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Jinpujä is a spiritual ritual designed for Shrävaks. The presence of image of Tirthankar provides mental peace and harmony and encourages one to detach his/her self from the worldly desires. The forum that Pujäs provide help people discipline themselves. It is considered to be a simple, preliminary step towards the attainment of Moksha. We pray and /or worship to pay our respects to the Thirthankars because THEY have attained the liberation, THEY explained the path of liberation and to get an inspiration to become like THEM.

In simplistic terms, Jain Samayik is a resolution to:

  1. Perceive one self.
  2. Practices of equanimity of mind i.e. remain unaffected from outer positive or negative.
  3. Determine not to indulge in any type of sinful activity at mental, vocal, as well as physical level.
  4. Awakening of one’s consciousness.
  5. Development of positive thinking.
  6. Establish harmony in physical, vocal and mental activity.

A question arises here is why to practice Samayik only for 48 minutes?

The answer to this question could vary. Primarily it is believed that human concentration can last undisturbed for 48 minutes. Thus, one is instructed to practice it for this long. The other reason being, the time measurement. The sand clock used in olden days was measured with the unit ‘ghadi’ which lasted for 24 minutes and when sand clock was reserved, it carried on for yet another 24 minutes. Thus, making it 48 minutes.

When logically analyzed, if 2 minutes of every hour of the day and night is extracted, it counts 48 minutes, implying be with your inner self at least for 2 minutes of an hour, totally 48 minutes. Samayik is an exercise to train oneself to perform any activity with 100% of concentration and peacefulness of mind.

This will give oneself, the time to contemplate on the self, lives, problems and above all find solution to important issues. Hence, it can work as a solution rendering time, and opportunity to see light, a time to seek the true of human life.

Innovative Method of practicing Samayik Acharya Tulsi structured and scheduled these 48 minutes to make it most productive. To draw maximum benefit of Samayik he set time as follows:

10 minutes meditation, 10 minutes chanting of mantra, 20 minutes reading spiritual literature, 8 minutes self-introspection and charging oneself positively. Thus, the practice of Samayik trains oneself towards peaceful and trance experience.

About 170 years after Mahavir's Nirvän, Acharya Bhadrabahu Swami became the head of the Jain order. That time. Chandra Gupta Maurya was the king in Magadha. During that time a famine occurred for twelve years. (This is a historical fact). Acharya Bhadrabhahu had predicted that long famine and realized that it will be very difficult for monks to strictly follow religion (Five Mahavrats, no clothes, beg food in hands, etc.). Therefore he, along with twelve thousands of his disciples, migrated to south and settled there so that they can follow the strict religious rules. The remaining monks were led by Acharya Sthulibhadra and he relaxed some of the rules for the monks for survival during this famine. That was the primary cause of the separation of Digambar and Shwetambar sects. However, the real separation occurred during the time of Acharya Vajrasen (six hundred years after Mahavir's Nirvän). It is a fact that Mahavir did not wear  clothes after renunciation. However, his disciples were of both types (clad as well as unclad). The disciples of Parshwanath (23rd Tirthankar) wore white clothes.

Shwetambar Jains are also divided into two major subsects: Shwetambar Murti Pujak (Idol worshiper) and Shwetambar Sthanakwasi (Non-idol worshiper). There is an offshoot among Sthanakwasis which is known as Terapanthi. Digambar Jains are divided into three major subsects: Bisa Panth that accepts Bhattarak's authority, Terah Panth which does not accept such authority, and Taran Panth- Non-Murti pujak sect .

