Siddhachakra

Siddhachakra is a popular yantra or mandala (mystical diagram) used for worship in Jainism.[1][2] It is also known as Navapada in the Svetambara tradition and Navadevta in the Digambara tradition. In the Svetambara tradition it is associated with the Namokar Mantra.[3][4][5][6] It is related to the legend of King Shripala and his wife Mayanasundari. It is depicted as a Kalasha with the core of a blossomed lotus representing Navapada in the centre surrounded by guarding deities on petals. It is used in some rituals.

Siddhacakra from Gujarat, India, Ackland Art Museum
Siddhacakra from Gujarat, India, c. 1500

Etymology

Siddha refers to a liberated soul, while chakra means wheel. It is believed that worshiping Siddhachakra results in freedom from the cycles of life within a universal 'wheel' known as nirvana.[2] It also means a 'circle of perfection'. Navapada means 'nine petals' in reference to the centre of the yantra, while Navadevta means 'nine deities'.[4][5] It is also described as a 'saint wheel'.[7]

History

The two major sects of Jainism, Svetambara and Digambara, differ in their concept of Siddhachakra. The first five deities, known as the Panch Parmeshthi (five supreme beings) are the same in both traditions while the other four are different. They were traditionally known as Navapada in the Svetambara tradition and Navadevta in the Digambara tradition.[8]

Svetambara

Siddhachakra most likely originally had only the Panch Parmesthi, Arihant in the center and the other four in petals in four different directions. It may have been inspired from Namaskara Valaya based on the Namokar Mantra as in some older Siddhachakra. The four last lines describing phalashruti (benefits) are depicted in addition to the petals at the four corners. They are described by Acharya Hemachandra in Yogashastra. He also noted that Vajraswami (BCE 57 – 57 CE) derived it from the lost Vidyanupravad parva text.[8]

It seems that the other four padas were added later. Acharya Dinkara (1411 CE) described Navapada in Nandyavrata Mandala. Nirvanakalika (c. 11th century) described it but replaced Tapa with Suchi-vidya.[8]

Ratnamandira Gani or Acharya Ratnashekhara wrote about the legend of Shripal in Siri-Sirivala-Kaha in Prakrit along with Siddhachakra Puja in 1372 or 1362 CE, the earliest known reference.[9] A later popular version called Shripal Rajano Ras was written in 1682 CE by Vinayvijay and Yashovijay.[2][8][9][10]

Legend

Shripal-mayana
King Shripala in a 17th- or 18th-century manuscript of Shripal Rajano Ras

The legend takes pace during the time of the twentieth Jain Tirthankara Munisuvrata, about 1.1 million years ago according to Jain traditions. There was a king named Singharth and a queen Kamalprabha of Champanagar. His brother Ajitsen captured Champanagar when he died. To save five-year-old Shripal from his uncle, Kamalprabha fled from the city and left him with a group of lepers while being chased by soldiers. Shripal was also infected by leprosy. He changed his name to Umar Rana and became the group's leader.[2][9][10][11]

Eventually he reached Ujjain where King Prajapal was ruling. Out of anger from being disrespected by his daughter, Mayanasundari, he married her to the leprous Shripal. They met a Jain monk, Munichandra, who advised them to do a ritual named Ayambil Oli which is dedicated to the central Navpada in Siddhachakra. It cured Shripal's leprosy along with that of 700 other lepers. Later he conquered Ujjain and Champanagar.[3][5][11][12][13]

Digambara

Navdevata was depicted as Pratishtha-vidhi-mandala in Pratishtha-tilaka by Nemichandra (c. 15th century). It was also described in Pratishtha-Sirodhara by Ashadhar, Jin-samhita by Indranandi (c. 10th century), and Paratishtha-Kalpa-Tippanam by Kumudchanra.

Jinasamhita by Ekasamdhi (c. 1250 CE) described it in detail, depicting it as similar to Brihad Siddhachakra.

