Jainism traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian religion and a method of acquiring perfect knowledge of self and universe and perfect joy through extrasensory means.

As sensory means are incapable of acquiring them. The method is described in its religious texts Paramagama Samayasāra and Agama Tattvartha Sutra from parallelist and interactive lenses respectively. Jain dharma traces its spiritual ideas and history through a succession of twenty-four leaders or tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha or also known as Adinath bhagwan of this era, who according to Jain tradition lived millions of years ago, the twenty-third tirthankara Parshvanatha in 900 BCE, and the twenty-fourth tirthankara the Mahāvīra around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology.

The main religious premises of the Jain dharma are ahiṃsā (non-violence), anekāntavāda (many-sidedness), aparigraha (non-attachment) and asceticism (abstinence from sensual pleasures). Devout Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (sexual continence), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness). These principles have affected Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle. Parasparopagraho Jīvānām (the function of souls is to help one another) is its motto and the Ṇamōkāra mantra is its most common and basic prayer.

Jain dharma is one of the oldest religions and has two major ancient sub-traditions, Digambaras, and Śvētāmbaras, with different views on ascetic practices, gender, and which texts can be considered canonical; both have mendicants supported by laypersons (śrāvakas and śrāvikas). The religion has between four and five million followers, mostly in India. Outside India, some of the largest communities are in Canada, Europe, and the United States. Jain dharma is growing in Japan, where more than 5,000 ethnic Japanese families have converted to Jainism. Major festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Ashtanika, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, and Dipawali.

Jainism in province

The Jain literature refers to Kashi or Varanasi as a Jain Tirtha (Holy Place), as four of the Jain Tirthankara’s were born in Varanasi. per Jain tradition, Varanasi is that the birthplace of Sri Suparshavanath, Sri Chandraprabhu, Sri Sreyansnath, and Parshavanath — the seventh, 8th, 11th, and twenty-third Jain Tirthankaras.

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