18 November 2017

Jain Dharma!!!

The historic Gommateshwar Bahubali Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsava at Shravanbelogala is scheduled from 17th Feb to 25th Feb 2018 and so I start my series on Mahamastakabhisheka. I will be narrating many stories associated with Jainism, Shravanabelagola, its Hills, its sculpture, its ponds, its temples and Bahubali the main deity himself over the following posts. To start with, here is the post about Jainism.
Bahubali, Bahubali Mahamasthakabhisheka 2018, Karnataka, Travel
Dharma Chakra or the Wheel of Good deeds has 24 spokes representing the 24 thirthankaras. This wheel is installed at the garden at the foot hills of Chandragiri in Shravanabelagola
Jainism is the religion which mainly believes in the principle of Ahimsa or Non-violence. A religion, which is Anaadi, meaning neither has a start nor an end and believe in re-birth. The final goal of life is to cross over the stream of birth and death, to attain liberation. While there are thousands of souls who have attained liberation over the infinite life time, Jains mainly worship 24 Thirthankaras.
Kala And Thirthankara
While Hinduism believe in Yugas, we call them kala, Awasarpini Kala and Uthsarpini Kala. Awasaripini signifying deterioration, Uthsarpini recovery. 6 kalas or periods, deteriorate from 1 to 6, with the reduction in physical appearance and happiness. While 1st(Sukhama Sukhama - very good), 2nd(Sukhama - good) and 3rd(Sukhama Dashama - Good bad) have the best of luxury, without suffering and best illustrated by Kalparuksha, a wish granting tree, without even the need for farming. 4th kala, chaturthakala(Dukhama Sukhama - Bad Good) is the transition from good to bad, where bad takes over good. 5th(Dukhama- bad) the present kala and 6th(Dukhama Dukhama - very bad) which gets even worse. After the end of Awasarpini kala, the direction gets reversed and the goodness recovers gradually from 6th to 1st. As per Jainism it is in the 4th kala, that the 24 thirthankaras are born, a transition from good to bad, when there is need for a teacher to guide you and get out of the worst. Its said the first thirthankara teaches the world with 6 things, Asi(Protection), Masi(Writing), Krushi(farming), Vanijya(Trade and commerce), Vidhya(knowledge), Shilp(crafts) to the people, which was not known and needed in the first 3 periods.
Adinatha is the first Thirthankara of the present Awasarpini kala, while Mahavira is the last. While most people call Mahavira the founder of Jainism, we believe him to be the follower of Jainism and as a thirthankara. There were thirthankaras in the past chaturthakalas and there will be in future chaturthakalas as well, which makes the religion Anaadi. 

Our first prayer Namokara Mantra 
Namo Arihanthanam - Bow to Arihanth(Lord just below attaining liberation)
Namo Siddhanam - Bow to Siddh Parameshti(Lord after attaining liberation)
Namo Aayariyanam - Bow to Acharyas(The leaders of the group of Monks)
Namo Uvvajyayanam - Bow to Upadhyayas(The teachers in the group of Monks)
Namo Loye Savva Sahunam - Bow to Sarva Sadhu(All the Monks)

As per Jainism its only in human life and in chaturthakala a person can get liberation. Liberation can be attained only after nullifying your good and bad deeds. Yes, you will have to enjoy and finish your good deeds as well to attain liberation. Thirthakaras go through the life like a normal human, childhood, youth, a jain monk, and just before attaining liberation he is in this Arihanthavastha, a state where he is in the air and dedicates this last days preaching all the living things in the universe, the monks, the humans, animals. This gathering is called Samavasharana. The Samavasharana headed by the Dharma Chakra moves from place to place, preaching. And finally the soul of the Thirthakara leaves the body to attain liberation to become Siddhathma. 
Bahubali, Bahubali Mahamasthakabhisheka 2018, Karnataka, Travel

Bahubali, Bahubali Mahamasthakabhisheka 2018, Karnataka, Travel
Here is the glimpse of Samavasharana at the Samavasharana Mandir in Shravanabelagola. It is on the top floor of Yatri Niwas opposite to Dharam Chakra.

Travel Tips:
Shravanabelagola is 157 km from Bangalore and 52 km from Hassan
By Road: Shravanabelagola is well connected by direct buses from Bangalore, Mysore and Hassan. You can also take any bus playing between Bangalore-Mangalore, Bangalore-Hassan and get down at Channarayapatna, which is 12km and take another bus to Shravanabelagola. But check prior boarding these buses, as these days the buses are non stop and do not stop in Channarayapatna.
By Train: Shravanabelagola has railway station and there are trains, playing to Bangalore, Mysore and Hassan.
By Air: Nearest Airport is Bangalore Airport which is around 165km.

There are yatri niwas and rooms for Jain in Shravanabelagola, for non-jain if you are looking for neat and good stay options, stay at Hassan which is 52km.

Check our the complete Mahamasthakabhisheka Series here.

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