Types

Siddhachakra script
Small Siddhachakra in manuscript of Shripal Rajano Ras dated to the 17th or 18th century
Siddhachakra15c
Brihad Siddhachakra (Larger form)

There are two types of Siddhachakra. The small types have only a central part depicting Nav pada which only includes Arihant, Siddha (liberated souls), Acharya (leaders), Upadhyaya (teachers) and Sadhu (monks) along with the other four. Large types includes all of the structures described below called Brihad Siddhachakra or Siddhachakra Mahayantra. Small types are found frequently in Jain temples and in carvings while larger ones are found in brass plate form or made of different lentils during rituals on special occasions.[1][2][6]

Structure

It is depicted as a Kalasha with an eye on both sides and a core made of a fully blossomed lotus. It has many circles of petals marking different concepts in Jainism.[5][6]

Small siddhachakra
Navapada of Siddhachakra
SiddhaChakraYantra
Siddhachakra Mahayantra

Kalasha

A Kalasha is depicted as a pot with a large base and a mouth generally covered with a lid or topped with a coronet of mango leaves and a coconut. It is decorated with clothes and ornaments in images. Two eyes are depicted around the Kalasha, symbolising right faith and right knowledge.[2][5][6]

At the neck of the Kalasha are nine small pots known as Nav Nidhi which describe nine kinds of wealth or treasures. Nine shrines dedicated to Navagraha are at the base of Kalasha which indicate nine 'cosmic influencers'.[2][3][5][6]

Lotus

At the core is a fully blossomed lotus with many circles of petals marking different concepts in Jainism. Navpada (Nine elements) is at the core surrounded by circles of petals called valaya. There is variation in the number of circles made by the petals in different images but generally there are ten circles.[3][5][6][14]

Navapada

Navapada is the core of the lotus.[15] Navapada includes five supreme beings having virtues, Guni or Panch Parmeshthi, and four right virtues, Gunas according to Svetambara tradition. Their attributes are described in 108 scriptures.[1][2][3][4][14] They are also illustrated in silver or copper plates for worship.[6][16] In the Digambara tradition, it has the same Panch Parmeshthi but the other four elements are different.[8]

Navpada of Siddhachakra
No. Svetambara Digambara Place Description Colour Attributes
1 Arihant centre enlightened soul who teaches world the path of liberation 12
2 Siddha Upper centre liberated soul residing in Moksha 8
3 Acharya Right the preceptor, leader of Sangha (community) 36
4 Upadhyaya Lower centre a person with knowledge who teaches to others 25
5 Sadhu Left Jain monks and nuns 27
6 Darshan Chaitya Upper right Right Faith/Jain Image 67
7 Gyan Chaityalaya Lower right Right Knowledge/Jain temple 51
8 Charitra Dharmachakra Upper left Right Conduct/Wheel of Dharma 70
9 Tapa Shruta Lower left Right Austerities/Jain scriptures 50

Valaya

Navapada is surrounded by circles of petals called valaya which describe various concepts and guarding deities as mantras.[5][6]

Circle No. Petal Described concept Notes Details
1 Nucleus Aryandrapad Part of Navpada Arihant of Navapada, many times as a mantra
2 Small circle Vowels in Sanskrit Vowels and sounds
3 8 petals 8 padas Part of Navpada Other 8 members of Navapada
4 16 petals 49 basic sounds in Sanskrit Vowels and sounds
5 8 sections 48 labdhi powers of higher souls in group of 6 in each section
6 8 sections 8 Guru footprints with mantra having names 2 petals, each at two poles have sacred mantra: Hrim and Klim
7 8 sections 8 Goddesses Jaya devi etc. Guarding deities[3]
8 16 petals 16 Adhishthayak Dev Principal deities
9 16 petals 16 Vidya devi Goddesses
10 48 petals 48 Attendant deities 24 Yaksha and 24 Yakshini

Some have additional petals describing four vira (guarding deities) and ten Digpala (protectors of ten directions).[3]

Surroundings

The sun and moon are depicted on the right and left side of the Kalasha, respectively. There are four shrines with guarding deities in the four corners: Kshetrapal, Vimaleshwar, Chakreshvari, and Aprasiddha Siddha Chakradhisthanak. Sometimes King Shripal and Queen Mayanasundari are depicted on the sides of the Kalasha as based on a legend.[1][2][5][6][14]

Rituals

Siddhachakra Jainism 2014-04-13 19-43
Brass metal Siddhachakra yantra used for worship

Navapada Aradhana and Ayambil Oli

Navapada Aradhana is associated with the Shripal-Mayanasundari legend.[13] Navapada Aradhana is performed by meditating on Navapada and doing an ayambil. In an ayambil, only one meal is eaten each day of plain food without any spices, sugar, salt, oil, butter, milk, vegetables or fruits. It is performed for nine days, twice a year. It is called Ayambil Oli. It falls in the months of Chaitra (March/April) and Ashwin (September/October) of the Jain calendar.[3][6][9][10][11][12][17] A procession of Siddhachakra is carried out in towns known as Jalayatra.[7]

