Gandharva is a name used for distinct heavenly beings in Hinduism and Buddhism, it is a term for skilled singers in Indian classical music. In Hinduism, the gandharvas are male nature spirits, husbands of the Apsaras, some are part animal, usually a bird or horse. They guarded the Soma and made music for the gods in their palaces. Gandharvas are frequently depicted as singers in the court of Gods, gandharvas act as messengers between the gods and humans. In Hindu law, a marriage is one contracted by mutual consent. Gandharvas are mentioned extensively in the epic Mahabharata as associated with the devas and they are mentioned as spread across various territories. Various parentage is given for the gandharvas and they are called the creatures of Prajapati, of Brahma, of Kasyapa, of the Munis, of Arishta, or of Vāc. A gandharva or gandhabba is one of the devas in Buddhist cosmology. They are classed among the Cāturmahārājikakāyika devas, and are subject to the Great King Dhṛtarāṣṭra, beings are reborn among the gandharvas as a consequence of having practiced the most basic form of ethics.
It was considered embarrassing for a monk to be born in no better birth than that of a gandharva, gandharvas can fly through the air, and are known for their skill as musicians. They are connected with trees and flowers, and are described as dwelling in the scents of bark and they are among the beings of the wilderness that might disturb a monk meditating alone. The terms gandharva and yakṣa are sometimes used for the person, yakṣa in these cases is the more general term. Among the notable gandharvas are mentioned Panāda, Opamañña, Naḷa, janesabha is probably the same as Janavasabha, a rebirth of King Bimbisāra of Magadha. Mātali the Gandharva is the charioteer for Śakra, timbarū was a chieftain of the gandharvas. There is a story told about the love between his daughter Bhaddā Suriyavacchasā and another gandharva, Pañcasikha. Pañcasikha fell in love with Suriyavacchasā when he saw her dancing before Śakra, but she was in love with Sikhandī, son of Mātali the charioteer. Pañcasikha went to Timbarūs home and played a melody on his lute of beluva-wood, on which he had great skill, later, Śakra prevailed upon Pañcasikha to intercede with the Buddha so that Śakra might have an audience with him.
As a reward for Pañcasikhas services, Śakra was able to get Suriyavacchasā, already pleased with Pañcasikhas display of skill and devotion, Pañcasikha acts as a messenger for the Four Heavenly Kings, conveying news from them to Mātali, the latter representing Śakra and the Trāyastriṃśa devas
Mahavira, known as Vardhamāna, was the twenty-fourth and last Jain Tirthankara. Mahavira was born into a family in what is now Bihar, India. At the age of 30, he left his home in pursuit of spiritual awakening, and abandoned worldly things, including his clothes, for the next twelve-and-a-half years, Mahavira practiced intense meditation and severe penance, after which he became kevalī. For the next 30 years, he travelled throughout the Indian subcontinent to teach Jain philosophy, Mahavira taught that the observance of the vows ahimsa, asteya and aparigraha is necessary to elevate the quality of life. He gave the principle of Anekantavada and Nayavada, the teachings of Mahavira were compiled by Gautama Swami and were called Jain Agamas. Most of these Agamas are not available today, jains believe Mahavira attained moksha at the age of 72. In Jainism, a Tirthankara signifies the founder of a tirtha which means a fordable passage across the sea of interminable births and deaths, according to the Jain texts, twenty-four Tirthankaras grace each half of the cosmic time cycle.
Mahavira was the last Tirthankara of avasarpani, Samantabhadra, an illustrious Digambara monk, who lived in the 2nd century A. D. called the tīrtha of Mahavira by the name Sarvodaya. Mahavira is often called the founder of Jainism, but this was not the case because the Jain tradition recognizes his predecessors, in addition to that, Parshvanatha is accepted as a historical figure. According to Jain texts, Mahaviras childhood name was Vardhamāna, because of the prosperity in the kingdom at the time of his birth. He was called Mahavira because of the acts of bravery he performed during his childhood, Mahavira was given the title Jīnā, which became synonymous with Tirthankara. Buddhist texts refer to Mahavira as Nigaṇṭha Jñātaputta, Nigaṇṭha means without knot, tie, or string and Jñātaputta, refers to his clan of origin as Jñāta or Naya. He is known as Sramana, in the Gregorian calendar, this date falls in March or April and is celebrated as Mahavir Jayanti. Traditionally, Kundalpur in the ancient city of Kashtriya Kund Lachhuar is regarded as his birthplace, in the present-day Sikandra Division of Jamui district, according to Jainism, after his birth and abhisheka —carried out by Indra on Mount Meru.
