Healing in Jainism

Published: 14.04.2010
Updated: 30.07.2015

Healing is generally understood as the act or process of curing or of restoring the health. Assessed physically, healing is the process by which the cells in the body regenerate and repair to reduce the size of a damaged or narcotic area. [1] Healing incorporates both the removal of necrotic tissue (demolition), and the replacement of this tissue. For centuries, people of faith have offered prayers for the sick, often with dramatic results. More recently, medical research has shown consistent proof that healing prayers and meditation definitely have positive results for the sick. But this is nothing new.

Jains on the other hand talk of holistic healing, as healing of the body is a by-product of the total process of spiritual purification. Jains consider soul and body as separate entities. Jain definition of reality is persistence with change. Soul is sentient and eternal with infinite perception, knowledge, energy and bliss as its main attributes. On the other hand body is matter, which is insentient and concrete (with form, taste, colour and odour as its attributes). Even though soul and body are different; yet with their doctrine of identity cum difference, Jains place very high importance on the health of the body as this is the primary organ/entity which soul uses to achieve its ultimate objective of being supreme soul or just soul i.e. the liberation of the soul from matter association (karmas) which is the cause of transmigration and pain.

Further being atheists, Jains do not pray to some external agency to heal, rather it focuses on the patient to cure himself and asks his family/friends to help him heal (parasparopragraho jīvānama or living beings help each other). The Jain doctrine and way of life and the attending family and friends act as healing factors to enable one recover from bodily injuries/sicknesses at super human rate and finally let the individual realize his highest goal of eternal happiness. The fundamental aspects of healing in Jainism are to build confidence in the patient that the sickness is temporary, it can be cured and he has to take initiative and make efforts to heal/recover from the illness. Further the concept of subsidence, subsidence cum annihilation and annihilation of the karmas; power of soul to change most of the karmas bonded or active and likely to fructify and the states of the soul can lead the patient to develop faith in his power and capability to recover/heal. We shall review Jain philosophy and literature to see how healing can be achieved.


The earliest sacred literature of Jains called Purva; fourteen in number that existed even before Mahāvīira (and hence called Purva). The twelfth Purva is called Prāṇānuvāda (or science of health). It deals with ways and means of keeping the body fit. It became a part of the 12th limb called Drṣṭivāda during Mahāvīra’s time. However both Prāṇānuvāda and Drṣṭivāda are now extinct. Still we find traces about keeping physically fit in all Jain sacred texts. Literature on health and curing diseases did not become popular in earlier days as they were considered as false (mithyā) knowledge i.e. not about purification of the soul but about keeping the body fit only. So Jain monks and scholars did not write much on the subject. From 2nd century AD onwards, Jain monks/ascetics considered it essential for their followers to know about ways and means of keeping themselves physically fit so that they can perform their spiritual purification and religious duties properly. So we see ācāryas like Nāgārjuna, Samantabhadra, Pujyapāda (Samadhi Tantra and Iṣṭopadesa) in 2nd to 5th centuries AD writing texts exclusively on sickness, causes and treatments. Uditācārya in 11th century AD wrote detailed texts called Kalyānakāraks which are claimed to be derived from Prāṇānuvāda.

During the period of Bhaktivāda’s popularity, Jain ācāryas like Āc Māntuṅga (Bhaktāmara stotra), Āc Kumudacandra (Kalyāṇamandir stotra), Āc Vādirāj (Ekibhāvastora) and many more wrote hymns seeking relief from worldly pains and curing different ailments of the body. These all became very popular (and are so todate). Later on more than 1000 texts on health, sickness, curing etc have been written by Jain ascetics and scholars who are quoted frequently. Ācāryas like Jinabhadra (6th Century), Rāmsena (11th century in Tattvānuśāsana), Śubha Candra (11th century AD in Jñāṇārva), Hemchandra (12th century AD in Yoga Sāstra), Pt Āsādhara (in 13th century AD Adhyātma Rahasya) and so on till today Ac Tulsi and Mahāprajña have emphasized meditation for spiritual and physical well being.