Siddhachakra Puja

It is a complex ritual taking a half day in which a whole Siddhachakra is created on a floor using lentils. Mantras are recited along with performing puja starting in the centre of the Siddhachakra and moving towards the outside.[2][3][5][9]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Siddhachakra Mahayantra (32)". herenow4u.net. July 6, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mardia, K.V. "DETAILS OF SIDDHACHAKRA" (PDF). The ImageSet Original. Yorkshire Jain Foundation. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Siddhacakra". Institute of JainologyInstitute of Jainology. Jainpedia.org. p. 1. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Wiley, Kristi L. (2009). The A to Z of Jainism (38 ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 198. ISBN 9780810868212.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j M. Whitney Kelting (2009). Heroic Wives Rituals, Stories and the Virtues of Jain Wifehood. Oxford University Press. pp. 33–107. ISBN 9780195389647.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Fischer, Eberhard; Jain, Jyotindra (1978). Jaina Iconography. 1. BRILL. pp. 2–4. ISBN 9789004052598.
  7. ^ a b Sanghavi, Vilas (1980). Jaina Community. Popular Prakashan. p. 235. ISBN 9780317123463.
  8. ^ a b c d e Shah, Umakant P. Shah (1987). Jaina-Rupa-Mandana. 1. Abhinav Publications. p. 226. ISBN 9788170172086. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d e Kelting, M. Whitney. "Mayṇāsundarī". Jainpedia. pp. 1–4. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Kelting, M. Whitney. "Āyambil Oḷī". Jainpedia. pp. 1–3. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c "King Shripal and Mayana Sundari". Jain e-world. 27 June 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Harman, William P.; Raj, Selva J. (2007). Dealing With Deities: The Ritual Vow in South Asia. SUNY Press. pp. 193–195. ISBN 9780791467084.
  13. ^ a b Cort, John (2001). Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford University Press. pp. 162–163. ISBN 9780195132342.
  14. ^ a b c "Shri Siddha Chakra (43)". herenow4u.net. July 16, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  15. ^ "Jain Symbols" (PDF). Jain University. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  16. ^ Glasenapp, Helmuth Von (1999). Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation. 14. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 427. ISBN 9788120813762.
  17. ^ "Shri Nav-Padjini Puja- Brief Explanation". jsdg.org. Retrieved January 11, 2013.

Further reading

External links

Ahimsa in Jainism

Ahimsā (Ahimsā, alternatively spelled 'ahinsa', Sanskrit: अहिंसा IAST: ahiṃsā, Pāli: avihiṃsā) in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term ahimsa means nonviolence, non-injury and absence of desire to harm any life forms. Vegetarianism 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 nonviolence found in other philosophies. Violence is usually associated with causing harm to others. But according to the Jain philosophy, violence refers primarily to injuring one's own self – behaviour which inhibits the soul's own ability to attain moksha (liberation from the cycle of births and deaths). At the same time it also means violence to others because it is this tendency to harm others that ultimately harms one's own soul. Furthermore, the Jains extend the concept of ahimsa not only to humans but to all animals, plants, micro-organisms and all beings having life or life potential. All life is sacred and everything has a right to live fearlessly to its maximum potential. Living beings need not fear those who have taken the vow of ahimsa. According to Jainism, protection of life, also known as abhayadānam, is the supreme charity that a person can make.Ahimsa does not merely indicate absence of physical violence, but also indicates absence of desire to indulge in any sort of violence. Jains have strongly advocated vegetarianism and nonviolence throughout the ages.

Anekantavada

Anekāntavāda (Sanskrit: अनेकान्तवाद, "many-sidedness") refers to the Jain doctrine about metaphysical truths that emerged in ancient India. It states that the ultimate truth and reality is complex and has multiple aspects. Anekantavada has also been interpreted to mean non-absolutism, "intellectual Ahimsa", religious pluralism, as well as a rejection of fanaticism that leads to terror attacks and mass violence. Some scholars state that modern revisionism has attempted to reinterpret anekantavada with religious tolerance, openmindedness and pluralism.According to Jainism, no single, specific statement can describe the nature of existence and the absolute truth. This knowledge (Kevala Jnana), it adds, is comprehended only by the Arihants. Other beings and their statements about absolute truth are incomplete, and at best a partial truth. All knowledge claims, according to the anekāntavāda doctrine must be qualified in many ways, including being affirmed and denied. Anekāntavāda is a fundamental doctrine of Jainism.

