Jainism in the United States

(Redirected from Jainism in America)

Adherents of Jainism first arrived in the United States in the 20th century. Jain immigration began in earnest in the late 1960s and continues to the present day.

American Jains
Total population
American English
South Asian Languages
Related ethnic groups

History edit

Poster announcing lecture by Virchand Gandhi

In 1893, Virachand Gandhi became the first Jain delegate to visit the United States, representing Jainism in the first ever Parliament of World Religions.[3] As the first practicing Jain to speak publicly in the United States on Jainism, he is a key figure in the history of American Jainism.[1] The first St. Louis Jain temple in the United States was built for the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. After the fair, the temple moved to Las Vegas and later to Los Angeles. It is now owned by the Jain Center of Southern California. Adherents of Jainism first arrived in the United States in 1944.[4] Jain immigration began in earnest in the late 1960s after the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965. The United States has since become a center of the Jain diaspora.[5]

From left to right: Virchand Gandhi, Hewivitarne Dharmapala, Swami Vivekananda, and (possibly) G. Bonet Maury

The first former Jain monastic to travel to the United States, Chitrabhanu, arrived in 1971. He gave several lectures about Jainism at Harvard University and established a Jain center in New York City. The first monk who traveled outside India by use of mechanical means was Acharya Sushil Kumar who arrived in the United States in 1975.[6] He established multiple Jain centers, including International Mahavira Jain Mission popularly known as Siddhachalam.[7] In the 1980s, he and Chitrabhanu inspired the founding of Federation of Jain Associations in North America to support the Jain community in the United States and Canada.[7]

As of 2010 the United States contained the most Jain temples of any country in the Jain diaspora.[1] At least one third of the Jains living outside India live in the United States, numbering close to 150,000.[1][2] Jain temples in the United States, which numbered 26 as of 2006, frequently incorporate marble and arches in a style reminiscent of Rajasthan architecture.[1] There are almost 100 distinct Jain congregations in the United States.[7]

Many Jains in the United States are professionals.[5] They also frequently volunteer at animal welfare organizations.[1] Many Jains also attend Hindu temples and Hindu events.[8]

Jain sects edit

According to The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, "Most American Jains agree that the sectarian streams of Jainism that have been significant in India for 2,000 years are fast losing their currency in 20th century America...The sectarian divisions of the Jain tradition have been left behind as Jain Americans concentrate on the difficult task of appropriating the tradition in a new environment." As noted below, many Jain temples in the United States contain images from both the Digambara and Śvētāmbara traditions. Jain conventions and gatherings in America feature teachings from both sects.[9][10]

Federation of Jain Associations in North America and Siddhachalam edit

Main temple at Siddhachalam Jain center at New Jersey. Images of the tirthankaras Mahavira, Chandraprabha, Rishabha, Shantinatha and Parshvanatha.

The Federation of Jain Associations in North America is an umbrella organization of local American and Canadian Jain congregations to preserve, practice, and promote Jainism and the Jain way of life.[11] Siddhachalam[12] in New Jersey is the first pilgrimage site for Jains outside India, bringing together all Jains in one place for worship, study and reflection.[13]

Jain symbols edit

The Federation of Jain Associations in North America uses a modified version of the standard Jain symbol, the Jain emblem. It replaces the swastika with an om because the former is not considered a pious symbol in the western world.[14]

Jain studies edit

Florida International University hosts the Bhagwan Mahavir Professorship in Jain Studies, the first Jain Studies chair at a North American university. In 2016, the Jain Society and Rice University signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a post-doctoral fellowship in Jain studies.[15]

American Jain centers edit

Category:Jain temples in the United States

Jain temple in Monroeville, Pennsylvania

The Jain Center of America was the first Jain center in the United States. It opened in New York City in 1982.[16] Since then, over 100 Jain centers and temples have opened in America.[17] Most Jain centers are complexes that include a main temple housing Digambara and Śvētāmbara images, libraries, meeting rooms, guest rooms, and so forth.