Similarly the story literature of Jains has several stories like Mainasundari, which talk of sicknesses inflicting the Jain practitioners and how they got rid of the same to ultimately achieve liberation. Then we have Āc Samantabhadra (suffering from endless urge to eat), Āc. PujyaPāda and Āc Vādirāj (a leper himself getting rid of his as well others leprosy), 23rd tīrthaṅkara Pārśvanāth (who is credited with removing the worldly pains of snake couple (Padmāvati and Dhareṇadra gods etc)), the four Dādāgurus, and now Āc MahāPrajña spearheading healing of physical ailment through Prekṣā meditation. Now a day’s almost all the monks and nuns have started offering healing touch to their followers also. We find use of meditation, prayers, charity, yantras, tantras and mantras being used as the factors of healing

Metaphysical considerations

Jains believe in the duality of existence i.e. living beings (jīva or sentient beings) and non living beings (ajīva or insentient beings). Jīva in pure form is called siddha or pure soul, and when it is associated or defiled with matter impurities called karmas, it is called empirical soul or saṅsāri jīva. So a Jain considers, ‘I am the soul, am immortal and responsible for all my acts and actions - reactions’. Diseases or even death are momentary stages of the body associated with me. Hence both do not disturb my state of equanimity. I am the master of my own self and have the capability to remove all impurities and causes of pain associated with me and achieve my nature of infinite knowledge and bliss. Right faith-knowledge-conduct together is the path of attaining this pure state of my soul.

Jīva suffers pains/sicknesses due to de-meritorious karmas or enjoy good health and pleasures due to meritorious karmas associated with it. One of the karma types called body building or Nāma karma (93 sub types) details each sub type responsible for different types and ailments of the physical body associated with saṅsāri jīva. Similarly life span or death is determined by another type of karma called Āyu. The karma literature, (Karaṇānuyoga), is full of explanations of the cause and effect i.e. influx, bondage, stoppage of influx and dissociation of existing karmas.

The whole mundane careers or transmigration of the soul, from one realm to another, result from the association of passions and yoga with the empirical self. Hence the avoidance of terrestrial comforts and curses, in the first place, means the cessation of influx of karmika particles so as to ward off the incessant assault of the subtle karmic enemies. Secondly it means the suffocation of the indwelling foes of the Karmas till they die. In other words, when the activity of the mind, body and speech are set free from the effect of auspicious and inauspicious physical states, there results the influx only but no bondage. This view appear to be easy enough to be actualized as the self is so much addicted from beginning less past to oscillating between the auspicious and inauspicious psychical states. But saints have exhibited its practicability; e.g. Kundkund talks of three types of manifestations of the soul, namely auspicious (śubha), inauspicious (aśubha) and pure (śudha), The pure manifestation is the ideal, which is attempted by the monks by observing the vows fully. However the householders or lay-people are not able to practice the vows fully. To overthrow the relative life of virtue and vice (effects of auspicious and inauspicious states) in the interest of absolute higher life seems to be practically impossible and sometimes a mere stretching of imagination, a dream unrealizable.

Sickness of the body is therefore the direct result of the past karmas and our present actions. The present actions include the food (tāmasika and rājasika) we eat, the activities we perform for living, stress and strains (called passions or kasāyas in Jainism) we develop or build, role ego (ahama in Jainism) plays and finally unbridled desires we harbour for worldly wealth and comfort. Jains assign all these causes to perverted views (mithyātva) and hence prescribe developing right faith first (as given in the path of purification) alongwith right knowledge about self (causes of disease and its prevention and cure) and practice the path to be healthy. Thus with wrong faith we necessarily are asking for pain in one form or the other.

