Jain rituals

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Jain rituals play a prominent part in Jainism. Rituals take place daily or more often. Rituals include obligations followed by Jains and various forms of idol worships.

Rituals

Jains rituals can be divided broadly in two parts: Karya (Obligations which are followed) and Kriya (Worships which are performed).[1]

Six essential duties

Both major sects defines duties for Jainism followers.[2][3]

Svetambara

There are six obligatory duties (avashyakas) prescribed by Svetambara Jain canons to ascetics which are modified to suit non-ascetics.[3] These Six Avashyakas are:[2][3]

  1. Chaturvishnati-stava: praising Tirthankaras
  2. Kayotsarga: meditation
  3. Pratikramana: expiation of past sins
  4. Pratyakhyana (renunciation of anything)
  5. Samayika: practising serenity and meditation
  6. Vandan: respecting teachers and ascetics

Samayika was used as a word for all spiritual activity including icon worship during medieval times.[2]

Digambara

Digambara monk Jinasena and Somdeva suggested following essential duties which are popular and secular:[2]

  1. Dana: charity
  2. Devapuja: worship of Tirthankaras
  3. Guru-upashti: respecting teachers and ascetics
  4. Sanyam: controlling self by following different rules
  5. Swadhyaya: studying spiritual texts
  6. Tapa: austerities

These duties became fundamental ritual activities of a Jain householder. Such as spreading the grain for the birds in the morning, and filtering or boiling the water for the next few hours' use became ritual acts of charity and non-violence.[2]

Samayika

Samayika is the practice of equanimity, translating to meditation. It is a ritual act undertaken early in the morning and perhaps also at noon and night. It lasts for forty-eight minutes (Two Ghadis) and usually involves not only quiet recollection but also usually the repetition of routine prayers. The ritual is chanting and praying about the good things.[2]

Pratikramana

Pratikramana 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. During this, the Jain expresses remorse for the harm caused, or wrongdoing, or the duties left undone.[2][4]

Annual and lifetime obligations

There are eleven annual obligations for a year and some obligations for once in a life which should be completed by Jain lay person individually or in a group. They are prescribed by Shravak Pragyapti.[5]

11 annual obligations

They are following:[5]

  1. Deva dravya : Fundraising for temples
  2. Mahapuja : Elaborate ritual in which temples and icons decorated and sacred texts recited
  3. Ratri-jagarana : singing hymns and religious observance throughout night
  4. Sadharmik Bhakti: Deep respect to fellow follower of Jainism
  5. Sangha-puja: service to Sangha
  6. Shuddhi : confession of faults
  7. Snatra puja : a ritual related to Janma Kalyanaka
  8. Sutra-puja : veneration of scriptures
  9. Tirth prabhavana : promotion of Jainism. by celebrating important occasion
  10. Udyapana : displaying objects of worship and participant at end of religious activities
  11. Yatratnika or Yatratrik : Participation in religious festivals and pilgrimage to three sites

Obligations performed at least once in a lifetime

They are the following:[5]

  1. Build a temple
  2. Celebrate renunciation of a family member
  3. Donate a Tirthankara icon to a temple
  4. Participate in Panch-kalyanak Pratishtha

Idol Worship

Devapuja means worship of tirthankaras. It is done in front of icons of any liberated souls (Siddha) such as Tirthankara, or Arihant. Sthanakavasi oppose idol worship. They believe in meditation and silent prayers.[6]

Erecting Jain temples started around 300 BCE.[6]

Jain idols have no miraculous powers, daily rituals help the worshipper towards a reverent state of mind. They are seen as a personification of ideal state which one should attain.[6]

During medieval period, worship of some Yaksha and Yakshini, heavenly beings who are not liberated souls, started. They are believed to help a person by removing obstacles in life.[6]

Elaborate forms of ritual usually done in the temple. Jains wear clean three clothes for many rituals and enter temple with words related to respect for Tirthankara. He bows down to Tirthankara at main shrine and will circumambulate him three times.[6]

Main ritual can be divided in two parts:[7]

  • Dravya puja (worship with materials)
  • Bhava puja (Psychic worship, no need of materials)

Dravya Puja

Dravya puja(worship with materials) includes Ashtaprakari Puja(means eight worships) which is done by paying homage with following eight things in prescribed way. It is also called archana:[7][8] Each of the dravya has its own importance.