The essential philosophy of all Jain sects is similar. The similarities exist in many areas:

  1. Concept of God
  2. Every soul has the potential for becoming God or Siddha.
  3. Metaphysics
  4. The universe composed of six substances
  5. Philosophy of Karma
  6. The seven/nine fundamentals (tattvas)
  7. Right perception (Samyag Darshan)
  8. Right Knowledge (Samyag Jnan) and Right Conduct (Samyak Charitra) as the path of liberation
  9. 10. five vows
  10. 11.Five meticulosities (Samities)
  11. 12 Control over mental, verbal and physical activities (Three Gupties)
  12. Multiplicity of view points (Anekantwad/Syadwad)
  13. Five types of Knowledge (Jnan)
  14. Fourteen Stages of elevation (Gunasthanak)
  15. Twelve reflections (Bhavanas)
  16. Four types of Meditations (Dhyan)
  17. Six types of Leshyas (psychic coloration)
  18. Emergence of 12 Tirthankars in each half time cycle
  19. Namaskar Maha Mantra and 21 Authority of Tattvartha Sutra are recognized by all the Jain sects.

The following, however, are the major differences. 1 Agams: Digambar Jains believe that all the original Ägams (Äng and Purva Ägams) have been lost. Most of them might have been lost during the twelve years of famine that occurred during the time of the Chandra Gupta Maurya (300 B.C.). They recognize other books written by great Acharyas like Kundkunacharya. Shwetambar Jains believe that 600 years after Lord Mahavir's Nirvan all Purva Ägams were lost or not remembered by monks and hence were not saved. Only Ang and Non-Ang Ägams could be preserved. 2 Life after kevaljnan: Digambars believe that after attaining Kevaljnan, Tirthankars and other Kevaljnanis do not eat or drink; while Shwetambars believe that they continue to eat and drink like other human beings and continue to lead the renunciate life for the remaining period of their life. 3 Sex of Tirthankars: Digambars believe that all the Tirthankars are necessarily male and there is no exception. Shwetambars believe that generally they are male but in the present series of 24 Tirthankars, the nineteenth Tirthankar, Mallinath was a female and that was an exception to the rule. 4 Sex of other Kevalis: Digambars believe that only males can attain liberation. A female has to be reborn as a male in order to attain liberation. Shwetambars believe that both males and females can attain liberation. 5. Clothes and Food: Digambar monks do not wear any clothes. They beg for food in their hands and eat only once a day. Shwetambar monks and nuns wear white clothes and they beg food in pots generally once a day. They bring the food to Upashraya or other place of their residence and ask their Guru for permission to eat their meal. They do not eat food in the presence of laymen. 6. Mahavir's conception: Shwetambars believe that Mahavir's fetus was transferred from mother Devananda (Bhraman family) to mother Trishala (Kshatriya family), while Digambars believe that he was conceived by mother Trishala and the question of fetus transfer does not arise. 7 Marital status of Mahavir: Digambars believe that Mahavir was not married, while Shwetambars believe that Mahavir was married with Yashoda and they had a daughter named Priyadarshan. 8. Tirthankara's Murti (Idol): The Tirthankar's idol can have ornaments and decorations, and their eyes look toward the worshiper in Shwetambar Murti Pujak sect. Digambar idols do not have ornaments and their eyes are turned downward in meditating position. 9. Pratikraman, Samayik, and Puja rituals are different.

It can be seen that all Jain sects have remarkable similarity in their philosophy despite minor areas of disagreements. Recently, there have been several collaborative works by all major sects. Jains from different sects outside India seem to have more unity and harmony..

 

From a Jain perspective, the Universe is conceived to have two parts: One is occupied by entities (all 6 dravyas) & is called Lokakash. It is of finite dimensions. The unoccupied part is called Alokakash. It has only space and has no other dravyas. It is infinite & surrounds the Lokakasha from all sides.

The occupied universe, Lokakash, is shaped as a human being with 3 parts: upper, middle and lower. A channel referred to as “Trashnali” extends in a narrow band throughout the extent of Lokakash. Mobile beings live only in within the Trashnali while immobile beings may live both inside and outside it. The Trashnali has the height of fourteen “Rajju” and the width of one ‘Rajju”. One “Rajju” is defined as the distance covered by flying nonstop for 6 months at a speed of 2,057,152 yojanas per second. One yojan is approximately equal to 6 miles. For astronomy calculations, Jains use Pramana Yojan (1000 yojanas). One Rajju is equal to 160,000,000,000,000 miles.

