Published: September 27th 2006September 8th 2006
Entrance to Jain Temple
The entrance to the Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Temple in Mumbai.
Yet another in a series of ill-advised, poorly-planned, and hastily-assembled journeys by a fallen-away ex-Catholic -- this time straight to the heart of Hinduism, Bollywood, and lots of terror threats. With pretty pictures, a wealth of inaccuracies, and without the benefit of spell-check.
Visit to a Jain temple. Jainism is a religion and philosophy originating in ancient India. Jainism believes that the universe and all its substances are eternal. It has no beginning or end. There is no need for someone to create or manage the universe. The universe runs on its own accord by its own cosmic laws. Hence Jainism does not believe in God as a creator or destroyer of the universe.
However Jainism does believe in God. When a living being destroys all his karmas, he possesses perfect knowledge, vision, power, and bliss. He becomes omniscient and omnipotent. This living being is a Jain God (called Jinas or Tirthankars). Hence Jains do not believe in one God. Gods in Jain religion are innumerable and the number is continuously increasing as more living beings attain liberation. Every living being has a potential to become God of the Jain religion.
Jains don't worship to please gods, or
Jain Temple Foyer
The view facing the first floor of altars.
in the hope of getting something from gods in return. But nevertheless, Jains do worship. They do not worship the Gods as persons. Rather they worship the ideal of perfection that the Gods have achieved.
The objects of veneration in a Jain temple are statues of human figures in marble, stone, or metal. These austere and rigid figures, always sharply sculpted and finely polished, sit with their hands folded on their lap or stand in meditation.
The folllowing are photos from the Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Temple in Mumbai.
Priests and local temple members were flowing from one diety to the next performing puja, meaning reverence or worship. The temple was silent and some of the priests and worshipers had their mouths covered with cloth. No one spoke. Several rituals were going on, one involving puja involving running water and others involving annointing the deities with sandalwood paste on various parts of the deities' body. After making puja to a deity, a worshiper would ring one of the several large bells that hung from the ceiling.
There are more photos below