Puja Material used Purpose
Jala Pure water Get rid of cycle of life and death,i.e., Moksha
Chandana Sandalwood diluted in water Get rid of (metamorphic) heat of this life i.e., Moksha
Akshata Uncooked rice To get something which doesn't decay i.e., Moksha
Pushpa Colored uncooked rice representing flowers or real flowers in some believes Freedom from passions and worldly desires i.e., Moksha
Naivedhya Dry coconut shell or sweets in some believes Freedom from greed.
Deepak Colored coconut shell or Lamp in some believes Omniscience, to destoy the darkness of delusions.
Dhupa cloves, sandalwood powder or Incense stick To get rid of karmas i.e., Moksha
Fala Fruits like dry complete almond, cloves, cardamom or even green fruits in some believes Liberation of soul i.e., Moksha
Arghya Mixture of above all Moksha

After that some Jains also use Chamara (Whisk), Darpana (Mirror) and a Pankho (Hand fan) also for worship.[7]

Bhava Puja

An aarti plate.

Bhava puja(means Psychic worship) is done by ritual called Chaitya Vandana. It includes number of prayers and rituals done in prescribed manner and positions.[9]

Aarti and Mangal Deevo

Aarti and Mangal Deevo is a lamp ritual waving it in rotational manner in front of icons same as Hindu traditions. Lamps represent knowledge. It is performed everynight at all Jain temples.[10]

Other forms

Many other forms of worships are mainly performed on special occasions.[11] Some forms of worships have close relationship with these five auspicious life events of Tirthankara called Panch Kalyanaka.[8]

  1. Anjana Shalaka: It is a ceremony to install new Tirthankara icon. An Acharya recite mantras related to Panch Kalyanaka followed by applying special paste to eyes of Tirthankara icon. After this an icon becomes object of worship.
  2. Panch Kalyanak Pratishtha Mahotsava: When a new Jain Temple is erected, these Five Auspicious Life Events are celebrated known as Panch Kalyanak Pratishtha Mahotsava. After these an icons of Tirthankara gets a status of real Tirthankara which can be worshipped by Jains.[8]
  3. Panch Kalyanak Puja:This ritual solemnizes all five Kalyanaka. It was narrated by Pandit Virvijay.[8]
  4. Snatra Puja: Snatra Puja is a ritual related to birth of Tirthankara are bathed symbolising Indra doing Abhisheka on Tirthankara on Mount Meru after birth of Tirthankara. It performed before many other rituals and before starting of new enterprises, birthdays.[8]

Others are:[11]

  1. Adhara Abhisheka(18 Abhisheka: It is temple purification ceremony. 18 urns of different pure water, herbs etc. used to clean all icons for purification. It is performed periodically.
  2. Antaraya Karma Puja: It comprises a series of prayers to remove those karmas which obstruct the spiritual uplifting power of the soul.
  3. Arihanta Mahapujan: paying respect to the arihants.
  4. Aththai Mahotsava: It is religious celebration in which various religious activities are performed including some pujans for eight days.
  5. Shanti Snatra Puja: It is performed in intention of universal peace. It is related to Tirthankara Shantinath.
  6. Siddha-chakra Puja:It is a ritual focused on the Siddha-chakra, a lotus-shaped disc bearing representations of the arhat, the liberated soul, religious teacher, religious leader and the monk (the five praiseworthy beings), as well as the four qualities namely perception, knowledge, conduct and austerity to uplift the soul.

See also

Notes

  1. Shah 1998, pp. 169
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Jaini 1998, pp. 188–191
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Shah 1998, pp. 171–173
  4. Shah 1998, pp. 174
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Shah 1998, pp. 173–175
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Jaini 1998, pp. 191–196
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Shah 1998, pp. 177–179
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Jaini 1998, pp. 196–203
  9. Shah 1998, p. 179
  10. Shah 1998, p. 181
  11. 11.0 11.1 Shah 1998, pp. 181–185

References