Most modern historians agree he was born at Kundagrama, now Basokund in Muzaffarpur district in the state of Bihar, Jain traditions date Mahavira as living from 599 B. C. to 527 B. C. Western historians date Mahavira as living from 480 BC to 408 BC, some Western scholars suggest Mahavira died around 425 BC. His height was seven cubits as per the description given in Aupapatika Sutra, as the son of a king, Mahavira had all luxuries of life at his disposal. According to the chapter of the Śvētāmbara text Acharanga Sutra
Acharya Kundakunda is a revered Digambara Jain monk and philosopher. He authored many Jain texts such as, Niyamasara, Pravachanasara, Atthapahuda and he occupies the highest place in the tradition of the Jain acharyas. Modern scholarship has found it difficult to locate him chronologically, with a possible low date in the 2nd-3rd centuries CE and a late date in 8th century. His proper name was Padmanandin, he is referred to as Kundakunda possibly because the modern village of Kondakunde in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh might represent his native home. Upadhye has shown that possibly apart from the name Elacarya, all the other names ascribed to Kundakunda go against the tradition of the epigraphic records. Acharya Kundakunda belonged to the Mula Sangh order and he is closely associated with the Digambara sect, in recent decades, his books have become popular among Śvētāmbaras also. He is dated to have flourished around second century CE by Natubhai Shah, for Digambaras, his name has auspicious significance and occupies third place after Lord Mahavira and Gautama Ganadhara in the sacred litany.
This would make him the first significant and independent thinker of the period whose views are accepted as representing the Jain thought. The mundane aspect is associated with the qualities of the soul mainly the influx of karmic particles. The ultimate perspective meanwhile, is that of the soul or atman, the jiva, which is blissful, perceptive. According to Long, this view shows influence from Buddhism and Vedanta, the works attributed to Kundakunda, all of them in Prakrit, can be divided in three groups. The first group comprises four original works described as The Essence — namely, the Niyamasara, the Pancastikayasara, the Samayasara, and the Pravachanasara. The second group is a collection of ten bhaktis, short compositions in praise of the acharya, the scriptures, the mendicant conduct, and so forth. The last group consists of eight short texts called Prabhrta, probably compilations from some sources, on such topics as the right view, right conduct, the scripture. Various Jain texts mention that Acharya Kundkunda wrote 84 Pahurs, simandhar Swami Jain, Vijay K.
Essays in Jaina Philosophy and Religion, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1977-2 Cort, John E
Jain schools and branches
Jainism is an Indian religion which is traditionally believed to be propagated by twenty-four spiritual teachers known as tirthankara. Broadly, Jainism is divided into two sects and Svetambara. These are further divided into different sub-sects and traditions, while there are differences in practices, the core philosophy and main principles of each sect is same. Traditionally, the doctrine of Jainism was contained in scriptures called Purva. These are believed to have originated from Rishabhanatha, the first tirthankara, there was a twelve-year famine around fourth century BCE. At that time, Chandragupta Maurya was the ruler of Magadha, Bhadrabahu went south to Karnataka with his adherents and Sthulabhadra, another Jain leader remained behind. During this time the knowledge of the doctrine was getting lost, a council was formed at Pataliputra where eleven scriptures called Angas were compiled and the remnant of fourteen purvas were written down in 12th Anga, Ditthivaya by the adherents of Sthulbhadra.
When followers of Bhadrabahu returned, there was a dispute between them regarding the authenticity of the Angas, those who stayed at Magadha started wearing white clothes which was unacceptable to the other who remain naked. This is how the Digambara and Svetambara sect came about, the Digambara being the naked ones where as Svetambara being the white clothed. According to Digambara, the purvas and the angas were lost, in course of time, the cannons of svetambara were getting lost. About 980 to 993 years after the death of Mahavira, a Vallabhi council was held at Vallabhi and this was headed by Devardhi Ksamashramana. It was found that the 12th Anga, the Ditthivaya, was lost too, the other Angas were written down. This is an account of schism. According to Svetambara, there were eight schisms, according to Digambara tradition, Gandhara knew fourteen Purva and eleven Anga. Knowledge of Purva was lost around 436 years after Mahavira and Anga were lost around 683 years after Mahavira, the texts which do not belong to Anga are called Angabahyas.
