Glossary

Iconoclasm

From the Greek for 'image-breaking', iconoclasm is hostility towards items of religious or political importance, which may lead to their destruction. Iconoclasts hold iconoclastic beliefs.

Iconography

Conventions or rules governing how images, symbols and the placement of elements and figures are used in art to represent ideas and convey meaning. Also the term for the academic study of such artistic conventions.

Idol

An image of a deity or concept that is worshipped either as a god or as a representation of the deity.

Indian Independence

With its independence from the British Empire on 15 August 1947, India became a secular, sovereign state. The date of 15 August is a national holiday in the Republic of India.

Indology

The academic study of the civilisations found in the Indian subcontinent, chiefly their history, languages and literature. Also known as South Asian studies, Indology covers the modern states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Indra

Sanskrit word for 'king' and the name of the king of the gods in the Saudharma heaven. Called Śakra by Śvetāmbaras and known as Saudharma to Digambaras, this deity is involved in all five auspicious moments – kalyāṇakas – in a Jina's life.

Indrabhūti Gautama

Chief disciple of Mahāvīra, the 24th Jina. From a brahmin family, he was the first of Mahāvīra's 11 chief disciples. He became enlightened on the day Mahāvīra was liberated. He achieved liberation himself 12 years later.

Indriya

Sense organ. There are five, each with its own sphere:

  • touch
  • hearing
  • taste
  • smell
  • sight.

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

Initiation

Formal or ceremonial admission into an organisation or group.

Intercession

Praying or asking for a favour on behalf of another person.

Invocation

A formula or prayer calling upon a deity or authority to bring blessings and protection. Invocations are frequently found at the beginning of Jain texts.

IQ

Abbrevation of the term 'intelligence quotient'. This is a score indicating intelligence, which derives from standardised tests that use an average score of 100 within an age group.

Islam

The monotheistic religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad in the sixth century CE. A believer in Islam, which means ‘peace’, is a Muslim, ‘one who submits to God’ in Arabic. Islamic practices and beliefs are based on the Qu’ran and the hadiths or stories about the Prophet Muhammad. A diverse faith, most Muslim sects accept the Five Pillars of Islam:

  • stating that Allah is the only god and Muhammad his prophet
  • praying five times daily at fixed times
  • giving to the poor and needy
  • fasting
  • making a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.
Islamicate

Term for cultural patterns and practices that are common in Muslim societies but are not overtly religious in nature. In contrast, the adjective 'Islamic' often refers to things directly connected with the religion of Islam.

Iṣṭadevatā

The selected deity for a given individual or group.

Īśvara

God or supreme being. It is used as an epithet of the Jinas as liberated souls.

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