Glossary

Yakṣa

The male attendant of a Jina, one of the pair of guardian or protector gods for each Jina. The śāsana-devatā protect his teachings – śāsana – and can appease evil powers. The yakṣa and yakṣī's closeness to the Jina and their divine powers mean they are popular subjects of worship.

Yakṣī

The female attendant of a Jina, also called yakṣinī. One of the pair of guardian or protector gods for each Jina. The śāsana-devatā protect his teachings – śāsana – and can appease evil powers. The yakṣa and yakṣī's closeness to the Jina and their divine powers mean they are popular subjects of worship.

Yantra

Sanskrit for 'instrument' or 'machine', a yantra is a mystical diagram used in religious rituals. Yantras are typically formed of symmetrical, concentric circles and may also have the diagram of a lotus in the middle of numerous squares. Containing the names of the Jinas and sacred mantras, such as oṃ, yantras are meditation aids.

Yaśoda

Wife of Mahāvīra in Śvetāmbara belief. Bowing to his parents’ wishes, Mahāvīra married and had a daughter, Anojjā or Priyadarśanā. After his parents died, he renounced the householder life to become a wandering monk. Digambara Jains believe that Mahāvīra never married and never had a child.

Yaśovijaya

(1624–1688) Śvetāmbara Tapā-gaccha monk who wrote extensively on Jain philosophy.

Yati

Among the Śvetāmbaras, a spiritually advanced lay man. It may also refer to a Jain monk.

Yātrā

A pilgrimage, especially to a sacred place or tīrtha.

Yoga

Spiritual discipline. But Jains also use it to mean an ‘activity’ that produces vibrations.

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

Yoginī

Semi-divine sorceress and shape-changer who can bestow magical powers on her devotees or be malevolent if offended. The yoginīs are often said to number 64 and their cult became popular in north India by around the 10th to 11th centuries.

Yojana

A measure of distance equal to about 14 kilometres.

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