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Glossary J

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An Indian religion preached by Mahavira and other Tirthankaras, with high emphasis on conquering the inner enemies. Jainism teaches a path to spiritual purity and enlightenment through a disciplined mode of life and is founded upon the tradition of Ahimsa, non-violence to all living creatures.
Beginning in the 7th-5th century BCE, Jainism evolved into a cultural system that has made significant contributions to Indian philosophy and logic, art and architecture, mathematics, astronomy and astrology, and literature. Along with Hinduism and Buddhism, it is one of the three most ancient Indian religious traditions still in existence, it is not a Hindu sect or Buddhist heresy, as earlier scholars believed.
Jainism has two principal quite different branches, the Digambara (Sanskrit 'Sky-clad', naked) and the Svetambara (Sanskrit 'White robed') Jains. The male Digambara ascetics wear no clothes, the Svetambara wear white robes. Digambara worship idols in temples, whereas Svetambara are not practising idolatry and do not have temples.


Jnanadeva, Jnaneshvara, Dhyanadeva, Dhyaneshvara

Great Mahrati poet, philosopher, mysticien and saint who committed Samadhi 700 years ago in his early twenties believing his work completed. His commentary on Bhagavadgita 'Jnaneshvari' was written when he was only about 15 years old.
In the eighties of the twentieth century, 'Jnaneshvari' was added to the list of world's cultural heritage by UNESCO, due to his unconventionally cosmopolitan visions, thinking and writing without regarding creed and caste.
Till nowadays, the people of Maharashtra are singing his songs and telling stories of him.


See: Bhakti.

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