The karmas, bonded with the soul, can be in ten states (Bandha or bondage, Sattā or existence, Udaya or activation/realization, Udīraa or premature fruition, Udvartana or increasing the duration and/or intensity of the karma, Apavartana or reducing the duration of existence and activity, Sakramaa or interchange of nature, Upaśama or subsidence, Nidhatti or immunization of karmas against certain external activities and Nikācanā or immunization of karmas against all external activities). Most of these states, except the last one, can be changed to suit the owner by following strenuous Jain code of conduct. In fact complete annihilation of karmas from the body is the highest ideal (liberation) desired by all Jains.

Ethical considerations

We have seen earlier that karmas bonded with the soul are the root cause of all pains. Further it is said that the karmika bondage takes place when the soul has perverted views and tainted with passions (anger, pride, deceit and greed). Kundkund talks of three types of manifestations of the soul, namely auspicious (śubha), inauspicious (aśubha) and pure (śudha), The pure manifestation is the ideal, which is attempted by the monks by observing the vows fully. However the householders or lay-people are not able to practice the vows fully. So tirthankars and ascetics have laid down the regimen of minor vows (aṇuvrata) to maximize the auspicious manifestation of soul (resulting in comforts, pleasures and heavenly happiness) and minimize the inauspicious manifestation of the soul. Accordingly the Jain code of conduct emphasizes prevention (which can be considered as synonymous with stoppage (influx) or self restraint (saṅyama) of sickness /diseases. However when inflicted with pain Jains recommend penance (tapa) for dissociation of karmas /pain.

Dhammo maṅgala mukkiṭṭhaṅ ahiṅsā saṅjamo tavo

Devā vi taṅ namaṅsaṅti jassa dhamme sayā maṇo

This verse from Dasavaikālika sutra describes this doctrine of Jain code of conduct.

The concept of aura (leśyā in Jainism) is affected by our karmas and practice of code of conduct. Omniscient has pure aura while a cruel person has black aura. A good person forms a protective aura around his body, a sort of energetic immune system that defends & guards him from all negative energy (thoughts, deeds or words) & diseases. When we learn to control our aura we can keep it purified (free of hatred, ignorance & desire) & we will be capable of self-healing. Reading your aura can also encourage you to discover your spiritual cures & purposes in life. The leśyā tree (see picture at the end) in Jain temples and literature beautifully describe the six states (or kinds of leśyā) and the resulting actions thereof of mind, body and speech. We should aim to have dispositions as per leśyās 4 to 6 (auspicious and pure) and to give up dispositions as per leśyās 1 to 3.

Treatment/healing process

The code of conduct and philosophy given above is a mix of faith healing as well as backed by modern medical system. Faith here relates to the metaphysical considerations and conduct relate to modern medical systems. The following paragraphs briefly describe the lifestyle to be observed to keep one free from diseases and cure them when inflicted.

  1. Lead a stress free life as they (stress) generate activities and vibrations of body, speech and mind resulting in bondage of karmas and hence pain. This implies leading a well balanced systematic daily routine to perform one’s duties and giving up activities which cause stress and strains (e.g. give up the seven bad habits called vyasanas in Jainism (like prostitution, gambling, eating meat, drinking, hunting, stealing, casting an evil eye on other women). To accrue auspicious karmas, Jains talk of six essential duties (āvaśyakas) to be performed daily. These essential duties are; worship the true deity, veneration of the holy teacher, self study of the holy texts, charity, self restraint and penanc

  2. Eat non violent and pure food. Food is the primary external input we take to sustain our body. Food directly affects our mind, body and speech. In Jainism highest importance is placed to food (type, quantity, and timing). Practice eight primary virtues (i.e. consume ahiṅsaka or non violent food or give up consuming meat, alcohol, honey along with fruits and vegetables which are infested with insects).

  3. Practice the five minor vows (aṇuvratas) namely non violence, non stealing, speaking the truth, limited celibacy and limited possession. These are the causes to stop accrual of inauspicious karmas and to earn auspicious karmas.

The above are all preventive measures to stop the practitioner from getting sick. These have to be followed even when inflicted with sickness.

