Paul Marett


These words are, of course, normally written in Indian scripts so different spellings can be found when they are converted into the Roman alphabet. Some variants are shown in brackets. In particular the final -a (which is often not pronounced) is often omitted, c is pronounced ch and often written thus, s may stand for the English s or sh sounds.

Acharya: leader of a community of monks

Ahimsa: non-violence

Ajiva: non-living substance

Anekantavada: the view of non-one-sidedness

Anga: sacred scriptures of the Jains arati

Aarti: ceremony of waving lamps

Ardhamagadhi: the Prakrit language in which the Jain scriptures and prayers are written

Arhat (arihanta): an enlightened soul, one who has reached the last stage before final liberation

Arihanta Puja: a form of worship praising the arhat and other beings

Asrava: inflow of karma into the soul

Bandha: binding of karma to the soul

Brahmin: the priestly caste in Indian society

Chaitya Vandana: temple prayers

Chaturyama dharma: the 'fourfold teaching' of the twenty- third Tirthankara, abstention from violence, untruth, stealing and acquisitiveness

Dhyana: deep meditation Digambara: 'sky-clad', one of the two major sects of Jainism (see 'Svetambara')Diksa (diksha): initiation of a monk

Dipa: a lamp

Divali: Indian festival, kept by the Jains in remembrance of Mahavira's moksa

Ganadhara: the eleven immediate followers of Mahavira Gunasthana: the fourteen stages on the ladder of spiritual progress

Guru: a teacher, particularly a monk's master in the religious order

Jai Jinendra: honor to the supreme Jina (Jain greeting) Jina:one who has conquered (the passions), usually referring to a Tirthankara

Jiva: Living being, soul

Jnana Pancham: fifth day of the year, the day of knowledge Kalpa Sutra: a popular Jain sacred scripture

Karma: actions, the instrument by which previous actions take effect on the individual's soul and life

Keval jnana: total knowledge, omniscience

Ksatriya: the knightly caste in Indian society

Mahavira Jayanti: annual festival celebrating Mahavira's birth

Maunagiyaras: annual day of silence and fasting

Moguls (Mughals): rulers of the Muslim empire in India (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries A.D.)

Moksa (moksha): final liberation, nirvana

Muni: a monk

Namaskara Mantra: see 'Panca Namaskara'

Namo: I bow to...

Nigoda: very tiny living beings

Nirjara: shedding of karma from the soul

Nirvana: final liberation, moksa

Nisihi: utterance on entering temple to indicate abandonment of worldly thoughts

Oli: nine-day semi-fast kept twice a year

Panca Namaskara (Panch Namaskara)

or Namaskara Mantra: formula of obeisance to the five categories of superior beings

Papa: demerit, bad results in karma

Paryusana (Paryushan): annual eight-day period of fasting and religious activities

Prakrit: ancient colloquial languages of India, no longer spoken, including Ardha Magadhi

Pratikramana: ritual of repentance

Pudgala: matter, non-living material substance

Puja: worship

Punya: merit, good results in karma

Purva: lost scriptures of the Jains

Ratnatraya: the Three Jewels, Right Faith, Knowledge and Conduct

Sadhu: a monk

Sadhvi: a nun

Sallekhana: accepting death by ceasing to take food

Samayika: equanimity achieved through meditation and prayer Samvara: cessation of influx of karma into the soul

Sanskrit: the classical learned language of India

Shramana/shramani: monk/nun of the Terapanthi sect who has taken partial vows only

Siddha: a totally liberated soul

Siddhacakra: metal disc with sacred images

Snatra Puja: ritual of bathing the Jina image

Sravaka: lay man

Sravika: lay woman

Sthanakvasi: sect of Jains who do not worship images

Sutra: a religious text

Svetambara: 'white-clad', one of the two major sects of Jainism (see 'Digambara')

Syadvada: the assertion that 'in some respects' a fact is true (but in other respects it may not be)

Swastika: ancient Indian auspicious symbol

Tapas (tapa): austerity

Terapanthi: non-image-worshipping sect which developed out of the Sthanakvasi in the eighteenth century

Tirthankara: the twenty-four enlightened souls in each half- cycle of time who are the 'prophets' or teachers of Jainism

Upadhyaya: preceptor or teacher of monks

Upasraya: meditation hall