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In many modern temples slabs for offerings carved on

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In many modern temples slabs for offerings, carved on the upper surface witheight auspicious symbols, are placed so that worshippers can make replicas of auspicioussymbols with rice-grains. However, in every temple a simple offering table is placed infront of a shrine. On this, devotees arrange:1.rice grains in the shape of theswastikato symbolise the cycle of transmigrationthrough four destinies, andnandhyavarta(a complex and elaborate swastika, anauspicious symbol of ninefold prosperity)2.a piece of sweet material to symbolise the attainment of a state in which food is notneeded3.a piece of fruit symbolising the attainment ofsiddha-hood.Thesthaapanaa, also known as thethavaniorsthaapanaacaarya, is a crossed bookrest or stand made of two flat pieces of wood or four ornate small sticks of wood tiedtogether with thread in the middle and splayed out above and below so as to look like anhour glass, on which any object of worship (usually a scripture) is placed by an ascetic.While preaching a sermon the ascetic keeps thesthaapanaain front of him or her. Indaily rituals such as penitential retreat, the ritual of equanimity or a sermon, laypersonsalso keep thesthaapanaacaaryain front of them. It is seen as a representation of theguru.
334The astamangala:Svetambars believe in eight auspicious symbols:the auspicious symbol of the four destinies (swastika);the lotus shaped mark on the chest of theJinaimage (srivatsa);the elaborate symbol of nine fold prosperity (nandhyavarta);the ‘prosperity pot’ (vardhamanaka);the throne (bhadraasana);the holy jug (kalasa);the pair of fish (minayugala);the mirror (darpana).TheAcaara-Dinkara Grantha(1411: pp.197-198) explains the conception behindeach of these symbols:swastikafor the peace,srivatsafor highest knowledge from theheart ofJina,nandhyavartafor nine forms of treasures,vardhamanakafor the increase infame, prosperity and merit,bhadrasanaas an auspicious seat sanctified by the feet ofJina,kalasais symbolic representation ofJina’sattributes to be distributed in the family,minayugalaas the symbol of Cupid’s banner suggesting that the devotee has conqueredthe deity of love, anddarpanafor seeing one’s true self.The Digambars recognise eight auspicious symbols: a type of vessel (bhringaara), theholy jug (kalasa), the mirror (darpana), the flywhisk (caamara), the flag (dhvaja), thefan (vyajana) the parasol (chatra) and the auspicious seats (supratistha) (Ghosh A.1975:P.3.489, 492)From canonical texts onwards there are innumerable references to these eightauspicious items, which are held in great reverence by the Jains. Often, in moderntemples, generous patrons donate images or plaques of places of pilgrimage or incidentsin the life of aJina, in stone, metal, mirror and painted cloth.

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Term
Fall
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NoProfessor
Tags
Jainism, Hiralal Jain

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