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Jainism Portal


Jainism (pronounced in English as /ˈdʒeɪ.nɪzm̩/), traditionally known as Jain Dharma (जैन धर्म) , is a classical religion with its origins in the prehistory of India. The Jains, although a small minority in India now, have continued to sustain the shraman (श्रमण) tradition. Jainism is significantly influential in both the ethical and economic spheres in India. Jainism places great stress on compassion to all living beings. Self-control (व्रत vrata in Sanskrit) forms a central part of being a Jain.

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Jain cosmology: According to Jain beliefs, the universe was never created, nor will it ever cease to exist. Nor is it controlled by an all powerful deity. Time is divided into Utsarpinis (Progressive Time Cycle) and Avsarpinis (Regressive Time Cycle). An Utsarpini and an Avsarpini constitute one Time Cycle (Kalchakra). Every Utsarpini and Avsarpini is divided into six unequal periods known as Aras. During the Utsarpini half cycle, ethics, progress, happiness, strength, age, body, religion, etc. , go from the worst conditions to the best. During the Avsarpini half-cycle, these notions deteriorate from the best to the worst. Jains believe we are currently in the fifth Ara of the Avsarpini phase, with approximately 19,000 years until the next Ara. After this Avsarpini phase, the Utsarpini phase will begin, continuing the infinite repetition of the Kalchakra.

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Jain temple in Ranakpur
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The oldest Jain literature is in Ardha-Magadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit (Agamas, Agama-tulya, Siddhanta texts etc).

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According to Jain beliefs, Jain philosophy is a codification of eternal universal truths which at times lapse among humanity, but later reappear through the teachings of human beings who have gained enlightenment or omniscience (Keval Gnan).


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Lord Rishabha or Rishabha Deva who was the first Tirthankar of Jainism. Lord Rishabha was the first Tirthankar of our time, and hence is also called Adinatha, the First Lord. In Jain tradition, he is more than a Tirthankar. As a king, he is credited with development of several innovations affecting the society, as transition was being made from a simple to a more complex society.

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Looking for timeliness of Jain history, starting from first Tirthankar, Rishabh Dev je, till date. Diagram would be easy to understand and references of other religions in India on same chart would be a great help.


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