Jainism In Philately
Mr. Sudhir Jain
Universal Cables Ltd., Satna, Madhya Pradesh-485001, India
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Jain religion is a very old religion. Its followers believe that Jainism is an “Anadi Anant” religion. Anadi means one which has no starting and Anant means which has no ending. Jainism is a pre-aryan religion which is preached by the Tirthankaras (Gods). Jains believe that in every Kal (Period or Cycle of Time), there are 24 Tirthankaras. In the present Kal, Bhagwan Rishabhnath was the first Tirthankara and Bhagwan Mahaveer was the 24th Tirthankara. The five ethics of Jainism are – Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (pursuit of truth), Asteya (non-stealing and honesty), Aparigraha (non-possession and non-attachment) and Brahmacharya (celibacy). These are also called the five Vratas.
A distinction is drawn between these ethics or Vratas for the ascetic (Saints or Muni) and for the layman (sravak). The saints have to practice the Vratas rigorously. But the sravakas have to and can practice with lesser degree.
It states that reality is complex. It can be looked at from different point of views. Each point of view gives the picture of reality which is as valid and real as the picture of reality received from other point of view. Jainism has contributed to the philosophy of life in its insistence that the pathway to perfection is threefold. Samyak-Darshana (right faith/right understanding) Samyak-Jnana (Right knowledge) and Samyak – Charitra (right conduct). Jiyo Aur Jine Do (live and let lived) is the main slogan of Jainism which was given by Bhagwan Mahaveer about two thousand five hundred years ago.
There are two main branches of Jainism – Digamber and Swetamber. Digamber word comprises Dig (Disha/direction) and Amber (cover/sky). It means only directions are the cover/clothes i.e. without clothes. They worship idols of Tirthankara bearing no clothes. Their saints also do not wear any cloth. Swetamber word comprises swet (white) and Amber (cover/sky). Their idols and saints wear white clothes.
Sammed Shikharji (Bihar), Kailash Parwat (a peak of Himalaya), Champapur (Bihar), Girnar (Gujrat) and Pavapur (Bihar) are the most religious places form were Tirthankaras have attained Nirvan. Other important Jain pilgrimage centres are Shravanabelgola, Palitana, Khajuraho, Karkal, Rajgir, Banaras, Moodbidri, Dharmsthal, Hastinapur, Mount Abu, Chittorgarh etc. Jain Darshan is very rich in Granthas, old manuscripts, literature, orators. Large number of saints have guided to the Jain followers for simple and religious living. Some of the most respected living saints are Acharya Vidhya Sagarji, Acharya Vardhman Sagarji, Acharya Bharat Sagarji, Acharaya Mahapragyaji, Acharya Ashokchandra Surishwarji, Achrarya Devendra Muniji, Sadhvi Vishudhmatiji, Sadhvi Gyanmatiji, Sadhvi Maniprabhaji, Bhattarak Charukirti Swamiji etc.
Number of Stamps, Special Covers & Special Cancellations have been issued on Jainism which can be seen in the following pages :-