Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Jainism  -  Respect For All Life

The birth of Jainism
Mahavira the Path-Maker
The Enlightenment
The Rise of Jainism
  The Two Sects
  The Scriptures
  Rise and Fall
  Jain Beliefs-The Universe
  The Soul
  Karma and Rebirth
  The way of Salvation
  The Everyday Life of a Jain
  The Life of an Ascetic
  Ways of Worship
  Temples and Domestic Shrines
  Ninian Smart

Rise and Fall



In subsequent centuries Jainism spread from east to west across India.  From time to time it enjoyed the patronage of kings and princes, under whose auspices it produced some of the most magnificent temple architecture in the world.  But with the rise of Hindu devotional theism (BHAKTI) particularly to Shiva and Vishnu, in the Middle Ages, it went into relative decline.  It became concentrated in two regions, where it remains to this day:  Gujarat and Rajasthan where the Svetambaras prevail, and the Deccan, or modern Mysore, where the Digambaras have their headquarters.  But, unlike Buddhism, Jainism continued in the land of its birth.  This was probably due largely to its emphasis on the lay as well as on the monastic calling.  In times of persecution it had the re-sources of an influential and wealthy lay following to fall back on.

One final aspect of Jain history remains to be mentioned:  the rise of the `dwellers in halls� (Sthanakavasi) branch of the Svetambaras in AD 1653.  Parallel with the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and probably owing to Muslim influence, reformers arose to condemn all forms of idolatry and temple worship as inconsistent with the teachings of Mahavira.  Fundamental doctrines, however, remained unaffected by this further schism.