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James Quigley
Laura Brooks
Deborah Balsam
Books of Faith: Jainism, Copyright 2007, Dog Soul Publishing,
Sean C. Frolich and Deborah Balsam.
Requires the use of the Dungeons & Dragons, Third Edition Core
Books*, published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc. “Wizards of the
Coast” is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. in the United
States and other countries and is used with permission.
Visit our website at www.dogsoul.net
*This product utilizes updated material from the v.3.5 revision.
that corruption will eventually seep into the hearts of men,
and the teachings of the Jina will be forgotten, leading to the
destruction of all that is good and the reign of a new dark
era. is process cannot be stopped, but its infl uence can be
defended against by those strong of soul.
e Jain Dharma faith, also known as Jainism, is a religion
from ancient India with roots in Hinduism. To say that Jain
Dharma is a non-violent faith is to understate the case. e
followers of Jainism exert great eff ort to avoid harming living
things. Although this publication is based under the Jain
Dharma teachings, this is not a manual on the faith. e
Sahasra form of Jainism has been altered from the original
in order to make it compatible with the d20 system and the
history of Sahasra. Also, the legends associated with the Jinas
were also mostly fabricated to make them more epic in a non-
religious and western sense. Such things as their holy symbols
are accurate, however. Sometimes my attempts at putting
together the nature of a Jina’s history was more accurate than I
had thought it would be. For instance, I thought Malli would
make an excellent water goddess and had completed her write-
up when I saw that her symbol was the blue water jug. Others
were so obscure or their information so lacking in interest for a
d20 game, that I felt that they would be better left for the GM
or players to insert information for their own ideal deities.
e worshippers of Jain Dharma, also known as Jains, eschew
violence and ignore temptation. ey believe that spiritual
ascendance is of greater satisfaction than physical gratifi cation.
Followers come from all the diff erent castes, although the
leaders of Jainism normally come from the highest.
All life is sacred in Jain Dharma, but human life especially
so. Jains will not attempt to kill another human being or
allow another to do so, even if in self-defense. A Jain believes
that the physical shell is less important that the spiritual
self, and to kill a human is to remove a chance to teach him
Jains have many techniques that help relieve them of the
anger they may feel for a fellow man. One such way is called
Syadvada, which is a meditation exercise used by a Jain to see
the point of view of someone who has upset him. Another
is called Anekantavada, which is the understanding that
perception is never one-dimensional.
In Sahasra, Jainism was fi rst brought to the world by the
twenty-four Jinas, or “those that overcome”. ese preachers
of the faith did not come all at once. e fi rst was born
millions of years ago and before civilization developed in the
world. His name was Lord Rishabha, son of King Nabhi and
Queen Marudevi, and he would bring the spark of knowledge
to Sahasra, which his son would found. Lord Rishabha was
able to change himself into a giant, allowing him to impress
the people with the control he practiced over his body. e
last of the twenty-four was Mahavira Swami, who was famous
for bringing luck and wealth to both his family and his
Ironically, for a religion that goes to such lengths to try and
understand the actions of others, it does not allow for the
abandonment of responsibility. Jain Dharma preaches that
each person is responsible for his own actions. Failure to act
responsibly causes the individual’s soul, or jiva, to become
tarnished and corrupt.
e Jains believe that the universe consists of two kinds of
physical things: living and non-living. e non-living are
broken into more categories, such as matter, space, and time.
Also, all things go through a cycle of change, for better and
for worse. e physical body is not considered to be a living
thing since once the spiritual self, or jiva, of a creature leaves,
the body becomes an empty shell.
Each of the twenty-four were born during various worldly
cycles, and it is believed that a new one is born in each age.
e purpose of each Jina is to show mankind the way to
enlightenment during the darkest of times. In this way, those
that hear the call of the true faith will fi nd a way to ascend to a
higher level of being. It is hoped that the Jina will be listened
to, and in doing so mankind will achieve and maintain a high
level of civilization and peace. Believers of Jain Dharma know
Karma is an important aspect of Jain Dharma. It is believed
that people gather karma ‘particles’ every time they feel a
passionate emotion. When one feels anger or jealousy the
particles of karma touch the jiva and taint it. is tainting
makes it di
cult for a person to know himself as it obscures
their pure nature. Even strong emotions such as love are
considered a version of simple lust if based upon physical
urges. e goal of every Jain is to be rid of their karma that
holds them to the material existence and thus ascend. is can
only be done by holding true to the tenants of Jain Dharma in
regards to repentance, which usually involves rituals such as
fasting and the sacrifi ce of other worldly needs.
to sacrifi ce all their material attachments upon being accepted
to the fold.