To cure the sickness, Jainism talks of the regimen of penance (tapa), which is almost synonymous with nature cure for the practitioner. The penance in Jainism is classified as external (which can be observed by others) and internal (experienced by the practitioner). The first four sub types of external penance namely fasting (anaśana), eating less than the full stomach(unodari),conditional acceptance of food (bhikṣācari) and giving up a specific taste (bitter, salt, sweet, acidic and spicy i.e. (ras parityāga) regularly are essential for curing as well as being healthy. In the internal type, the sub types humility and meditation are extremely important to cure the inflicted diseases.

For the others i.e. family, friends and society in general, Jains propagate the concepts of living beings help each other as well as live and let live (both derivatives of its principle of ahinsā) and the four characteristics of right belief or samyag darśana namely: Not to hate a meritorious being inflicted with disease or looks (Nirvicikitsā); Develop positive condition of loving others (Vātsalya); To re-establish the fallen on the right path (Sthitikaraṇa); To propagate ethical-spiritual values (Prabhāvanā). To promote the concept of patient care/person inflicted with disease, Jainism talks of the following incentives to those (doing so not for greed /money /ego or attachment) caring the patients.

  • May be Religion i.e. to destroy Karmas
  • May bring prosperity, friends and respect
  • Giving or helping life is the best act of compassion or charity
  • It is a kind of penance

Some examples of popular healing systems being used by Jains these days
    1. Meditation: Ac Mahāprajna has developed a systematic method of Preksha dhyāna (based on Jain doctrine) which is gaining popularity in curing even such deadly diseases like heart attacks, high blood press and cholesterol levels, diabetes, stress etc. This method is being taught and patients treated at hundreds of centres all over the world. Similar methods of meditation have also been developed by other Jain acaryas and practiced at many Jain centres in India. This system is briefly described at the end of the paper.

    2. Use of taṅtras, maṅtras, yaṅtras and pujas: Now a days the idol worshipping Jains are seen organizing and performing group pujās (like yajñas) for freeing the society from various calamities and diseases. The monks and nuns have started coming up with mantras (navakāra, for overall prosperity, for eliminating the effects of poison etc.) as well as rosaries, metal plates (called yaṅtras) etc to their followers to keep the evils and sickness away or eliminate them.

    3. Training and Research institute for holistic treatment Nagpur. They have devised an integrated system of treatment for almost all the diseases based on Bhaktāmara stotra and developing meditation methods, environmental needs etc for healing.

    4. Mahavira Vikalānk (Jaipur foot). They have embarked on a massive movement to provide artificial limbs to those whose legs have been amputated. They have branches all over the world and have enhanced services for rehabilitation of such people, providing hearing aids etc. They claim it as the practice of compassion, which is a part of social ahinsa in Jain doctrine.

    5. Hospitals for cancer, eyes and general ailments. Jains have set up several hundred hospitals and thousands of dispensaries to provide treatment to the patients.

    6. Health camps by local Jain groups. This is a method whereby small local groups of Jains organize health check up and treatment camps to bring health to the neighbours (primarily in remote and slum areas). These are extremely popular and we see them almost on a daily basis. The latest and the largest camp is being organized at Palitana for ten days by Ratna Nidhi trust Mumbai where they provided health services by specialists as well as offer 25000 sets of Jaipur foots and hearing aids to the needy person.

Some examples of methods, stories etc concerning healing in Jainism
  1. Prekṣā dhyāna

