Jainism, an ancient religion which emphasizes non-violence and which derives its name from jinas
(spiritual victors), aims at liberating the soul by freeing it from accumulated karma.
The dictionary includes biographical information for key Jain historical figures, specifics about the many Jain sectarian groups throughout history, details about the most popular Jinas
and guardian deities, definitions of key philosophical, institutional, and ritual terms, and the names and significances of Jain pilgrimage sites.
Jainism promotes a life of nonviolence, revolving around the teachings of 24 Tirthankaras (tur--tahn--ka--rahs) of "spiritual victors," also known as jinas (ji--nahs), from which the name Jain is derived.
Centered in the narrow band immediately above the empty niche is the seated figure of another important jina, worshipped by eight flying figures bearing garlands of flowers.
These are samayik, a state of equanimity and awareness that should pervade the mendicant's life from the moment of initiation; caturvimsati-stava, the recitation of a Prakrit hymn of veneration to the Jinas; guru-vandan, a similar veneration directed towards one's mendicant superior; pratikraman, a rite of confession for karmically-harmful actions; pacckkhan, a ritually-stated commitment to avoid karmically-harmful actions, and to perform certain specified karmically-beneficial actions; and kaussagg, a series of formulaic recitations, aimed at advancing the separation of the pure soul from the karmically-tainted body, which are performed in a standing position during the vandans and pratikraman.(5)
The shells represent the pancaparamesihins, or five "supreme lords": the Jinas, the siddhas or other liberated souls, the acaryas or mendicant leaders, the upadhyayas or mendicant preceptors, and all sadhus.
In discussing Borobudur's jina images, the mudras displayed by the directional Jinas or Tathagatas are described, as is the vitarka mudra displayed by the 64 Jina images seen in the niches of the uppermost wall.
Snellgrove's belief that the structure was the site of the royal consecration ritual, Indra Abhisheka (Anointing of Indra), with Buddhist substitutes for the Jinas of the cardinal directions and the zenith, is also described.
These studies include the Southern Digambara Dvadasika and Nandisvaradvipastuti, which contain early lists of the places the twenty-four Tirthankaras attained nirvana; Aryanandila's Vairotyadevistava, a hymn to an early Jain goddess; Kumudacandra's Cikura Dvatrimsika to the first Jina
Adinatha; Sagaracandra's hymn to all twenty-four Jinas
, the Caturvimsati Jinastava; a hymn to the Jina
, Vitaragastuti, by an unnamed disciple of Jaitrasuri; and Samayasundara's description of Valinaha, a local protector deity on Mount Abu.
She employs a typology of tirthas; sacred mountains, cities associated with the lives of the Jinas
, other cities, miracle-stories about images, and accounts of Parsvanatha and several unliberated deities.
Other yantras are used for the worship of deities such as the Jina
Parshvanatha or the goddess Padmavati.
The word "Jain" derives from the Sanskrit word jina