Jain religion is a religion profounded by the Tirthankaras. They are in a way free from all worldly worries, sorrows, and cares. Right from the first tirthankara (Shri Rushabhdev) to twenty fourth tirthankara Shri Mahavir Swami, all the tirthankaras have shown the right path to the entire world. They have attained the complete and ultimate knowledge – Kevalgyana – and they have walked on the path of absolute Truth.
Religions Saints :
Mahavir was the 24th Tirthankara in Jainism. The sovereign, main sacred person in Jainism is known as Tirthankara. Lord Mahavir had 11 main disciples. They were known as Gandharas. The Jain preceptors saint follow the great vows (Mahavratas) and observe total renunciation, penance and ‘no love no hatred’ doctrine very strictly. They give the sermons to the Jain Community for living a noble human life.
Jain scriptures are known as Aāgams. They are 45 in numbers. They contain the Knowledge and information about total consideration about all the substances, the master-key of all round development of the life, Geography, Astrology, Biology, Philosophy, Karma, Religion, Spiritualism, and the religious avenues of the total conditions of human beings.
Jain religion lays special emphasis on Non-violence,non-possession and many dimensionalism i.e. Syadvad (Anekantvad).
Four main institutions of Jainism
There are four divisions of Jain Sangh (Community). The monks, The nuns, The Shravakas, and The shravikas. (House hold people- male and female). The first two have totally renunciated the world, where the remaining two belong to their regular house-hold functions, but follow the rules and regulations of Jainism.
Jain Religion Places:
The holy places of Jainism are the places of Pilgrims, the Jain Temples, Upashray (The places of abode for monks and nuns) etc. The places of pilgrim are situated either on the peaks of the Mountains or on other best Locations. The Jain temples are the holy places of worship for the Jain Tirthankaras / Gods. Where one does the Darshan, Vandan, Pooja and Namaskars. The Upashray are the places of abode for the religions priests, the monks and the nuns. The followers of Jainism also use them for their own religious rituals.
The Religious Āchārs (code of conduct)
Even the scientists today confirm the Jain achārs, Jain way of life, Particularly of those of their principles of food. For Jain monks and nuns the prescribed achārs include 5 great vows,6 Obligatory duties, 10 duties of monks etc. for the lay followers, prescribed achārs include: Annuvrat, Gunevrat, Shikshavrat, (Different patterns of rows which can be practiced by house holders). The giving up on non-eatables (lkshyā) the giving up of Anantkay (a body inhibited by infinite beings) like Potatoes and onions etc., giving up of taking foods at night (after sunset) not taking of the food kept over night, giving up of honey and line. All these, compasitively are smaller and easier rules and also benefits the body, mind and life. Jain religion does not propagate enjoyment it propagates the yoga (controls) and giving up of things. It shows the simple but sure system for simplification of life and for getting free from karmās.
The festivals of Jain religion, like those of other religion, have distinguished characteristics. The main Jai festivals include Paryusaja, Oli (Signifying nine Ayambills, twice in year), Gyan Panchami, Moun (Silent) Ekadashi (eleventh day of month Magshirsh) etc.
There are main 2 sects in Jainism (1) Swetamber and (2) Digambars. There are some sub-sets like Sthanakwasi, Terapanthi etc.
Jain Religion has its own very ancient legacy of Jain scriptures being produced by the learned religious leaders. Besides, it has its great spiritual legacy too. There is a rich cultural legacy in form of Agam Scriptures, sculptures paintings, arts etc.,
This Jain Religion is not originated by Lord Mahavir, nor even by the first tirthankara Lord Rishabhdev; but it has in roots since time immemorial.