Oswal

Published: 21.03.2011
Updated: 17.12.2012
Alias(es)
Oshwal, Oshwals, Osvals, Oswals, ઓસવાલ

Oswal

The Oswal are a social group (and caste) of people from the Indian States of Rajasthan and Punjab. Oswals are mainly Jain following the Svetambara tradition, but a few are Digambar Jains and a few are Hindus Vaishnavites.

  • According to tradition recounted in several texts, the Oswal community was established by Jain Acharya Ratnaprabha Suri belonging to Upakesha Gachcha, he was the seventh successor Acharya of Jain Tirthankar Parshvanatha on 14th day of the Shravana Month of Indian calendar.
  • According to tradition and bardic accounts, many Marwadis joined Jainism and were coined Oswals,relating to the Place Osiya where the change took place. Several smaller Jain communities have merged into the Oswal community.
  • Although Oswals are a very small minority (population estimated at approximately 4–5 million people worldwide) they play an important part in the economic life of India. Their diaspora and communities can be found in all the major populations centers of India as well as North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, South-East Asia and the Middle East.
  • The Oswals have significantly influenced other Jain and Vaishnava communities of the region, who are also strict vegetarian.

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Ratnaprabha Suri
  3. Digambar
  4. Jainism
  5. Osiya
  6. Parshvanatha
  7. Punjab
  8. Rajasthan
  9. Ratnaprabha
  10. Ratnaprabha Suri
  11. Shravana
  12. Svetambara
  13. Tirthankar
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