Jainism a religion started around the same time as Buddhism sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Today, there are about 5 million Jains, however this estimate may be wrong as many jains may be counted as Hindus in the census figures. The Jain ethos abhors violence in any form and stresses on love towards all living beings. There are two broad sects names Shwethambara “white clad’ and Digambara ‘Sky clad’ within the Jain religion.
The aim of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul. This is achieved by following the Jain ethical code, of living rightly by following the three jewels of Jain ethics. These are ‘right faith’, ‘right knowledge’ and ‘right conduct’.
Followers of Jainism take the following five main vows: Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (not lying), Asteya or Achaurya (not stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy) and Aparigraha (non-materialism). Jain festivals are either related to life events of Tirthankara or they are performed with intention of purification of soul. Jains rituals can be separated broadly in two parts: Karya (Obligations which are followed) and Kriya (Worships which are performed).
Some of the main Jain festivals celebrated are listed below.