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Jain Rituals

 

Jains incorporate a number of rituals into their daily life. Spreading the grain for the birds in the morning, and filtering or boiling the water for the next few hours' use are ritual acts of charity and non-violence.

Some people dismiss the ritual acts as superstition. Others recognize that while the Jain idols have no miraculous powers, daily rituals help the worshipper towards a reverent state of mind.

Samayika

Samayika is the practice of equanimity, translating to meditation. It is a ritual act undertaken early in the morning and perhaps also at noon and night. It lasts for forty-eight minutes (Two Ghadis) and usually involves not only quiet recollection but also usually the repetition of routine prayers. The ritual is chanting and praying about the good things.

Pratikramana

Pratikramana is performed in the morning for the repentance of violence committed during the night, and in the evening for the violence during the day and additionally on certain days of the year. During this, the Jain expresses remorse for the harm caused, or wrong doing, or the duties left undone.

Worship of Jain idols

Worship before the Jain idols, bowing to the idols, and lighting a lamp in front of the idols is an ideal way to start the day for many Jains. More elaborate forms of worship (puja), as described, is a regular daily ritual usually done in the temple. The worshipper enters the temple with the words 'Namo Jinanam' (I bow to the Jina), and repeats three times, 'Nisihii' (to relinquish thoughts about worldly affairs). The simpler surroundings of the household shrine can also provide a suitable setting. The members of some sects of Jainism don’t believe in worship of the Jina image. They believe in meditation and silent prayers. Worship, or puja, can take many forms.

  1. The ritual bathing of the image (Snatra Puja) is symbolic to the bathing of the newborn Tirthankara by the gods (celestial beings). A simple symbolic act is to touch one's forehead with the liquid used to bath the idol. Bathing the idol also takes place during the Pancha Kalyanaka Puja, a ritual to commemorate the five great events of the Tirthankara's life, namely conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience and moksha.
  2. Antaraya Karma Puja comprises a series of prayers to remove those karmas which obstruct the spiritual uplifting power of the soul.
  3. Arihanta Puja, paying respect to the arihants.
  4. There is a ritual of prayer focused on the siddhachakra, a lotus-shaped disc bearing representations of the arihanta, the liberated soul, religious teacher, religious leader and the monk (the five praiseworthy beings), as well as the four qualities namely perception, knowledge, conduct and austerity to uplift the soul.

Om Namah

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