During my work related visit to Mumbai I visited the Jain temple in Mumbai one lunchtime, a sacred space I have visited many as I have the good fortune to know an enlightened Jain friend who prays in this temple morning and evening on a daily basis. The friend is someone I have worked with in India for over 20 years. As part of his service to Jainsim he and his wife look after the library in the temple, a space devoted to the scriptures, spiritual learning and contemplation. The temple itself is probably the most beautiful in Mumbai. It is no accident that Jains represent the most successful people in India. Jains are honorable peace loving and studious people who believe in knowledge of 5 kinds: sensory, scriptural, clairvoyance, telepathy and omniscience. They also happen to be the most successful Indian people in the business world globally as their spiritual values are the standards they live by in every aspect of their lives.
“Benevolence to all living beings underpins Jain teachings; One should not injure, subjugate, enslave, torture or kill any animal, living being, organism or sentient being.”
“Man should subvert anger by forgiveness, subdue pride by modesty, overcome hypocrisy with simplicity, and greed by contentment.”
“Right belief, right conduct right knowledge”…. “Without faith there is no knowledge, without knowledge there is no virtuous conduct, without virtues there is no deliverance, without dliverance there is no perfection” This is the Jain path to liberation.”
By Western standards Jainism (which has its origins in Hinduism) could be considered Atheist as Jains deny the existence of a creator. they believe the world has always existed and is subject to the external laws of Karma. Jains do not worship any God but they venerate the Thirthankaras, the early saints and precursors of Mahavir, who first broke out of samsara, the chain of existences.
Jainism is characterized by complete vegetarianism its members care not to harm any living creatures to the extent that some Jains carry brooms to sweep insects out of their path, lest they tread on them.
The final goal of a Jain is to sever the chain of rebirth and achieve a state of liberation known as nirvana.
More on the Temple:
Jain temples are usually the most elaborate ones in India, and the Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji temple is no exception. Built in 1904, it’s adorned with colorful ornate sculptures and paintings. The entrance has two stone elephants on either side of it. Inside, the dome ceiling is resplendent with the signs of the zodiac.
As its name suggests, the temple is Lord Adishwar (also known as Rushabhdev), the first of 24 Jain “Tirthankaras” (special liberated souls who have attained omniscience, and guide other souls from the cycle of death and rebirth) of the current era.
Where: Ridge Road, Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill, south Mumbai.