    The word Prekṣā means ‘to perceive carefully and profoundly’ and the word dhyāna means to concentrate thinking on a particular subject for an extended period of time. Hence Prekṣā dhyāna means concentration of perception and not thought. The main purpose of this meditation is to purify the mental states as mind is constantly choked by contaminating urges, emotions and passions. This hampers the flow of wisdom and hence has to be removed. When the mind is cleansed, peace of mind automatically surfaces resulting in equanimity and the state of well being simultaneously.
Prekṣā dhyāna is such an uncomplicated and easy to learn technique that it can be learned by simple training from a learned trainer in a matter of days. It consists of the following ten steps or stages of activities to be performed.
  1. Total relaxation (kāyotsarga)
  2. Internal trip (antar yātrā)
  3. Perception of breath (śvāsa prekṣā)
  4. Perception of body (śarira prekṣā)
  5. Perception of psychic centres (Caitanya kendra prekṣā)
  6. Perception of psychic spectrum (leśyā dhyāna)
  7. Perception of the present moment.
  8. Perception of thoughts
  9. Auto suggestions or counter thoughts (Bhāvanā)
  10. Contemplation (Anuprekṣā)
  11. Concentration (dhyāna)

The first step indicates total cessation of all activities of mind, body and speech to achieve total relaxation. It can be achieved either in lotus posture (ardha padmāsana) or standing or lying down (śavāsana) depending on the comfort of the practitioner. The next four steps indicate the looking at different parts /nerve centres in the body or the breath. The sixth step relates to colour therapy and focuses on observing the though colourations and their change from black to pure white or colourless state. The next five steps involve living in the present (or stop thinking of the past or future), the state of thoughts i.e. controlling them from diverting to inauspicious states to passionless state, Negation of wrong thoughts or positive thinking, concentration of the nature of existence of soul (solitariness, impermanence manifestations, vulnerability and transmigration) and finally concentrating on the self.

Jain Vishwa Bharti has developed a scientific method of training people to practice this system with medically established changes and healing of diseases like hyper tension, heart ailments, diabetes etc. They have developed MA programs in Life science as well as have close association with leading hospitals and experts to substantiate the benefits of the meditation on the physical ailments.

  1. Social works in specialized areas like HIV/ Aids
Social works, especially concerning HIV/AIDS, I feel they can be categorized as follows.
  1. Preventive
    • Abstinence
    • Indulgence with caution

  2. Curative

Preventive works are sub-classified as abstinence and/ or observing precautions while indulging. The abstinence and to some extent the precautionary measures are faith based and hence become the major thrust area for such social organizations. Here we take up briefly the burning social issues connected with sexually transmitted diseases.

Jains give very high importance to being celibate. The fifth anuvrata, called Brahamcarya or svadāra santośa vrata for the householders, is defined as follows: 4

To limit one’s sexual activities to the married partner of opposite sex only. All other women are called as those who are married to others or are not married /owned by anybody else (e.g. unmarried women and prostitutes etc). The five flaws (or abstinences) of this vow are further given as follows:

  1. Indulgence in arranging marriage of others (other than own children or dependent brothers and sisters),
  2. to have sex by organs not meant for sexual activities (e.g. masturbation, homosexuality or oral sex etc),
  3. to make bodily or vocal gestures which provoke sex,
  4. to be mentally engaged profusely in sex and
  5. to deal or socialize with prostitutes or women with loose character

To observe celibacy Tattvārthsutra advices us to abstain from listening to stories arousing sex (or watching movies these days), to look or observe the sex arousing body parts of women, to reminiscence past activities, to give up eating aphrodisiac foods and to abstain from decorating own body.

Besides the above, Jain texts talk of sexual interactions primarily for pro-creation and ask its followers to avoid sexual activities on special and holy days and places (e.g. 8th and 14th of each fortnight, religious holy days and festivals and at pilgrim or religious places).

Such descriptions and importance assigned to celibacy exert special caution on Jains to abstain from sexual interactions. Thus Jains normally practice and preach (through educating and self examples) the preventive measures to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and evils.

For curing such diseases, Jains do set up hospitals and dispensaries but not specifically for such diseases. To provide social acceptance to patients, Jains have the six essential duties which include Pratikramana (recalling mistakes and seek punishment and promise not to repeat them in future) and its sarvodaya doctrine.