Laypersons practice the Twelve Vows. e fi rst are the Vows
of Anuvratas: pacifi sm unless in self-defense, honesty, oath
against thievery, chastity, and a disdain for the material
world. e Vows of Gunavrats are: vow to make a shrine in
at the layperson’s private residence, a promise not to allow
enjoyment of the material world’s temptations such as good
food, and an oath not to act in anger. e fi nal vows are the
Vows of Sikshavratas: a vow to meditate at least forty-eight
minutes daily, a vow to avoid trading or using money after
nightfall, a vow to live as a Jain monk for a day, and a vow to
only give material goods to a member of the faith.
Monks and nuns practice only fi ve vows, but they observe
a much stricter form of these. e fi rst is pacifi sm, and a
Jain monk or nun may not perform a violent act, even if it
e life of a Jain is not easy. e followers of Jainism may not
eat food taken while infl icting harm, and many of them are
vegetarian. e more radical of these worshippers also refuse
to eat the roots of plants, seeing the consumption of such as
a murder of a creature. Fruit that can be considered the seed
of a greater plant is acceptable sustenance. Most Jains also do
not seek nourishment or journey after dark, although this is
only frowned upon and not strictly enforced.
Other Jains go through other equally di
cult ways to actively
seek to preserve life. Some walk slowly along the ground,
carefully examining the location of their next step so that
they avoid stepping upon and killing insects. A few go so
far as to carrying brooms for the same purpose, sweeping
the ground in front of them while they travel. Jains seek to
cleanse themselves of corruption in order to attain a god-like
state of existence.
e Jains organize themselves into four main parts, known
as the Four Fold Order. ese parts are known as Sadhu,
Sadhvi, Shravak, and Shravika. e Shravak and Shravika
are the male and female laymen of the faith respectively.
ese members are expected to work among the uninitiated,
keeping with their craft while at the same time preaching and
living in the Jain Dharma way. e Sadhu and Sadhvi are
respectively the monks and nuns of the Four Fold Order.
ese dedicate their entire lives to the pursuit of the secrets
of ascension and pass their understanding to the others of the
faith. Unlike the laymen, the nuns and monks are expected
may mean their own death. Next comes truthfulness, and
the practitioner is expected to tell everyone the truth at all
times unless it may lead to harm. A vow to not only avoid
thievery, but also of charging the minimum required price for
goods or services provided by the Jain. e next is chastity,
which is a vow that needs no more information. Monks and
nuns are expected to not even think of it. Finally, the Jain
is expected to ignore the physical world and its temptations.
Jains believe that the desire for physical belongings ultimately
leads to jealousy, which leads to a desire to do harm to your
neighbor. Many Jain monks and nuns go so far to give up
worldly attachments that they also attempt to give away works
of art and even to walk out on family members.
fail to reach. Because of their work both inside and outside
the faith, laymen are often found as the de facto Jain leaders.
Each of the Jinas are revered by Jains almost as those of the
Hindu faith worship gods and demigods. A follower of the
Jain Dharma faith will have one Jina that they identify the
most with and will worship as a deity that can be prayed to
for guidance. ere are no true positions of hierarchy among
the ascended Jinas, although some are more famous than
others due to their past successes in the material world. All
Jinas grant their followers the Law and Jiva domains. Other
mentioned domains are in addition to these two. Finally, the
preferred protection of all Jains is the quarterstaff .
e Jain Dharma structure is fairly loose. Monks and
nuns are considered to be the most revered members of the
faith, although they normally do not take on a
leadership role. is is not to say that they do
not have infl uence, however, since
they are expected to pass wisdom
and advice to those who need or
seek it. A lord or layman that goes
against the suggestions of a revered
monk will be thought to tempt fate
by his people and advisors. Monks
and nuns are expected to spend their
time in contemplation and to seek
truth in the world.
Although not all are talked about in detail, the known Jinas
are as follows:
1. Lord Rishabha
2. Ajiya
3. Sambhava
4. Abhinandana
5. Sumati
6. Padmaprabhu
7. Suparshvanatha
Laymen normally take control of the
administrative functions for the Jains.
ese individuals are in a particularly
good position to do so, since most
laymen mix their professional careers
with the Jain faith. is allows them
to move freely amongst both groups
of people. e laymen organize
the construction of temples and are
normally respected enough in normal
society that they bring new converts
among those that the more withdrawn
8. Chandraprabhu
9. Suvidhi Nath
10. Shitala
11. Shreyansa
12. Vasupujya
13. Vimala
14. Ananta
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