Glossary

Listing Glossary Terms 1 to 20 (out of 770)

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A sign used to indicate a missing or illegible syllable in the transliterations given in JAINpedia.

Abhavya

A soul that cannot attain the proper insight necessary for salvation – and therefore salvation itself – because it does not have the quality of bhavyatva.

Abhinandana

Fourth Jina of the present age. His symbolic colour is gold and his emblem the monkey. There is no historical evidence of his existence.

Abhiṣeka

Anointing ceremony for a king, a Jina, a Jina image or any other holy image, with water or milk. Part of daily or special worship.

Ācāra

Conduct, behaviour.

Ācārāṅga-sūtra

First book of the Śvetāmbara canon.

Ācārya

Preceptor, teacher. A title given to a Jain religious teacher, usually one who is a head monk.

Achalbhrata

Originally from a brahmin family, Achalbhrata was a disciple of Mahāvīra and member of his ganadhara. 

Aḍhāī-dvīpa

The Hindi phrase for 'Two and A Half Continents' describes the only part of the universe where human beings live in the Middle World of Jain cosmology. It is made up of the central continent, Jambū-dvīpa, the second continent, Dhātakīkhaṇḍa, and Lavaṇa-samudra, the circular ocean that separates them. Kālodadhi is the ring of ocean around Dhātakīkhaṇḍa, dividing it from the 'half' continent, which is the inner part of the Puṣkara continent.

Adharma

Rest – one of the five non-material substances that is non-sentient in Jain belief. These five substances make up the universe along with the sentient substance, called jīvastikaya.

Adho-loka

The infernal region of the universe. This is the lowest of the three worlds in Jain cosmology and is the home of hellish beings.

Adhyayana

Lecture, lesson, chapter. This term is mainly used for scriptures.

Advaita Vedānta

The oldest school of Hindu philosophy found today. Usually translated as 'non-dualism', Advaita Vedānta emphasises the scriptures of the Upaniṣads as ways of understanding the relationship between Ātman – the pure self or soul – and Brāhman – pure, unchanging reality. To followers, these are identical but ignorance and errors of judgement cause deluded souls to believe in the world of physical and mental forms they experience, which is māyā. Knowledge frees the soul of these errors and allows liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

Āgama

Authoritative scriptures. The holy texts that are considered authoritative depend on the group and the period.

Aghātī-yakarman

Non-destructive karmans. These karmans are attached to the soul but determine key aspects of the body and are either auspicious or neutral in their effect. There are four:

  • longevity - āyuśya-āvarṇiya
  • existence or physical body - nāma-āvarṇiya
  • social standing - gotra-āvarṇiya
  • the amount and intensity of pain and pleasure in that life - vedaniya-āvarṇiya.
Aghātīya

Four 'non-destructive' or 'neutral' types of karma, which chiefly influence the physical body and thus do not hamper the acquisition of the 'three jewels' needed for liberation. They are:

  1. āyu-karma – determines lifespan and condition of existence – gati
  2. nāma-karma – forms the body and physical attributes
  3. gotra-karma – sets the status of the body, for example high or low social status in the case of human beings
  4. vedanīya-karma – causes feelings of pleasure and displeasure.
Agnibhuti

A disciple of Mahāvīra, the 24th Jina, and a member of his ganadhara, he came from a brahmin family.

Agra

City in modern-day Uttar Pradesh. One of the capitals of the Mughal Empire, Agra contains many fine examples of Mughal architecture, including the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal.

Āhāra

Type of nourishment or intake of karmic molecules that is absorbed for the formation of different types of bodies.

Also one of the 14 'gateways' or categories of investigation of mārgaṇā or 'soul-quest'.

Ahiṃsā

The principle of non-violence that is one of the five chief vows of Jainism.

Listing Glossary Terms 1 to 20 (out of 770)

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