  1. A few stories from Jain literature on healing
Mainasundari (by Raj Bahadur Jain Anubhava Prakashan 946A Nehru Road Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi)

Long long ago, before Mahavira’s time, there was a beautiful, prosperous and peaceful city called Champanagari. It was ruled by a brave, religious (Jain) and benefactor of his subjects. His name was Aridaman. He had a beautiful and religious wife Kundanprabha, a young brave handsome and virtuous son Shripal. Everything in the kingdom and its protectorate was ideal and people loved their king and his administration. However King Aridaman had a younger brother Birdaman who was exactly opposite of Aridmana in nature and was a source of continuous worry to Aridaman.

On a fateful night of lunar eclipse, Kind Aridaman called his son to his bedroom and gave a sermon bout Jain doctrine (Karma and its significance, Ahinsa parmo dharma and Live and let live etc). He told his son that he has to go as a result of his karmas leaving his empire in his (son) hand and guidance of his wife Kundanprabha. However he was worried about his younger brother and cautioned his son about him. He then died leaving everything to his adolescent son Shripal.

Death of king Aridaman brought a strong feeling of detachment from worldly affairs in Shripal’s mind. He started going to Jain monks to learn about its karma doctrine and path of spiritual purification and lead a life of a sage. Worried, his mother wrote a letter to King of Ujjaini in Malwa district, Pahupal, who was a childhood friend of Aridaman and sought his advice to bring back Shripal back to normalcy and rule the kingdom. As per his advice Kiundanaprabha asked her son Shripal to proceed to Ujjaini alongwith 700 soldiers to learn the intricacies of kingship.

Obeying his mother, Shripal left for Ujjaini with his soldiers,. He was extremely handsome and charismatic. On the way, he met a learned Jain monk to him and seek his blessings. The monk told Shripal that he is a very auspicious person, destined to rule the world and ultimately attain salvation in this life. However his path to salvation is full of difficulties which he will overcome through strenuous efforts and belief in himself. In the congregation, younger daughter of Pahupal, Mainasundari was also there. She was also very beautiful, virtuous religious and firm believer in Jain doctrine. When both Shripal and Mainasundari saw each other, they realized that they were made for each other (through their remembrances of past lives). Then Shripal and his soldiers left for Ujjaini.

On arrival at Ujjaini, King Pahupal accorded a royal welcome to Shripal and introduced him to his wife queen Nipunasundari and daughters Sursandari (elder and with bad character) and Mainasundari (younger). Pahupal offered his guidance and assistance to Shripal to rule Champa. Also Shripal and Mainasundari started liking each other and solemnized to be married after return of Shripal to his kingdom Champanagari.

While prince Shripal and his 700 soldiers were returning to Champanagari, somehow they all contracted leprosy. Their bodies were full of oozing spots and emitting foul odour. When they arrived in Champanagari, Queen Kiundanaprabha had the entire town decorated with flowers. However as the prince and his entourage approached the town Champanagari, the foul smell from their bodies overshadowed the fragrance of all the flowers. Seeing his son Shripal and his entourage as lepers, she ordered them to leave Champanagari and live elsewhere in a forest. Shripal became very sad and in spite of his utmost persuasion and reminding his mother about the Jain monks blessings and prophecy, had to leave the town. Shripal and his soldiers decided to live in a forest which was known to have trees with medicinal qualities. This forest was closer to Ujjaini also. The news of Shripal’s leprosy reached Ujjaini also and king Pahupal asked his daughter Mainasundari to forget Shripal and marry someone else. However Mainasundari, a firm believer in Jain doctrine of Karma and its path of spiritual purification, decided to be with Shripal only. Her father tried his best to persuade her otherwise but in vain. She had very heated arguments with her father on the subject to the extent that the father lost his good values and conduct. So she left her father to be with Shripal. On the other hand her elder sister married a prince Harivahan of Kaushambi, who was handsome but ill reputed and notorious for his vices. Harivahan died within a month of his marriage after leaving his wife Sursundari pregnant.