The origins of anekāntavāda can be traced back to the teachings of Mahāvīra (599–527 BCE), the 24th Jain Tīrthankara. The dialectical concepts of syādvāda "conditioned viewpoints" and nayavāda "partial viewpoints" arose from anekāntavāda in the medieval era, providing Jainism with more detailed logical structure and expression. The details of the doctrine emerged in Jainism in the 1st millennium CE, from debates between scholars of Jain, Buddhist and Hindu schools of philosophies.

Chandrashekhar Vijay

Panyas Chandrashekhar Vijayji Maharaj Saheb (born Idravadan, 18 January 1934 – 8 August 2011), also known as Gurudev or Guruma, was a Jain monk, scholar and author. Born and educated in Mumbai, he was initiated as a monk who later designated Panyas. He was involved in religious as well as sociopolitical activities. He founded several institutions and authored 261 books.

Ghantakarna Mahavir

Ghantakarna Mahavira is one of the fifty-two viras (protector deities) of Svetambara Jainism. He is chiefly associated with Tapa Gaccha, a monastic lineage. He was a deity of an esoteric Jain tantrik tradition. There is a shrine dedicated to him at the Mahudi Jain Temple established by Buddhisagar Suri, a Jain monk, in nineteenth century. It is one of the popular Jain pilgrimage centres of India.

Islam and Jainism

Islam and Jainism interacted with each other in the Indian subcontinent following the frequent brutal and devastating Islamic invasions, and later the Islamic conquest and rule of the subcontinent from twelfth century CE onwards, when much of Northwest, north and central India came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate, and later the Mongol-Persian origin Mughals.

Jainism and Islam have different theological premises, and their interaction has been mixed ranging from religious persecution to mutual acceptance. Jains faced persecution during and after the Muslim conquests on the Indian subcontinent. There were significant exceptions, such as Emperor Akbar (1542–1605) whose legendary religious tolerance, out of respect for Jains, ordered release of caged birds and banned killing of animals on the Jain festival of Paryusan.

Jain Temple Dubai

The Jain Temple, Dubai (referred to locally as Derasar) is a house temple (ghar derasar) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The temple caters for the large Jain community in the United Arab Emirates and is the only Shewtambar Jain temple in Bur Dubai, where most of the Jains reside. The temple complex has Lord Vimalanatha, the thirteenth Jain Tirthankar as Moolnayak, Lord Parshwanath, the twenty third Tirthankar and Lord Sumatinath, the Fifth Tirthankar.

To get to Vimalnath Bhagwan ghar Derasar one can use public transit system and opt for Al Fahidi metro station or Al Musalla road. The ghar derasar is located on 6th floor of Musalla residential tower.

There are more than 10,000 Jains in Dubai as of 2012.

Jain sculpture

Jain sculptures or Jain idols are the images depicting Tirthankaras (teaching gods). These images are worshiped by the followers of Jainism. The sculpture can depict any of the twenty-four tirthankaras with images depicting Parshvanatha, Rishabhanatha, or Mahāvīra being more popular. Jain sculptures are an example of Jain art. There is a long history of construction of Jain sculptures. Early examples include Lohanipur Torsos which has been regarded to be from the Maurya period, and images from the Kushan period from Mathura.

Jain symbols

Jain symbols are symbols based on the Jain philosophy.

Jainism

Jainism (), traditionally known as Jain Dharma is an ancient Indian religion. Followers of Jainism are called "Jains", a word derived from the Sanskrit word jina (victor) and connoting the path of victory in crossing over life's stream of rebirths by destroying the karma through an ethical and spiritual life. Jainism is a transtheistic religion, and Jains trace their spiritual ideas and history through a succession of twenty-four victorious saviours and teachers known as tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha, who according to Jain tradition lived millions of years ago, as Matsya the twenty-third being Parshvanatha in 900 BCE, and twenty-fourth being the Mahāvīra around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology.

