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ascetic aesthetic

Registered: 09/11/07
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Jainism in India
    #11266129 - 10/17/09 04:47 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

Any India travelers, or otherwise someone with intimate knowledge of Jainism, able to answer a few questions?

While I don't have any concrete plans, I feel like me buying a one-way ticket to India is an inevitability, and feel a strange spiritual affinity to all of Indian culture, but especially to Jainism. I'll probably only go with the clothes on my back, and try to survive at the mercy of others' kindness.

How welcoming are Jains to foreigners? Are temples strictly places of worship, or do they offer shelter to the devout? In which part of India is Jainism most prevalent? Which part of India is overall the best for a traveling sadhu?

In another Time's Forgotten Space, your Eyes looked through your Mother's Face:
Wildflower Seed on the Sand and Stone, may the Four Winds blow you Safely Home!

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Re: Jainism in India [Re: astronaut]
    #11271294 - 10/18/09 03:15 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

I've had similiar inclinations to go on a "pilgrimage" of some sort. Did you ever read Ram Dass' account of traveling to India?

I'd love to visit the monks of Tibet, or the Shamans of South and Central America.

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ascetic aesthetic

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Re: Jainism in India [Re: c0sm0nautt]
    #11272003 - 10/18/09 05:37 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

Those are both places I'd love to visit as well. Ideally I'd like to get into India via Russia -> Kazakhstan -> Mongolia -> China -> Tibet -> Nepal, spending time in Mongolia (and surrounding regions in China), Tibet, and Nepal, but I'm not sure how feasible that route is with the modern geopolitical climate.

I haven't read anything by Ram Dass besides Be Here Now, but I have heard very extensive accounts of traveling India in the early 70s from my own parents, who incidentally met Bhagavan Das during their travels.

It's too bad the Middle East is so hostile now... when they went to India, they traveled with dozens of like-minded seekers through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan -- all countries that fascinate me, but that I may never see (besides Turkey, I suppose).

Back to Jainism, one must-visit town I've found so far is Sonagiri, which is apparently home to many Jain temples. I'd also really like to spend time in Varanasi, though Jainism doesn't seem to be as prevalent there.

In another Time's Forgotten Space, your Eyes looked through your Mother's Face:
Wildflower Seed on the Sand and Stone, may the Four Winds blow you Safely Home!

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Re: Jainism in India [Re: astronaut]
    #11276225 - 10/19/09 11:36 AM (8 years, 8 months ago)

I've been out there man. I wanted to do the overland as well but it was unrealistic- Tibet was having the uprising (2008) so China put the borders on lock down, and the middle east wasn't so sunny. I ended up just flying in. I don't have too much knowledge on Jainism in particular, but I could answer any questions are the plain traveling in India part.
What I do know of Jains, and Indians in general, is that they are very kind to travelers in need. My last day there I had ran out of money and couldn't even afford water, I ended up having everything provided for me- water and food, all the way up to free henna. If you are reasonably self-competent than traveling the way you describe is very possible in India. Many people, both Indians and foreigners are doing it as we speak.
I'm not sure if you can sleep in Jain temples, but it is likely. They do at least allow you in to worship if you want. I do know that some temples (of all faiths in India) sometimes have boarding rooms, and Sikh temples will put you up for 3days.
You could do this traveling all over India (and Nepal! go there if you do) but if you are going for a sadhu life than I would say travel pilgrim routes and visit the holy sites. These routes will be most accommodating to sadhu wanderers my guess would be.


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Re: Jainism in India [Re: shivas.wisdom]
    #11277937 - 10/19/09 04:55 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

Im looking forward to going to India

Ill just go to Arunachala though :grin:

Ramana Maharshi:
"Arunachala is truly the holy place. Of all holy places it is the most sacred! Know that it is the heart of the world. It is truly Siva himself! It is his heart-abode, a secret kshetra. In that place the Lord ever abides the hill of light named Arunachala."

Asked about the special sanctity of Arunachala, Ramana Maharshi explained that other holy places such as Kailas, Kasi and Chidambaram are sacred because they are the abodes of Lord Siva whereas Arunachala is Lord Siva himself. However, as the above verse says, Arunachala is a secret kshetra. It is this place that bestows jnana (Self-knowledge) and because most people have so many other desires and do not truly want jnana, Arunachala has always remained comparatively little known. But to those few who seek jnana, Arunachala always makes itself known through some means or other

Have fun!



Edited by Chronic7 (10/19/09 05:03 PM)

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