Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian Religion originating from India. Followers of Jainism are called “Jains”, a word derived from the Sanskrit word Jina (victor) who connotes the path of victory in crossing over life’s stream of rebirths by destroying the karma through an ethical and spiritual life. Jains trace their spiritual ideas and history through a succession of twenty-four victorious Saviours/Teachers known as Tirthankaras. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal Dharma with theTirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain Cosmology.
The main religious premises of Jainism are Ahiṃsā (non-violence), Anekāntavāda (manysidedness), Aparigraha (non-attachment) and asceticism. Devout Jains take five main vows: Ahiṃsā (non-violence), Satya (truth), Asteya (not stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy or chastity or sexual continence), and Aparigraha (non-attachment). These principles have affected Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle that avoids harm to animals and their life cycles.
In Singapore, the Jain Community is represented by The Singapore Jain Religious Society, which was registered in 1972. Regular prayer meetings, celebration of Jain festivals, and religious classes are held there. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, and Diwali.