Listing Glossary Terms 41 to 60 (out of 770)


Literally 'limb' in Sanskrit, Aṅga is a term for the first category of 11 texts that form the Śvetāmbara scriptures. There were originally 12 but the last has been lost for centuries.


The belief and practice of avoiding the representation of divinities or other religious figures, which may also include human beings or living creatures. Aniconic followers may use images of abstract shapes or symbols, such as pillars, as the focus of religious worship. Aniconic Jains are opposed to the worship of figures of Jinas and deities.


Daughter of Mahāvīra in Śvetāmbara belief, who is also known as Priyadarśanā. Her father renounced the householder life to become an ascetic when she was a child. Later she married Jamāli, the son of her father's sister, and the pair became the first followers of Mahāvīra. When her husband disagreed with some of Mahāvīra's teachings, they left the community and caused a schism in his devotees. Later, Anojja decided that she agreed with Mahāvīra's preaching and rejoined his disciples. She had a daughter called either Śeṣavati or Yaśovati. Digambara Jains believe that Mahāvīra never married and never had a child.


One of the four varieties of ‘destructive’ karman that hinders spiritual development so that positive actions are not as powerful as they should be. Antarāya-āvarṇiya reduces the effects of effort so, even if one has the correct knowledge and intentions, the good deed is not completed.


A small vestibule that is sometimes found in a Jain temple between the image chamber and the main hall. The antarāla is a space where worshippers can stand to look at the image, if there is one, and watch rituals that take place in the shrine.


Third of the four 'destructive' types of karma, which dampens the soul's energy – vīrya – and:

  • hampers giving to others
  • hinders receiving things from others
  • reduces enjoyment of food and material items.

An indivisible particle of matter, atom.


The 'Five Lesser Vows' that householder Jains take. These are not as strict as the 'Five Greater Vows' that ascetics observe but are more practical in daily life. Few Jains take these non-compulsory vows these days. The vows are to:

  • do no harm
  • always tell the truth
  • take only what is given
  • be sexually restrained
  • not be attached to material things, which includes emotions and states of mind.



A term used by Digambaras for thinking about the 12 topics that stress the negative nature of the world of rebirths and that help to overcome it:

  1. impermanence
  2. helplessness
  3. the cycle of rebirth
  4. solitariness
  5. the isolated nature of the soul
  6. the impurity of the body
  7. the influx of karma
  8. stopping the influx of karma
  9. the elimination of karma
  10. the nature of the universe
  11. the difficulty of reaching omniscience
  12. the teachings of the sacred law.

A term in the phonetics of languages to indicate that the preceding vowel should be nasalised. It is transliterated from Sanskrit as ṃ


Apabhraṃśa is an umbrella term for the dialects that were the forerunners of modern Indian languages. Taken from the Sanskrit term apabhraṃśa, which literally means 'corrupt' or 'non-grammatical language', Apabhraṃśa was used to write a large number of Jain texts. Though Apabhraṃśa developed over the 6th to 13th centuries, literary works date back to the 8th century.


Non-possession, or not having an attachment to possessions. It is the fifth of the Five Greater Vows of mendicants and the Five Lesser Vows of lay Jains. 


The 18th Jina of the present age. His symbolic colour is gold and his emblem the fish or flower to Digambaras and the nandyāvarta to Śvetāmbaras.There is no historical evidence of his existence.


One of the three levels of hiṃsā or violence. Ārambha is the third level, when someone harms something or commits violence. Literally, it means ‘execution or action’ and is a cause of violence. This is ‘activity’, understood to imply aggression and violence.


Violence that is essential to life, for example eating involves causing inadvertent harm to living beings. This is allowed as a necessary evil in Jainism even though non-violence is a key tenet of the faith.


Rite of offering lamps to the image of a Jina, usually performed to finish worship. As part of material worship, āratī is thus something that not all Jains do.

Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit

A dialect of the Prākrit language used for many Śvetāmbara Jain scriptures.


A sacred syllable usually found at the beginning of manuscripts, texts, prayers and so on.


Sanskrit term meaning 'destroyer of enemies'. The enemies are the inner desires and passions. It is also a synonym for Jina. An Arhat is a liberated soul who has not yet left his fleshly body, but, as an omniscient being, is 'worthy of worship'.

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