The first four Anga bahayas, Chaturvimasvika and Pratikramana corresponds to sections of second Mulasutra of svetambara, the only texts of anga bahyas which occurs in svetambara texts are Dasavaikalika and Kalpavyavahara. Digambara is one of the two sects of Jainism. This sect of Jainism rejects the authority of the Jain Agama compiled by Sthulabhadra and they believe that by the time of Dharasena, the twenty-third teacher after Gandhar Gautama, knowledge of only one Anga was there
In Jainism, Samavasarana or Samosharana Refuge to All is a term for the divine preaching hall of the Tirthankara. The word samavasarana is derived from two words, sama meaning general and avasara meaning opportunity, a place where all have a common opportunity of acquiring the wisdom. The divine pavilion is built by heavenly beings after the tirthankara attain omniscience, the theme of Samavasaranas has been popular in Jain art. In samavasarana, the tirthankara sat on a throne without touching it, around the tirthankara sit the ganadharas. The total size of the hall varies depending upon the height of the people in that era, the size of Rishabhadevas samavasarana was 12 km2. In samavasarana, a tirthankara sits facing the east, but appears to be looking in all directions, Tirthankara sits on a soft cushion while preaching the Jain philosophy in plain terms. All humans and animals can understand the discourse, Jain scriptures say that all creatures who listen would become less violent and greed less.
The speech of the tirthankara is distinctly heard by every one present, risabha Deva - The Founder of Jainism. Article with Picture of Samavasarana Samavasarana in Detail
Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian religion belonging to the śramaṇa tradition. The central tenet is non-violence and respect all living beings. The three main principles of Jainism are ahimsa and aparigraha, followers of Jainism take five main vows, satya, asteya and aparigraha. Jain monks and nuns observe these vows absolutely whereas householders observe them within their practical limitations, self-discipline and asceticism are thus major focuses of Jainism. The word Jain derives from the Sanskrit word jina, a human being who has conquered all inner passions like attachment, anger, greed, etc. is called Jina. Followers of the path practiced and preached by the jinas are known as Jains, Parasparopagraho Jivanam is the motto of Jainism. Jains trace their history through a succession of teachers and revivers of the Jain path known as Tirthankaras. In the current era, this started with Rishabhdeva and concluded with Mahavira, Jains believe that Jainism is eternal and while it may be forgotten, it will be revived from time to time.
The majority of Jains reside in India, with 6-7 million followers, Jainism is smaller than many other major world religions. Outside of India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Kenya, the UK, Fiji, contemporary Jainism is divided into two major sects, Digambara and Śvētāmbara. Namokar Mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism, major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Jayanti, and Diwali. The principle of ahimsa is the most fundamental and well-known aspect of Jainism, the everyday implementation of the principle of non-violence is more comprehensive than in other religions and is the hallmark for Jain identity. Jains believe in avoiding harm to others thoughts, speech. According to the Jain text, Purushartha Siddhyupaya, killing any living being out of passions is hiṃsā, Jains extend the practice of nonviolence and kindness not only towards other humans but towards all living beings. For this reason, vegetarianism is a hallmark of Jain identity, if there is violence against animals during the production of dairy products, veganism is encouraged.
Jainism has an elaborate framework on types of life and includes life-forms that may be invisible. Therefore, after humans and animals, insects are the living being offered protection in Jain practice. For example, insects in the home are often escorted out instead of killed, Jainism teaches that intentional harm and the absence of compassion make an action more violent
Shravanabelagola is a city located near Channarayapatna of Hassan district in the Indian state of Karnataka and is 158 km from Bengaluru, the capital of the state. Chandragupta Maurya is said to have died here in 298 BCE after he became a Jain monk, Shravanabelagola is located at 11 km to the south-east of Channarayapatna in the Channarayapatna taluk of Hassan district of Karnataka. It is at a distance of 51 km south-east of Hassan, the Sanskrit equivalents Śvetasarovara and Dhavalasarasa used in the inscriptions that support this meaning. Some inscriptions mention the name of the place as Beḷguḷa, which has given rise to another derivation from the plant Solanum ferox. This derivation is in allusion to a tradition which says that an old woman completely anointed the colossal image with the milk brought by her in a gullakayi or eggplant. The place is designated as Devara Beḷgoḷa White Pond of the God. Shravanabelagola has two hills and Vindhyagiri, acharya Bhadrabahu and his pupil Chandragupta Maurya are believed to have meditated there.