On seeing Mainasundari, Shripal requested Maina to return to her father as he was a leper and cannot provide any worldly comfort to her. They both had long arguments based on Jain doctrine and ultimately decided to be together as husband and wife. She was a firm believer of the following values taught to her by Jain monks.

  • Every soul has the capability to become super soul i.e. one can get rid of all his pains etc and achieve his highest objective. Body and soul are different entities. Soul is eternal. I am the soul and different from body or its states.
  • Diseases are a part of body and both accrue as a result of our past karmas. They are momentary and can be eliminated completely. Karma can be extinguished completely or their results can be made less or more effective by pious conduct.

With full faith in the above values, Maina started taking care of Shripal, nursed his body by keeping it clean, giving some medicines from the forest trees, narrating Jain doctrine to Shripal regularly. Besides she also started giving pure wholesome vegetarian food to Shripal and his soldiers. Finally she organized a big puja under the auspices of a congregation of visiting Jain monks and had Shripal and his soldiers also join the puja. At the end of the puja, she had the sandalwood water collected after giving bath to Jain idols (called gandhodaka) and put them on the body or Shripal. The miracle happened and Shripal regained his old charismatic body and became perfectly well. She then applied the same to all the soldiers and everyone became well.

Now Shripal and Maina started planning how to regain their empire of Champanagari. King Pahupal offered his army to Shripal but the same was refused by Shripal, So they started building a town in the forest with beautiful buildings, facilities etc. They invited people of all castes and creeds to work and live in it. When the town was ready it was named as Mainanagari after Mainasundari. Main conceived and gave birth to twin handsome sons also. Life was going on well for some time. Then one day Shripal told Maina that he must go overseas to expand his empire and ultimately win Champanagari also. On insistent pressure from Shripal, Maina agreed. Shripal left for a tour of twelve long ears and on the route won most of the kingdoms, married beautiful princesses also and ultimately returned and conquered Champanagari and all other rival kingdoms,

Shripal started ruling Champanagari with Maina as the queen. By now Maina had two more sons. He initiated a lot of activities for the welfare of his subjects and brought the rule based on equality, love, and live and let live principles. Life was going on smoothly till one day a Sangh of Jain monks and nuns came to Champa. Shripal and Maina also started going to the Sangh to serve the visiting monks and nuns and listen to their sermons. So one day the leader of the Sangh told Shripal that the time has come for him to relinquish his empire and spend time for self-realization and achieve salvation. Maina was also listening and both were greatly inspired. So they gave their empire to their sons and became Jain monk and nun. After lot of penance, Shripal achieved salvation i.e. Moksha.

Acarya Vadiraj (Pujanpatha Pradip edited by Pt Hiralal Jain published by Shri Parshwnath Digambar Jain Mandir Subzi Mandi Delhi)

He was an exceptionally intelligent Jain monk and was considered as a conqueror of all religious cum philosophical debates with renowned scholars of all religions. He was thus known as Vadiraj or the king of debaters’. He belonged to the Chalukya kingdom (King Jai Singh 1st in 12th century AD. Even though he was inflicted with leprosy, he had a very large following of disciples. One day in the court of King Jai Singh some courtiers made fun of Vadiraj as a leper and ridiculed all the Jain naked monks. Angered by such statements, the treasurer who was a staunch follower of Vadiraj said that Vadiraj has a body of gold and the courtier is lying. The king decided to visit Vadiraj next day.

Immediately the treasurer went to Vadiraj and told the entire episode to him. Vadiraj consoled the treasurer and asked him not to worry. At night Vadiraj composed the devotional poem known as Ekibhavastortra and had his body completely free from leprosy. Next day the king visited Vadiraj and was amazed to see the lustrous golden body of Vadiraj. He ordered the courtiers who defamed Vadiraj to be punished. However Vadiraj asked the king to forgive all by introducing the king to the Jain doctrine of karma, devotion, right faith etc. The king became a firm believer of Jain doctrine and forgave all the culprits. Ekibhavastotra is to date also considered like a panacea for eliminating all the diseases including leprosy by Jains. I give below two stanzas, which talk about leprosy.

