Practices

Spiritual development comes partly from applying the teachings of the Jinas in everyday life, demonstrated by monks and nuns. Avoiding violence, fasting, praying and worshipping, keeping vows, meditating, and taking part in festivals are the main ways Jains practise their faith. Hymns of praise are key parts of worship while some Jains may ask deities for help.

  • Monastic clothing

    Nude or clothed mendicants are key issues that divide the main sects

  • Ambikā or Kuṣmāṇḍinī

    One of the most popular goddesses, associated with motherhood and children

  • The 'Perfect Ascetic'

    All monks and nuns hope to reach omniscience and eventual liberation

  • Festivals

    Scenes of public rejoicing demonstrate the importance of festivals among Jains

  • Deities

    Gods and goddesses are worshipped in Jainism for their help in human affairs

  • Anointing of Bāhubali

    Sacred substances are ritually poured over the statue of Gommaṭeśa Bāhubali

  • Jain calendar

    The traditional calendar is based on the phases of the moon, often depicted as a deer

  • Monks and nuns

    Wandering mendicants seek alms and offer spiritual guidance to lay Jains

  • Yakṣas and yakṣīs

    Pairs of protective deities who attend each of the 24 Jinas

  • Mendicant lifestyle

    Guided by vows, monks and nuns follow strict rules in all parts of daily life

  • Daśa-lakṣaṇa-parvan

    The close of this Digambara festival involves honouring the 14th Jina

  • Songs of devotion

    A central element of worship, hymns of praise form part of daily ritual

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