Chandragupta Basadi, which was dedicated to Chandragupta Maurya, was built there by Ashoka in the third century BC. Chandragiri has memorials to numerous monks and Śrāvakas who have meditated there since the fifth century AD, Chandragiri has a famous temple built by Chavundaraya. The 58-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshwara is located on Vindyagiri Hill and it is considered to be the worlds largest monolithic statue. The base of the statue has an inscriptions in Prakrutha i. e. Devanagari script, the inscription praises the king who funded the effort and his general, who erected the statue for his mother. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018, the statue is referred to as Gommateshwara by Kannadigas, but the Jains refer to the same as Bahubali. More than 800 inscriptions have been found at Shravanabelagola, dating to various times from 600 AD to 1830 AD, a large number of these are found in the Chandragiri and the rest can be seen in the Vindhyagiri Hill and the town. Most of the inscriptions at the Chandragiri date back before the 10th century and these inscriptions include texts in the Kannada.
The second volume of Epigraphia Carnatica, written by B. Lewis Rice, is dedicated to the inscriptions found here and it is said to be the oldest Konkani inscription. The inscriptions are written in Purvahalagannada and Halegannada characters, some of these inscriptions mention the rise and growth in power of the Western Ganga Dynasty, the Rashtrakutas, the Hoysala Empire, the Vijayanagara Empire and the Wodeyar dynasty. These inscriptions have helped modern scholars to understand the nature and development of the Kannada language, on August 5,2007, the statue at Shravanabelagola was voted by the readers of Times of India as the first of the Seven Wonders of India. 49% votes went in favor of the statue, Akkana Basadi, This was built in 1181 A. D. Akkana Basadi has 23rd Tirthankara Parshwanath as main deity of the temple
The Palitana temples of Jainism are located on Shatrunjaya hill by the city of Palitana in Bhavnagar district, India. The city of the name, known previously as Padliptapur, has been dubbed City of Temples. Shatrunjaya means a place of victory against inner enemies or which conquers inner enemies and this site on Shatrunjaya hill is considered sacred by Svetambara Jains. It is said that 23 of 24 Jain Tirthankaras, except Neminatha, There are approximately 863 marble-carved temples on the hills spread mostly in nine clusters, some being vast temple complexes, while most small in size. The main temple is dedicated to Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara, the main temple is reached by stepping up 3500 steps. Along with Shikharji in the state of Jharkhand, the two sites are considered the holiest of all pilgrimage places by the Jain community, Jains believe that a visit to this group of temples is essential as a once in a life time chance to achieve nirvana or salvation. Of note, Digambara Jains have only one here on the hills.
Also, on the summit, there is a shrine of a Muslim saint by name Angar Pir who is reported to have protected the temples during Muslim invasions in early 14th century. As the temple-city was built to be an abode for the divine, no one is allowed to stay overnight, Shatrunjaya means a place of victory against inner enemies or which conquers inner enemies. There are 108 names of Shatrunjaya but only some of them are in common use, the Gulf of Cambay is to the south of the Shatrunjaya Hills, and Bhavnagar city is to the north of the hills with the Shetrunji River flowing in between. The temple complex on the hills is located 56 kilometres southwest of Bhavnagar, Palitana, a town in the foothill is 2 kilometres away. The Palitana town is at an altitude of only 66 m, the Palitana Temples are situated at the twin summits and the saddle linking them. The summit is situated at an elevation of 7,288 feet, reaching it involves climbing over 3,750 stone steps. The temples remain closed for the devotees during the monsoon season, paths It takes approximately two hours to make the 3.5 kilometres climb.
