Thursday, June 10, 2010

Customs and Traditions in Jain Community

-Mahavir Sanglikar

If all sects and linguistic/ethnic groups of Jain community follow a specific custom or tradition, we can surely say that is a Jain tradition. On the other hand, if a custom or tradition occurs only in a specific group of the Jain community, it is not a Jain tradition.

To explain more, I would like to give an example. All Sects, linguistic and ethnic groups of Jain community, follow vegetarianism. So vegetarianism is a universal custom followed by all Jains. But if a specific group of Jains does not eat groundnuts, we cannot say that Jains do not eat groundnuts.

I have seen many rural Jains from South Maharashtra and North Karanataka who think that speaking Kannada is a must thing for being a Jain. If you are a Jain but cannot speak Kannada, you are not a Jain for them.

In my high school days, when I told to a Marwadi Jain classmate that I am also a Jain, he started to speak in Marwadi language. But as I didn’t know this language, he was surprised and asked, “ No, you are not a Jain, you cannot speak Marwadi”

So presenting languages, customs and traditions of a small part of entire Jain community as Jain things is just a stupidity. This happens just because most of the Jains know nothing about the Jains not belonging to their own caste, sect and linguistic & regional groups. There is a big communication gap between various types of Jains.

Every group is living like frogs in a pond. For them, their group is the only or the true Jain group.

Here are some statements always presented as Universal things about Jain community:

● Jain monks are naked

● Jain monks wear a piece of white cloth on their mouth

● Jains speak Gujarati language

● Jains speak Marwadi language

● Jains speak Kannada language

● Jains do not eat root vegetables

● Jains do not eat Potatoes

● Jains do not eat Onions

● Jains do not eat Garlic

● Jains worship idols

● Jains do not worship idols

● Jains are rich people

● Jains are from Rajsthan

● Jains are from Gujarat

● Jain community is a merchant community

● Jains do not join armed forces

● Jains avoid agriculture

All the above statements are partial truths and not the whole truths. Those who think any of above statement as a whole truth, is just like the blind person in the story of the Elephant and Five Blinds.


  1. Namaste.
    My name is Sergio. I am Brazilian and I live in Porto Alegre. Rio Grande do Sul
    Travel to India in 2008 and met Jiainas temples in Ahmedabad. I also met Ranakpur where I won a necklace from a Jaina monk.
    I think Jaina since before birth. And I continue with my convictions Jainas. I am a Jain lonely in my country. But my inner conviction is Jaina. I've done reading several scientific articles written by and about Ahinsa Jainas.
    Deeply understand the fundamentals Jainas.
    Cludes with that when it comes to violence this is not a meaning that spreads to all human activities.
    I understand article written by Mahavir and I agree that there should be no discrimination in any respect to human. This applies to all living beings. This is the real Ahinsa.
    Su Jainas a defender of the grounds without considering that it causes aggression to modern civilization.
    In another encrnação I was and still is Jaina. But I am of nother side of the world with my faith alone.
    If autas hierarchies of Jainas I agreed and helped me put a temploa Jaina in my country and spread their doctrine.
    Repeat. I am a Jain from before birth on this continent.
    And defend its bases.
    And I agree that there should be discrimanação as much food as caste or gender. Discrimination is the largest poisoning of modern civilization.
    The inversion of values.
    I also disagree on whether to place metal value in the images of Tirthankaras. They have already surpassed MATERIALS islusórios values and left this knowledge as an inheritance.
    I am a Jain from across the planet. I'm far from India and the temples but I am connected with my convictions.
    sergio.ahinsa @

  2. Namaste.
    Concordo plenamente com suas ponderações.
    Mahavira. Eu estou em todo o mundo. Eu sou brasileiro e sou um Jain.
    Eu gostaria que o seu e-mail pessoal para lhe enviar fotos da minha estadia na Índia e Ranakpur em 2008.
    Obrigado pela sua atenção.

  3. Dear Shri Sangliker ji Jai jinader dev.I am impressive from your articals from time to time and current matters of Jain community.You have present real and aghmic thought on Agriculture and army.Jain are basicaly donot belive in cast systme.According to Jain scripture First tirthanker belong to khasterya iksbhuku .He was the creater of Krishi assi and is correct that Jain are doing invole in Agri and horticulre and vegitables and milk product