Buddhism and Jainism

2017 Edition
| Editors: K. T. S. Sarao, Jeffery D. Long

Samavasaraṇa (Jainism)

  • Brianne DonaldsonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-0852-2_720

Definition

Samavasaraṇa (also Samosaraṇa) refers to the “the coming together” of the great assembly of people, gods (devas), and animals of that occurs when a great Jain teacher, called a tīrthaṅkara, achieves kevala-jñāna. Kevala-jñāna is often translated as omniscience. However, it is more accurately described as the moment in which a jīva, meaning the immanent life force within every living entity experiences its true nature and also attains complete awareness of every other existent entity in the universe in all their qualities and continually changing modes. As the fourth of five auspicious events (kalyāṇaka) in the lives of a tīrthaṅkara, or Jina, the moment of omniscience is a central focus in Jain dharma. Thus, the samavasaraṇa is one of the most elaborate symbolic images of Jainism. It is frequently represented in art and architecture, but it also functions as an ethical ideal of planetary peace and coexistence among people, devas, and creatures, inspired by the Jina’s...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Claremont School of TheologyClaremontUSA