Following a $1 million joint donation from several individuals through the Vardhamana Charitable Foundation, Narendra & Rita Parson Family Trust and Shah Family Foundation, UC Santa Barbara established and began the search for a chair of Jain Studies within the Department of Religious Studies to further the study of Jain traditions at the university.
With the world “turned upside down” because of the pandemic and the ensuing hardship caused by death, unemployment, the challenge of putting food on the table and disruption in academic programs, the Jain Center of Southern California here said it is doing its best to offset the troubles.
Led by Dr. Jayesh Shah, Indian American president of JCSC, members have started a Coronavirus Humanitarian Relief Fund. They have not only been able to quickly raise $125,000 but have also put the money to immediate use to help people in the areas surrounding the temple and center.
Jainism is one of India’s ancient traditions of life and practice. Jains affirm that each living being possesses a soul and, accordingly, the ethic of ahimsa or non-violence is central to the Jain tradition. Jains first came from India to America in the late 1960s, establishing the Jain Center of Greater Boston (JCGB) in 1973. From 1981 until 2010, members of the JCGB gathered in a former Swedish Lutheran church in Norwood. Since 2010, JCGB have gathered in their own, purpose-built derasar (temple) in Norwood. A second local organization, the Jain Sangh of New England (JSNE), formed in...
(also: sadhvi; muni) Jain monks (sadhus) and nuns (sadhvis) are also called munis, literally the "silent" holy ones. Traditionally, they are supposed to move from village to village, accepting only wht food someone offers them along the way. They go by foot, for travel by vehicles is seen to be much more damaging to the multitude of tiny life-forms. During the four months of the monsoon season, the monks and nuns settle down in various villages in order to avoid harming the many organisms that emerge in the rain. It is especially during this time that they perform various services, such as... Read more about Jain monk
Parshvanath, the 23rd Tirthankara of the Jain tradition, is said to have lived in the 9th and 8th centuries BCE. Traditional accounts state that Parshvanath, after reigning as king in Varanasi, took up the life of an ascetic, thereby attaining enlightenment. He spent the rest of his life teaching, until his bodily death and final liberation in 720 BCE.
Both Hindus and Jains honor sacred images called murtis. The term murti means form or likeness, referring to the material form of a deity or divine being as a focus for worship. These images may be temporary or permanently installed, as in a temple. Through rites of consecration, Hindus understand the image as a dwelling of the Divine, whom worshippers honor with a daily round of hospitality rites. Jains understand their images of the Tirthankaras quite differently: the Tirthankaras are not gods and do not dwell in the image. By worshipping the murti of the Tirthankara, Jains emulate his... Read more about murti
Karma means action and the consequences of action, both in the world and for oneself. It is important in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions where rebirth is presupposed and karma shapes one’s ongoing life. Every action leaves an imprint. In the Jain tradition, karma is understood to accumulate in quasi-material form, clouding and obscuring the luminous nature of the soul. The goal of some forms of Buddhism is seen as removing the effects of karma so that the cycle of birth and death, samsara, can be left. For Buddhists, karma can be both good... Read more about karma
Terapantha sect means "path of thirteen" and refers to an 18th century Jain reform movement, severely puritanical, launched by a monk named Bhikanji and twelve followers. Today, under the leadership of Acharya Tulsi, the Terapanths have taken their commitment to reform to the wider society with a more general reform movement called Anuvrata, "small-vows." It is based on making and keeping small, attainable vows as a step toward lifting the moral tone of the society