Glossary

Listing Glossary Terms 1 to 20 (out of 23)

Tabla

A pair of drums played with the palm of the hand and the fingers. The smaller drum on the right is called dayan and the larger one on the left bayan. The dayan is made of wood while the bayan is usually made from one of a variety of metals or clay. The heads of the drums have a large black spot in the centre. The tabla is a very popular instrument in Indian music, both classical and folk.

Tantra

Jain Tantric worship aims to control other people or counter evil influences. Tantric rituals try to placate the aggressive side of a deity's nature, encouraging the divinity to behave benevolently. If not worshipped correctly, the vengeful deity may cause harm. The devotee invokes the deity under his or her various names, places images of the deity on yantras – mystical diagrams – and meditates, repeating mantras.

Tapā-gaccha

A Śvetāmbara mūrti-pūjaka sect, first established in the 13th century and reformed from the 19th century. Today nearly all mūrti-pūjak mendicants belong to this sect.

Tapas

Austerity or asceticism in general. A tapas is an act of austerity or self-discipline that produces bodily heat – tapas – that burns up karma. Austerities may be internal – mental – or external – physical. Both lay and mendicant Jains practise austerities. Fasting is the most common external austerity for lay people these days.

Tāraṇ Svāmī Panth

Lay followers of the Digambara thinker Tāraṇ Svāmī (1448–1515). They do not worship images but instead focus on the books of Taraṇ Svāmi and Kundakunda, and other Digambara scriptures.

Tattva

'Reality’, defined in the seven principles that form the basis of the Jain system of thought:

  • jīva – sentient entities
  • ajīva – non-sentient entities
  • āsrava – influx of karma into the soul
  • bandha – bonding of karma with the soul
  • saṃvara – stopping the inflow of karma
  • nirjarā – progressive elimination of karma
  • mokṣa – liberation.

This list comes to nine items when good action – puṇya – and bad action – pāpa – are counted separately. One who has reached right insight – samyag-darśana – believes the tattvas as an item of faith.

Tattvārtha-sūtra

Extremely famous Jain holy text written in Sanskrit in perhaps the fifth century CE. Śvetāmbaras call the author Umāsvāti while Digambaras know him as Umāsvāmin. Going into the principles of karma in ten chapters, it discusses the principles and the reality of existence in a concise style – sūtra. The Tattvārtha-sūtra is a key text, fundamental to all Jain sects. Its title is often translated into English as That Which Is.

Temple

A building reserved for public worship or prayer, usually dedicated to one religion and run by members of that religion's clergy.

Temple-city

A cluster of many temples built so close together that they form a group as large as a small town or city. No one lives in a temple-city, which has no shops or other buildings found in normal towns, because it is dedicated to worship. Consisting solely of temples and other religious buildings, usually linked by streets, a temple-city is visited by pilgrims and priests.

The Enlightenment

An intellectual and cultural movement that arose around the mid-17th century in Western Europe. It stressed freedom of thought, reason, analysis and individualism as guides to behaviour and social development rather than the traditional authorities of church and state, which seemed to ask for uncritical acceptance. During the Enlightenment, new ways of thinking about the world – especially scientific approaches and radical philosophies – developed.

Theology

The systematic study of God or religion, including doctrine, practice and spirituality.

Three worlds

In Jain cosmology three worlds make up world space, where life exists:

  • ūrdhva-loka – upper world
  • madhya-loka– middle world
  • adho-loka – lower world.

These are frequently represented in art as the Cosmic Man, a human figure whose legs stand for the lower world, whose waist symbolises the middle world and whose torso represents the upper world.

Ṭīkā

A category of Sanskrit commentary generally written in prose.

Tilaka

A mark worn on the forehead and other parts of the body for religious reasons. It symbolises the third eye, which is associated with spiritual enlightement and meditation. Historically, only deities, priests, ascetics and worshippers wore tilakas. It is usually a paste or powder made of sandalwood, ashes, coloured powder (kumkum) or clay and may be applied in various lines, dots and U shapes.

Tīrtha

A place that has become sacred owing to its connection with a Jina or another holy figure. It becomes a place of pilgrimage because one of the auspicious events of his life took place there. In another meaning the word refers to the Jain community of monks, nuns, lay men and lay women, or can be used for a mendicant, viewed as a ‘walking tīrtha'.

Tīrthaṃkaranāma-karman

A karma which results in rebirth as a Tīrthaṃkara-to-be.

Transliteration

The conversion of words from one alphabet into the corresponding letters of another alphabet. The text is not necessarily translated into another language, just put into another alphabet.

Trasa

'Moving’ or ‘mobile’ beings, that is, air-bodied and fire-bodied souls and those that have between two and five senses.

Trasa-nāḍī

Beings that can move between the different regions of World Space over different lives. 

Triśalā

The kṣatriya birth-mother of Mahāvīra. Queen Triśalā was married to King Siddhartha.

Listing Glossary Terms 1 to 20 (out of 23)

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