Listing Glossary Terms 21 to 40 (out of 46)


'Virtuous meditation', one of the two higher types of meditation. The meditator concentrates on the nature of worldly existence and the universe, on religious principles and so on. It supposes that one has mastered a proper view of reality.


Tapā-gaccha monk who died in 1596. He wrote polemical texts challenging the validity of other Jain sects, especially the Kharatara-gaccha.


The medium of motion. One of the five insentient substances that make up the universe along with the sentient substance, called jīvastikaya.


The second continent in the Middle World of Jain cosmology. Dhātakīkhaṇḍa forms part of the Two and A Half Continents where human beings live.


A barrel-shaped drum from northern India, the dholak is very popular in folk music and Bollywood tunes. Drummers use their fingers to play both ends, one of which gives a bass sound while the other has a treble pitch.


Sanskrit for 'meditation', one of the six internal austerities or tapas that help purify the soul of karma. Meditation is deep thought about religious doctrine or mental focus on spiritual matters over a period of time. An important part of many religions, meditation is especially important in Jain belief because it forms key elements of religious practice and spiritual development.


From the Greek term meaning 'scattering or dispersal', the word 'diaspora' describes large groups of people with shared roots who live away from their ancestral homes. They have usually moved because they were forced to by other groups, because they have fled war, famine or persecution, or to improve economic opportunies. They usually have strong emotional, religious, linguistic, social and economic ties to their original homeland.


To limit travelling from home, mainly because it inevitably involves unknowingly killing living things. It is one of the three guṇa-vrata vows taken by lay Jains.


'Sky-clad' in Sanskrit, used for one of the two main divisions of Jainism, in which monks are naked. There are some differences of doctrine or belief between these two sects and to some extent their followers consider themselves as belonging to distinct branches. Divisions can be fierce in practical matters, for example, over the ownership of pilgrimage places, but all sects see themselves as Jains.


Religious initiation through which a man or woman leaves the householder or lay status to become a mendicant. Parts of this ritual renunciation are public ceremonies, depending on the sect.


An active follower of a religion, especially one who passes on teachings to others.


Falling in late September or October, the annual 'Festival of Lights' is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, though they have different understandings of it. Jains of all sects commemorate the liberation of Mahavira and the omniscience of his chief disciple Indrabhūti Gautama. The festival also marks a new religious year for Jains.


'Divine sound' in Sanskrit and characteristic of the Jina’s speech after he has reached omniscience. The two main sects of Digambara and Śvetāmbara Jains have slightly different concepts of it but agree that the divine sound is the source of all Jain teaching.


Shortened term for deoxyribonucleic acid. Found in the cell of a living being, a DNA molecule holds genetic instructions for the development and functioning of that organism. DNA contains genes, which pass on characteristics from parent to child. A living being produced by sexual reproduction inherits DNA from both parents, which is unique to it.


A principle or system of teachings, especially religious philosophy.


An authoritative belief or set of principles, particularly on religious matters or set out by a religious group as a necessary tenet.


A donor gives freely. He or she may give alms to a mendicant or money to an institution. This donation may be for specific items or purposes, such as the creation of art. A donor, sponsor or patron may be named or pictured in the artwork.


Imperfection, fault, negative point.


Substance. There are two main types of substances in the universe in Jain belief:

  • jīva – non-material, sentient substance
  • ajīva – substance without soul.

The second type is divided into pudgala – non-sentient matter – and the non-material substances of:

  • ākāśa – space
  • dharma-dravya – principle of motion
  • adharma-dravya – principle of rest
  • kāla – time.

The last is not always included in this category.


External worship, using incense, water and other substances, objects or implements. This contrasts with mental worship - bhava-pūjā - which does not imply physical offerings.

Listing Glossary Terms 21 to 40 (out of 46) - All text is © JAINpedia / Institute of Jainology 2019 under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence The Jain universe online at

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