The overall dimensions of the universe are immense. As per the Jain view there are many suns, moons, nakshatras and earths and there is life everywhere in Trasanali. Modern astronomy too, has identified many stars (Suns) with planetary system, some of which may have life. Panspermia, literally meaning “seeds everywhere”, is a modern theory which maintains that life-bearing protospores are prevalent throughout the universe.

The Siddhas or the liberated souls live at the top of the universe, in the area called the Siddhashila. The upper world is occupied by Celestial Beings. Humans, animals, plants, astral bodies and some heavenly beings occupy the middle world while the hellish beings reside in lower world.

Three layers viz. Dense Water, Dense Air and Thin Air, respectively, surround the whole occupied universe. Beyond this lies empty space. Lokakasha is widest at the base, being 7 Rajjus and then tapers to a constricted centre with width of 1 Rajju. From the centre upwards, it increases in width to a maximum of 5 Rajjus and then tapers again at apex which is one Rajju wide.

The Middle world is the only region where soul can attain liberation. Jambu continent, where we inhabit, occupies the centre of the middle world, being surrounded by various continents and oceans. The two and half continents viz. Jambu Dweep, Dhatki Khand, half of Pushkara dweep, Lavanya Samudra and Kalodadhi Samudra, are called, Manushyaloka where mortals reside and where liberation of the soul is possible. These are areas called Karmabhommis because the laws of Karma apply. The Karmabhoomi’s are: Bharat, Airawat & Mahavideha Kshetra. Human beings living in Mahavideha Kshetra can easily attain liberation. Twenty tirthankaras live and preach in Mahavideha Kshetra at any given time.

Jambu dweep is the region where humans reside. In its centre is Mount Meru, 100,000 yojana high, 100,00 yojana wide at the base and reducing to 1000 yojanas at the peak. There are many suns, moons, nakshatras, grahas and taras which rotate around Meru Mountain. The universe is composed of 6 dravyas or substances viz, Jiva, Pudgala, Dharmastikaya, Adhrmastikaya, Akash, and Kala. A dravya, a substance or reality is one which has characteristics of persistence through change, i.e., it undergoes a transformation and appears in new form while the origin substantiality still persists. Pudgala is a matter having physical properties like form, smell, taste, color and touch. All other dravyas are nonmaterial and formless.

Lowest form of Jivs is Ekendriya Jiv. They have following characteristics.

Ekendriya - beings with one sense are the lowest form of Jivas according to Jainism.

Jains include many things as jivas that non-Jains regard as either inanimate or plants. They classify these as immobile beings, with only one sense - the sense of touch:

  1. Earth-bodied: clay, sand, metal etc
  2. Water-bodied: fog, rain, ice etc
  3. Fire-bodied: fire, lightning etc
  4. Air-bodied: wind, gas etc
  5. Plant-bodied: trees, flowers, vegetables etc

Panchendriya - beings with five senses are the highest forms of Jivas according to Jainsim.

These have the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. There are four classes of these beings:

  1. Infernal beings: souls living in hell. This form of jiva experiences the greatest suffering.
  2. Higher animals: This includes all non-human animals above insects.
  3. Human beings: This is the only form of jiva which is able to obtain liberation directly.
  4. Heavenly beings: This form of jiva is the happiest.

The Panchendriya jivas are divided into two groups: (1) Asamjni (Non-sentient) jivas, those whose minds are not developed and (2) Samjni (Sentient) jivas, those whose minds are developed.

The Asamjni (non-sentient) Panchendriya jivas possess nine prans. They possess the hearing vitality in addition to the above eight prans.

The Samjni Panchendriya jivas possess ten pranas. They possess mind vitality in addition to the above nine prans.

 

 

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