• Curated commentaries on the Jain cosmos.


  • Paryushana and Das lakshana

    The Jain festivities are few, and of them, a very important one occurs during the four months of the traditional monsoon season.


    During this time, the svetambara and the digambara Jains respectively have an 8-day and a 10-day period of increased austerities. The former is known as Paryushana and the latter is known as Das lakshana. Even laypeople enter a format of life which is essentially quite close to a kind of asceticism.


    A Jain in deed is a Jain indeed

    As Paryushana Parva starts, Samanta Orsini Jain, a self-identified Jain, from Italy, prepares herself for the coming days of fasting, meditation, and of requesting forgiveness from all beings that one may have injured knowingly or unknowingly.

    Debate on practice of 'santhara' continues

    //The debate on 'Santhara', a Jain ritual of fasting unto death which was held illegal by the Rajasthan High Court, is far from over on the question of whether it is glorified suicide or a religious practice.

    While 'Santhara' was held illegal in August last year by the High Court which made it punishable under section 306 (abetment of suicide) and 309 (attempted suicide) of IPC relating to abetment of suicide, some legal experts say the practice is a "humungous canvas" covering "two cosmologies (of life and death)" which required protection under the constitutional provision.//

    Jain sculptural gallery presents a pathetic picture

    //As a stopgap arrangement, the roof has been wrapped in a thick plastic sheet to prevent further damage. But the water seeped in after the heavy spell of rain on Saturday.

    The Jain gallery is not just a collection of stone sculptures and temple spolia, but is a part of the history of Telangana where Jainism and Buddhism thrived.

    There are sculptures of Baahubali, Mahavira and other revered figures from Jain theology, mostly from the surrounding areas of Hyderabad, including Patancheruvu and Medak.//


    One of our key inspirations passed away

    Prof. Madhusudan Amilal Dhaky has been one of the major inspirations for our work and our lives. He gave us guidance from the earliest days of our work. He was many things, and he was our friend. We will have the highest and deepest love and regard for him, always.


    Yesterday, he passed on from this life onto the rest of his cosmic journey.


    A look at Jain manuscripts and drawings from the early 19th century

    //Palm leaf Digambara manuscripts like this are extremely rare, but what makes the Mackenzie Collection’s Jain holdings even more amazing is the other materials, such as drawings and transcribed oral accounts, which were gathered in Karnataka at the same time, between 1799 and 1810, when Mackenzie was conducting the Survey of Mysore.


    Armed with a team of military draftsmen and Indian translators, Mackenzie’s attempts to learn about Jainism went beyond the standard Orientalist practice of collecting manuscripts. The draftsmen made drawings of a broad range of subjects, and the translators interviewed important members of the Jain community.//


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