World Renowned Jaina Pilgrimages Reverence and Art : India is a treasury of devotion and art. Devotion, in fact, is the soul of India. Existence of temples, a variety of places of worship, and memorials in every nook and corner is evidence of this profusion of the feeling of devotion. The country has kept the remains of its spiritual past in state of preserve even after many artistically carved temples saw the ravages of time. This country has not only been devoted to constructing temples, it has also been actively conscious about protecting them. Who can suffocate the feeling of devotion of the nation where people sacrificed their lives to protect temples and images?
Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, and Christianity are prominent among religions that spread throughout India. Islam and Christianity came from faraway lands, whereas Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism were born here. The propagators, preachers and sages of these religions have enriched, nurtured and protected the length and breadth of this nation with their spiritual activity and message.
The nation is indebted to them. Their sermons have become the guiding principles for this nation. The Ahimsa of Mahavir, the middle path of the Buddha and rectitude of Rama are the basic foundations of the national character of India.
Jain religion evolved and developed in India, the cradle of spiritualism. The melody of its songs has resonated every part of this land. Founded on moral, social and spiritual principles of ahimsa, truth, non-stealing, non-possession and celibacy along with right-perception, right-knowledge and right-conduct, this religion has amply contributed to the all-round progress of this country. In this context the nation could call it the epitome of altruism. What to say of a page, not even a single line in the history of India could be found which conveys that Jainism has in any way damaged the glory of India. The message of Jainism is in fact the message of India.
Being the birth place of Jainism, India is the most auspicious, pious and revered land for Jains. This land saw the advent of all Jain Tirthankaras arid Shalaka-purush (pioneers). It is this land where places of pilgrimage and temples were planned and erected, scriptures were written, and congregations were organized. Not only this, Jain sages covered the length and breadth of country on foot to perpetuate the message of ahimsa and peace and enrich every inhabited area with streams of detachment and renunciation.
This book compiles the art of Jain centers of pilgrimage. Although there are hundreds of Jain pilgrimages we have included only those which are popularly established as centers of faith and devotion and Shri Mahindra Thanasi. Revered Shri Lalitprabh Sagar Ji is a saintly person filled with pulsating thirst for knowledge. He is well-known for his scholarship and impressive oration.
There was an increasing demand of an English edition of this book first published in Hindi. We have been able to publish this English edition with the inspiration of revered Ganivar Shri Mahimaprabh Sagar Ji Maharaj.
This publication is aimed at the universal exposure of the aesthetic grandeur of our temples and pilgrimages. We hope, it will be well received.