Attainment, especially of psychic or supernatural powers.
Believers in a religion who are ordinary worshippers, not clergy or members of religious orders. In Jainism, lay people are often called 'householders', indicating that they live in houses and have domestic responsibilities, unlike ascetics.
A term in the Indian numbering system that means one hundred thousand. It is often used more broadly to denote a very large number. The word lakh probably comes from the Pāli term lakkha, which means a 'mark' or 'stake' in gambling.
The distinctive emblem of a given Jina. For example Ṛṣabha has a bull while Mahāvīra has a lion. These are commonly depicted under statues of the Jinas. Since this practice does not seem to have been known early on, perhaps it was influenced by the Hindu environment, where each god has his typical vehicle or emblem.
A class of gods that intervenes in the lives of future Jinas to encourage them to renounce worldly life.
The Lavaṇa-samudra or 'Salt Ocean' in Sanskrit is the first ocean in the Two and A Half Continents of the Middle World in Jain cosmology. It encircles the central continent, Jambū-dvīpa.
Karmic stain, the colour of which indicates a soul’s degree of purity. There are traditionally six colours:
Also one of the 14 'gateways' or categories of investigation of mārgaṇā or 'soul-quest'.
Symbol of the Hindu god Śiva, probably representing divine energy. It usually takes the form of a stylised phallus or column.
The academic study of language, usually focusing on form, meaning, structure and its use in context. It does not include studying a foreign language to communicate with other people or to read it.
The universe in Jain cosmology, composed of the upper, middle and lower worlds. Human beings can live only in part of the Middle World.
To Jains the universe is composed of two types of space. A Sanskrit term meaning 'world space', loka-ākāśa is a vast but limited area, where all humans, deities and all other forms of life live. Here the souls live and travel through the cycle of rebirths. Outside it is 'non-world space' – aloka-ākāśa.
The ‘cosmic man’ whose standing form represents the upper, middle and lower worlds in Jain cosmology. The middle world of human beings is found at his waist.
A Sanskrit term for 'doctrine of the universe' or 'knowledge of the world'.
A plant noted for its beautiful flowers, which has symbolic significance in many cultures. In Indian culture, the lotus is a water lily signifying spiritual purity and detachment from the material world. Lotuses frequently feature in artwork of Jinas, deities, Buddha and other holy figures.
Lake Pushkar in modern-day Rajasthan is one of the five holiest pilgrimage sites for Hindus, who associate it with the Hindu trinity of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. The god Brahmā killed a murderous demon with his weapon, the lotus flower. Three petals fell to the earth, each creating a lake now dedicated to each of the principal gods. Devotees believe that bathing in the lakes cures many skin diseases.