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JAINISM
A Religion Of Non-Violence : "Ahimsa Parmo Dharam"

What is difference betweenTeerath & Mandir

Tirth
 
Parents and our grand parents often say that doing a Tirth Yatra is very fruitful and valuable in life. But what exactly is a Tirth? Which place should be called a Tirth and which not? are certain questions which we might have been looking an answer for.
 
I asked about this from various learned people, sadhvi sri Praguna shri, sadhvi sri Priyadharma, above all gachadipati sri sri RatnakarSuri Ji, and they explained it in a very easy and elaborated way.
Tirth is a place which can be a medium of a person to attain peace and mukti.
 
The word ‘TIRTH’ means a pilgrimage. And Tirthankar – establisher of tirth.
 
Ø      Tirthankars has five auspicious occasions in his life time, namely,  
Entering into the womb of mother

Birth
Dikha (complete detachment with worldly things)
Keval Gyan (ultimate knowledge)
Nirvan (freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth)

 
Ø      Out of these five, even if a single one occurs at any one place, then that place becomes a pilgrimage or a TIRTH in other words.
For example – Sametshikhar, where 20 Tirthankars got Nirvan.
Palitana, Pavapuri, Girnar ji, Ashtapadh, and many more
 
Ø      Apart from Tirthankar, if any body else gets ‘Keval Gyan’ and when he departs his body in any area, than that area or city becomes a tirth place.
Ø      If at any place, a temple has been made and that temple has become as old as 100 years, then this place or city will also be called a Tirth place.


 
Tirth can be divided into two categories:
 
Jangam Tirth
Thavar Tirth


Jangam Tirth – a moving Sadhu or Sadhvi are believed to be Tirth in themselves. In Jainism they have been also given the place of tirth. But because they keep on  moving from one place to another, they are called Jangam Tirth.

A sadhu or a Sadhvi should be respected and worshiped in a similar way as that done in a Tirth. It is the ‘Bana’ which they wear which is worshiped – just like a idol in a tirth.

As a Tirth has that idol which people go and worship and which is the symbol of God, similarly the Sadhu or Sadhvi has that ‘bana’ which is worshiped and which represents great religion. So, Sadhu and Sadhvi’s are also tirth in themselves.
 
Thavar Tirth : A place of worship which remains still and does not move anywhere is Thavar Tirth. Thavar Tirth is supposed to be established by any Tirthankar. So, a place where any of the above mentioned five things happen is a Thavar Tirth. Like for example, Palitana, Sammetshikhar, Girnar ji, Pavapuri, etc.
 
 
Some of the major Tirths of Jains are:

Ashtapad (Kailash) – which is missing somewhere in Kailash hills.
Palitana – situated in Gujrat, on the hill top and has approximately 3500 swetamber mandirs
Sammetshikhar – where 20 Tirthankaras got Niran.
Girnar Ji – in gujrat, about 4-5 km from Junagarh, 22nd Tirthankar (Neminath ji) took Diksha, keval and Nirvan from this palce.
Pavapuri – In Patna, here our last Tirthankar (Mahavir Swami ji) got nirvan.
Hastinapur – situated in Merut in Uttar Pradesh, this place has great importance as three of our tirthankaras (Shanti Nath, Kuntunath, Aranath ji) took birth, diksha, got keval gyan and Nirvan from here. 19th Tirthankar had his Samosaran here, also Rishabh Dev completed his year long fast at this place.
 
And many more are covered in our Tirth Darshan section.
 
 
MANDIR
 
Jainism is an ancient religious and philosophical tradition of India. Jains are the sixth large religious community of India. There are more than three million Indian Jains. As a wealthy religious community, Jains have had a powerful influence on the life and the history of the Indian subcontinent. The Jain religion takes its name from the Jina (meaning victor or conqueror), a title given to 24 great teachers called Tirthankaras (ford-makers). These teachers demonstrated and taught the Jain path of purity and peace which leads to the highest spiritual liberation. Wealthy Jains have made major contribution to education and to art in India. Jain temples are among some of the most beautiful in India. These temples are often the focus of pilgrimages, particularly in the states or Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madya Pradesh, and Karnataka in western India.
 
Jain mandir are of two types :

Shikhar badh mandir : A temple that has been constructed from the roots and not converted. Such temples should always be constructed by the contribution of the entire society and not individually. There is a Dosh attached with these kinds of mandir – if rays of the sun at 11:00 am to 2:30 pm if the shadow of this temple is there on any house then this house and its members will have some problems. But if the shadow falls on any other time then there is no problem.
 
There are two categories in these types of temples :

Sidha Pramatma Mandir (temple of those lords who have become Siddha – attained complete freedom) : flag on Siddha Pramatmas mandir is a tri color with Red in the center and white on top and bottom. The statue inside this mandir is alone and not surrounded by any other statues.
Arihant Pramatma Mandir (temple of Arihant) : flag on Arihant Pramatma’s mandir is a tri color with white in the center and red on top and bottom. The statue of the lord inside is not alone but surrounded by other statues.
 
Ghar mandir :  temples made at home or home converted to temple is Ghar mandir. There is no fault or Dosh of this mandir.
 
Jain temples have some features in common :
 
There is moolgubara (the area where the lord sits in the temple) and on top of the moolgubara is the flag just above the right shoulder of the lord to symbolize that all the responsibility and weight of religion is on his shoulders.

There is ample space before this moolgubara where all the prayers are offered to the lord –  dravya pooja, bhav pooja, etc. are done from here only. Chaitya wandana is also done from here. All music, dance, bhajan, kirtans are done here only and is known as Rang Mandap.
Inside the moolgubara – Ang pooja is done.
 
There is a crown on the top of every temple.
 
General rules followed by the Jains whenever they happen to visit temple :
 
1. One should try to visit Mandir daily.

2. While entering the Mandir one should say – ‘Nissayhi ayee’

3. After that put a mark of purity – chandan tika, on fore head.

4. To chaitya vandan – if not possible – bow towards the lord and offer him ones prayers.

5. Mandir shoul be kept clean.

6. While entering into the temple one should forget about the other three directions and concentrate only in the direction of God.


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