The shortest one goes around the walls of the temples on the hilltop and passes Angar Pir. A second route goes around the foot of the mountain, elderly pilgrims who cannot climb the stairs are carried on a doli carried by porters and charged based on the pilgrims weight. A large number of pilgrims take part in a route in the month of Phalguna. Grounds From the top of Shatrunjaya are views of the Shetrunji river, the narrow streets or lanes in the temple complex are similar to the ones found in the medieval cities of Europe
Ahimsa in Jainism
Ahimsā in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term ahimsa means nonviolence, non-injury or absence of desire to harm any life forms and other nonviolent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of ahimsa. The Jain concept of ahimsa is very different from the concept of found in other philosophies. Violence is usually associated with causing harm to others, but according to the Jain philosophy, violence refers primarily to injuring ones own self – behaviour which inhibits the souls own ability to attain moksha. At the same time it means violence to others because it is this tendency to harm others that ultimately harms ones own soul. Furthermore, the Jains extend the concept of not only to humans but to all animals, micro-organisms. All life is sacred and everyone has a right to live fearlessly to its maximum potential, the living beings do not have any fear from those who have taken the vow of ahimsa. According to Jainism, protection of life, known as abhayadānam, is the charity that a person can make.
Ahimsa does not merely indicate absence of violence, but indicates absence of desire to indulge in any sort of violence. Jains have strongly advocated vegetarianism and nonviolence throughout the ages, Ahimsa being central to the Jain philosophy, Jain Ācāryas have produced, through ages, quite elaborate and detailed doctrinal materials concerning its various aspects. According to Aidan Rankin, the concept of ahimsa is very much intertwined with Jainism, Jain texts expound that there are ten vitalities or life-principles, these are, the five senses, respiration, life-duration, the organ of speech, and the mind. Living beings are classified on the basis of their sensory organs, According to Jain texts, The one-sensed lives possess four vitalities – sense organ of touch, strength of body or energy and life-duration. The two-sensed beings have six, namely the sense of taste, the three-sensed beings have seven with the addition of the sense of smell. The four-sensed beings have eight with the addition of the sense of sight, the five- sensed beings without mind have nine life-principles with the addition of the sense of hearing.
Those endowed with mind are said to have ten vitalities with the addition of the mind, According to Tattvarthasutra, a major Jain text, the severance of vitalities out of passion is injury. Therefore, the higher the number of senses and vitalities a being has, out of the five types of living beings, a householder is forbidden to kill, or destroy, all except the lowest. But, the ascetic is required to avoid injuring the one-sensed form of life to the best of his ability. Hence Jainism enjoins its adherents to completely avoid violence to higher-sensed beings, in Jainism, both ascetics and householders have to follow five major vows
Bhaktamara Stotra is a famous Jain sanskrit prayer. It was composed by Acharya Manatunga, the name Bhaktamara comes from a combination of two sanskrit names and Amar. The prayer praises Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism, there are forty-eight verses in total. The last verse gives the name of the author Manatunga, Bhaktamar verses have been recited as a stotra, and sung as a stavan, somewhat interchangeably. Other Jain prayers have taken after these, additional verses here praise the omniscience of Adinatha, according to legends, the Jain monk Manatunga was chained and imprisoned by the local King Bhoja. The shasandevi yakshi Chakreshvari of Bhagwan Adinath appeared before Acharya Manatunga, mantungacharya composed this stotra in the prison. With the completion of each verse, a broke, or a door opened. Manatunga was free all the verses were finished. Legends associate Manatunga with a ruler named Bhoja, however Manatunga probably lived a few centuries before Raja Bhoja of Dhara. He is identified by scholars as Kshapanaka, one of the Navaratnas in the court of legendary Vikramaditya.
An unidentified Sanskrit poet Matanga, composer of Brahaddeshi on music theory, Bhaktamara stotra was composed sometime in the Gupta or the post-Gupta period, making Manatunga approximately contemporary with other navaratnas like Kalidasa and Varahamihira. Several spots near Bhopal and Dhar are traditionally associated with Manatunga, Bhaktamara Stotra is believed to be at least a thousand years old, though many believe it to be still older. Bhaktamara Stotra has been passed down generation to generation. The importance and effectiveness is believed to have increased with the passage of time, Bhaktamara Stotra is recited by many with religious regularity. The original Stotra is in Sanskrit and written in Devnagiri script, the Bhaktamar Stotra has 48 stanzas. The complete panegyric is formed by 2888 letters and it is said that some specific stanzas are miraculously effective for fulfilment of different purposes. Bhaktamara stotra is widely illustrated in paintings, at the Sanghiji temple at Sanganer, there is a panel illustrating each verse.
The verses of Bhaktamar are thought to possess magical properties, a mystical diagram, yantra, is associated with each verse