Other Spellings :
Svetambara, Svetambar, Shvetambara, Shvetabmbar or Swetambar.
About Shwetambar Jains :
Svetambara is one of the two main sects of Jainism, the other being Digambar. The word 'Svetambar' literally means, "white-clad", describing the practice of wearing white clothes, which sets it apart from Digambar ("spaced clad"), whose practitioners wear no clothes. Another distinction is that Svetambar is allowed to initiate women. Besides, Svetambaras, unlike Digambaras, neither believe that ascetics must practice nudity, nor do they believe that women are unable to obtain moksha. Svetambaras believe that the 19th Tirthankara was a woman. There are estimated 5,900 Shwetambara nuns.
The Svetambara tradition follows the lineage of Acharya Sthulabhadra. The Svetambara monastic orders are branches of Vrahada-gachchha founded in 937. The prominent among the classical orders today are Kharatara-gachchha (1024), Tapa-gachchha (1228) and Tristutika Gachchha.
A major reform was initiated in the Shwetamber Jain community by Lonka Shaha who started a movement opposed to idol worship in 1476. Branches of this movement are Sthanakavasi and Terapanthi Shvetambara (1780 AD) orders. Acharya Buddhivijayaji, formerly belonging to Sthanakavasi order, as the leader of the Tapa Gachchha, lead a movement to restore orders of wandering monks, leading to near extinction of the Yati institutions.
Some Svetambara monks and nuns cover their mouth with a white cloth to practice ahimsa (non-violence) even when they talk. By doing so they minimize the small bacteria that might get killed when they talk.
Sub-Sects in Swetamabar Jains :
Svetambara Jain community is divided into two sub-sects:
- Murtipujak ("image-worshiping") or Mandirmargi ("temple-going") - These are those practitioners who worship images in temples. They are lead by various Acharyas.
- The other branch is of the reformist sub-sects of the Sthanakvasis and the Terapanthis. Sthanakwasi are being currently lead by Acharya Shivmuniji and Terapanthi are being lead by Acharya Mahaprajna.
The other branch is of the reformist sub-sects of the Sthanakvasis and the Terapanthis. Sthanakwasi are being currently lead by Acharya Shivmuniji and Terapanthi are being lead by Acharya Mahaprajna.
Food Habits :
Marriage Preference :
Prefer marriages within their community