rd Tirthankara, Parashvanath and houses the Birds Charity Hospital to give free treatment to the injured birds. The Digambar Jain Temple was built in 1656 by red sandstone that's why called Lal Mandir. The main prayer area of the temple is on the first floor. There are a number of shrines inside the temple but the main shrine is of Lord Mahavira the 24th and the last Tirthankara of the present era. One can also buy lots of books on Jainism from the bookstore in the complex. Visitors should take off their shoes and all other leather goods before entering the temple complex.
  • Dilwara Jain Temples: Mount Abu

    Beautiful Dilwara temples are famous for its extraordinary architecture and marvellous white marble stone carvings. These temples were built between 11th to 13th centuries AD by Vastupal-Tejpal, a Jain layman. Dilwara Temple complex consist of five major temples devoted to Five Jain saints namely- Shri Mahaveer Swami Temple, Shri AdiNath Temple or Vimal Vasahi Temple, Shri Nemi NathJi Temple or Luna Vasahi Temple, Shri ParshavNath Temple or Khartar Vasahi Temple and Shri Rishabh Deoji Temple or Peethala Temple. Temples remain open from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. for tourists and photography is strictly prohibited inside the temple complex. One can see the marvellous minute carving detail spreading over ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels of the temple complex. 

  • Ranakpur Temple: Udaipur, Rajasthan

    Ranakpur Temples are from one of the five major pilgrimages (temples) of the Jains. This temple is famous for its detailed and superb architectural style. The temple is built by Seth Dharna Sah, a Jain businessman with the help of Rana Kumbha, ruler of Mewar in the 15th century. Ranakpur Temple is constructed in light coloured marble and more than 1400 beautifully carved pillars support it that change their colour from golden to pale blue after every hour during the day. Several other temples like Chaumukha temple (four faced temple), Parashvanath temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple are also located inside the temple complex.
  • Palitana Temple: Gujarat


    The temple is located on Shatrunjaya hill by the city of Palitana in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat, India. It is considered as one of the holiest of all pilgrimage places by the Jain community. To reach the temple one has to climb through 3950 steps (3.5 km). Palitana Temples are constructed in two phases first from 11th to 12th centuries AD later from the 16th century AD onwards. There are 1000 of Jain temples scattered on the Shatrunjaya hills along with the main temple at the top of the hill. Jain community believes that every person has to visit Palitana once in a lifetime chance to achieve nirvana or salvation.
    •Gomateshwara Temple:Karnataka

    The monolithic statue of Gomateshwara stands on a hill in the city of Shravanabelagola. Gomateshwara was the second son of Lord Adinatha, the first of the 24 Tirthankara (enlightened human). The 17.38 meter (58 ft) high monolithic stone statue is regarded as one of the largest monolithic statues in the world. It was created around 983 AD by Chavundaraya, a minister of the Ganga Kingdom. Once in 12 years the Mahamastakabhisheka festival is held and the statue of Gomateshwara is bathed in milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins.

     •Sonagiri Temple: Madhya Pradesh



    It is a sacred place for Digambar Jains as Chandra Prabhu the 8th Tirthankara and many ascetic saints achieved Moksha from this site. 77 beautiful Jain temples of 9th & 10th century are located on Sonagiri Hills and twenty-six temples in the village about 60 km from Gwalior. The temple number fifty-seven is the main temple dedicated to Lord Chandraprabhu. The statue of Chandraprabhu of eleven feet height is constructed inside the temple. Two other beautiful idols of Lord Sheetalnath & Parsvnath are also installed in this temple. The Samavsharan of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu came here for 17 times.

    •Bawangaja Temple: Madhya Pradesh


    Bawangaja is a famous Jain temple in the Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh in India. It is famous for its world's tallest statue of the first Jain Tirthankara Adinatha standing in the posture of meditation. The height of the statue is 84 feet (26 m) and was created early in the 12th century. This beautiful statue is made by cutting rock of one single mountain only which makes it more unique and famous. On the left side of the Bhagwan Adinath statue, the four armed 'Gomukh Yaksha' & on the right side sixteen armed 'Yakshi Chakreshvary' idols are established.


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