How does one worship a liberated being who is technically inaccessible? This is the fundamental question that I propose to answer within the context of Ellora’s Jain cave-temples. In the early ninth through tenth century, temples with shrines containing a life-sized Jina image were hewn out of rock. Among the earliest of these temples is a monument known today as the Chota Kailasa. As its appellation suggests, this temple resembles the site’s larger and more famous Kailasanatha temple in terms of its execution, architectural components, and designation of sacred space.
As part of his mendicant vows, a Jain monk is committed to total non-possession.* He owns nothing. He is dependent upon the laity for even his robes , bowls, staff, and other ritual insignia and paraphernalia. These are, so to speak, "loaned" to him by the laity. In theory he should not ask even for these, and if the laity choose not to provide them, he should do without.
Jain temples are the sites of great wealth and display.
This paper explores the shift in Jaina thought from categorization (the ontological dualism of jiva and ajiva) to classification (the universe as a map of the Jina's mind), and reflects on a corresponding alteration in soteriological and sociological concerns.
The Akram Vijñān Mārg, or Stepless Path to Salvific Knowledge, is a highly innovative religious movement. It originated in the 1960s in Bombay and is slowly spreading throughout Western India and the Gujarati diaspora in East Africa, North America, and the United Kingdom. The founder of the Akram Vijñān Mārg was Ambalal Muljibhai Patel (1908–1988), a contractor, who experienced enlightenment while waiting for his return train to Mumbai at Surat. His new religious movement offers a new synthesis of Hindu and Jain ideas and practices.