The main religious premises of Jainism are ahiṃsā (non-violence), anekāntavāda (many-sidedness), aparigraha (non-attachment) and asceticism. Devout Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy or chastity or sexual continence), and aparigraha (non-attachment). These principles have affected Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle that avoids harm to animals and their life cycles. Parasparopagraho Jīvānām (the function of souls is to help one another) is the motto of Jainism. Ṇamōkāra mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism.Jainism has two major ancient sub-traditions, Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras; and several smaller sub-traditions that emerged in the 2nd millennium CE. The Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras have different views on ascetic practices, gender and which Jain texts can be considered canonical. Jain mendicants are found in all Jain sub-traditions except Kanji Panth sub-tradition, with laypersons (śrāvakas) supporting the mendicants' spiritual pursuits with resources.

Jainism has between four and five million followers, with most Jains residing in India. Outside India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Europe, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Suriname, Fiji, and the United States. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, and Dipawali.

Jainism and Hinduism

Jainism and Hinduism are two ancient Indian religions. There are some similarities and differences between the two religions. Temples, gods, rituals, fasts and other religious components of Jainism are different from those of Hinduism."Jain" is derived from the word Jina, referring to a human being who has conquered all inner passions (like anger, attachment, greed and pride) and possesses Kevala Jnana (pure infinite knowledge). Followers of the path shown by the Jinas are called Jains. Followers of Hinduism are called Hindus.

Jinaharsha

Jinaharsha was a Jain ascetic poet who lived in 17th and 18th century.

He was a disciple of Shantiharsha of Kharatara Gaccha. He spent last years of his life in Anhilwad Patan where his handwritten manuscripts are preserved in Jain libraries.

Jinvijay

Muni Jinvijayji (1888–1976) was a scholar of orientalism, archeology, indology and Jainism from India.

List of Jain temples

Jain temples and tirtha (pilgrimage sites) are present throughout the Indian subcontinent, many of which were built several hundred years ago. Many of these temples are classified according to Jain sects. Idols of tirthankaras are present in these temples. Many Jain temples are found in other areas of the world. This article lists and documents prominent Jain temples and Tirthas around the world.

Mary Whitney Kelting

Mary Whitney Kelting is an American ethnographer and scholar of Jainism who is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Northeastern University, College of Social Sciences and Humanities Professor Kelting’s research interests include the religions of South Asia, ritual theory, gender studies and cultural studies and she has published two books and many articles on these topics. She is a member of the editorial board of the Centre of Jaina Studies at the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London. M. Whitney Kelting received her B.A from Colby College, and her MA and PhD in South Asian Language and Literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Rakesh Jhaveri

Rakesh Jhaveri, also known as Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, (born 26 September 1966) is a spiritual leader, mystic, scholar of Jainism, author and orator from India. Spiritually inclined from a young age, he is a follower of Shrimad Rajchandra, a Jain spiritual teacher. He completed doctoral studies on Shrimad's work Atmasiddhi. He founded Shrimad Rajchandra Mission, Dharampur which supports spiritual and social activities.

Samantabhadra (Karmole)

Samantabhadra (1891-1988) was a Digambara monk.

Tapas (Indian religions)

Tapas is a Sanskrit word that means "to heat". It also connotes certain spiritual practices in Indian religions. In Jainism, it refers to asceticism (austerities, body mortification); in Buddhism to spiritual practices including meditation and self-discipline; and in the different traditions within Hinduism it refers to a spectrum of practices ranging from asceticism, inner cleansing to self-discipline. The Tapas practice often involves solitude, and is a part of monastic practices that are believed to be a means to moksha (liberation, salvation).In the Vedas literature of Hinduism, fusion words based on tapas are widely used to expound several spiritual concepts that develop through heat or inner energy, such as meditation, any process to reach special observations and insights, the spiritual ecstasy of a yogin or Tāpasa (a vṛddhi derivative meaning "a practitioner of austerities, an ascetic"), even warmth of sexual intimacy. In certain contexts, the term means penance, pious activity, as well as severe meditation.

Timeline of Jainism

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion belonging to the śramaṇa tradition. It prescribes ahimsa (non-violence) towards all living beings to the greatest possible extent. The three main teachings of Jainism are ahimsa, anekantavada (non-absolutism), aparigraha (non-possessiveness). Followers of Jainism take five main vows: ahimsa, satya (not lying), asteya (non stealing), brahmacharya (chastity), and aparigraha. Monks follow them completely whereas śrāvakas (householders) observe them partially. Self-discipline and asceticism are thus major focuses of Jainism.

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