आनंद - आंसू  वादन धोंये जो तुम चित आने |

गदगद सुर सों सुयश मंत्र पढि पूजा ठानैं ||

ताके बहुविधि व्याधि व्याल चिरकाल निवासी |

भाजें थानक छोड़ देह बाम्बाई के वासी ||३||

Your thoughts pervading the mind, the tears of happiness and happy recitation of the mantras during the prayers result in the departure of deeply entrenched dreadful diseases and leave the body healthy and happy.

प्रभुतन पर्वत परस पवन उर में निबहैं है |

तासों ततछिन सकल रोगरज वाहिर  हैं ||

जाके ध्यानाहूत बसो उर अंबुज माहीं |

कोन जगत उपकार - कारन समरथ सो नाहीं ||१०||

The touch of the wind (flowing after touching Lord’s body) causes all the diseases from the body disappear. When the mind is meditating on Thee, there is nothing impossible which cannot be cured.
Picture I

The six men are painted in six different colours to show different thoughts/dispositions (called leśyā in Jain philosophy) and the resulting action.




Black like buffalo, cloud, crow etc.


Blue like indigo,


Grey like pigeon linseed


Red like rising sun, neck of a parrot


Yellow like turmeric


White like conch shell, lotus flower

International School for Jain Studies

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          Page glossary
          Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
          1. Acarya
          2. Acaryas
          3. Adhyātma
          4. Ahinsa
          5. Ahiṅsā
          6. Ajīva
          7. Anaśana
          8. Anger
          9. Anuprekṣā
          10. Anuvrata
          11. Apavartana
          12. Aura
          13. Aṇuvrata
          14. Bandha
          15. Bhāvanā
          16. Body
          17. Caitanya
          18. Candra
          19. Celibacy
          20. Concentration
          21. Contemplation
          22. Darśana
          23. Deceit
          24. Delhi
          25. Dhammo
          26. Dharma
          27. Dhyāna
          28. Digambar
          29. Equanimity
          30. Fasting
          31. Greed
          32. Internal Trip
          33. International School for Jain Studies
          34. Jain Code Of Conduct
          35. Jain Mandir
          36. Jain Philosophy
          37. Jain Temples
          38. Jain Vishwa Bharti
          39. Jainism
          40. Jaipur
          41. Jaipur Foot
          42. Jinabhadra
          43. Jīva
          44. Karaṇānuyoga
          45. Karma
          46. Karmas
          47. Kendra
          48. Kundkund
          49. Kāyotsarga
          50. Lesya
          51. Leśyā
          52. Life Science
          53. Mahavira
          54. Mahāvīra
          55. Malwa
          56. Mandir
          57. Meditation
          58. Mithyātva
          59. Moksha
          60. Mumbai
          61. Nagpur
          62. Nikācanā
          63. Nirvicikitsā
          64. Non violence
          65. Nāma
          66. Nāma Karma
          67. Nāma karma
          68. Omniscient
          69. Padmāsana
          70. Palitana
          71. Perception Of Body
          72. Perception of Psychic Centres
          73. Prabhāvanā
          74. Pratikramana
          75. Preksha
          76. Prekṣā
          77. Prekṣā Dhyāna
          78. Pride
          79. Psychic Centres
          80. Puja
          81. Purva
          82. Ras
          83. Samadhi
          84. Samyag Darśana
          85. Samyag darśana
          86. Sangh
          87. Sarvodaya
          88. Sattā
          89. Science
          90. Siddha
          91. Soul
          92. Sutra
          93. Tantra
          94. Tapa
          95. Tirthankars
          96. Tulsi
          97. Tīrthaṅkara
          98. Udaya
          99. Unodari
          100. Upaśama
          101. Violence
          102. Vrata
          103. Vātsalya
          104. Yoga
          105. Ācāryas
          106. Āvaśyakas
          107. ācāryas
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