Arizona edit

California edit

Colorado edit

  • Jain Samaj of Colorado,[22] Denver

Connecticut edit

  • Jain Center of Connecticut[23]

Florida edit

  • Jain Vishwa Bharati of USA, Orlando, Florida [24]
  • Jain Society Inc. of Tampa Bay[25]
  • Jain Society of Central Florida, Inc.[26]
  • Jain Center of South Florida[27]
  • Jain Association of North East Florida[28]

Georgia edit

  • Augusta Jain Community[29]
  • Jain Society of Greater Atlanta[30]

Illinois edit

  • Jain Society of Metro Chicago[31]

Indiana edit

  • Jain Center of Central Indiana[32]

Kansas edit

  • Kansas City Jain Sangh[33]

Kentucky edit

  • Jain Temple of Louisville[34]

Louisiana edit

  • Jain Center of Northwest Louisiana[35]

Maryland edit

  • Jain Society of Metro Washington[36]

Massachusetts edit

  • Jain Sangh of New England,[37] Burlington, Massachusetts
  • Jain Center of Greater Boston,[38] Norwood, Massachusetts

Michigan edit

  • Jain Society of Greater Detroit, Inc.[39]
  • Jain Society of Greater Lansing[40]

Minnesota edit

  • Jain Center of Minnesota[41]

Missouri edit

  • Jain Center of Greater St. Louis[42]

Nevada edit

  • Jain Center of Las Vegas[43]

New Jersey edit

  • Jain Center of New Jersey[44]
  • Jain Sangh of Atlantic City - NJ[45]
  • The Jain Sangh Inc. NJ (Cherry Hill Jain Sangh)[46]
  • Jain Vishwa Bharti,[47] Iselin, New Jersey
  • Siddhachalam, New Jersey

New York edit

Das Lakshana (Paryushana) celebrations at the Jain Center of America, Queens, New York City, the oldest Jain temple in the Western hemisphere[48]

North Carolina edit

  • Jain Center of Greater Charlotte[54]
  • Jain Study Center of N. Carolina[55]

Ohio edit

Oklahoma edit

  • Tulsa Jain Sangh[60]

Pennsylvania edit

  • Jain Center of Allentown[61]
  • Jain Samaj of South Central PA[62]
  • Jain Society of Pittsburgh[63]
  • Samarpan Jain Sangh Philadelphia[64]

Tennessee edit

  • Jain Society of Middle Tennessee[65]

Texas edit

Virginia edit

  • Jain Society of Central Virginia - Richmond[69]
  • Jain Temple of Virginia[70]

Washington edit

  • Jain Society of Seattle[71]
  • Jain Center of Washington[72]

Wisconsin edit

  • Jain Religion Center of Wisconsin[73]

Gallery edit

Notable Jain Americans edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Lee, Jonathan H. X. (21 December 2010), Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife, ABC-CLIO, pp. 487–488, ISBN 978-0-313-35066-5
  2. ^ a b Wiley, Kristi L. (2004), Historical dictionary of Jainism, Scarecrow Press, p. 19, ISBN 978-0-8108-5051-4
  3. ^ Jain, Pankaz; Pankaz Hingarh; Dr. Bipin Doshi, Priti Shah. "Virchand Gandhi, A Gandhi Before Gandhi". A german e-magazine. herenow4u.
  4. ^ Watts, Tim J. "Religion, Indian American". In Huping Ling; Allan W. Austin (17 March 2015). Asian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 353. ISBN 978-1-317-47645-0.
  5. ^ a b "Jain Immigration".
  6. ^ Samyak (1993). India Beyond Today & Tomorrow: Dialogues on the Future of India and Search for Alternatives. Allied Publishers. ISBN 978-81-7023-152-3.
  7. ^ a b c Queen, Edward L.; Prothero, Stephen R.; Shattuck, Gardiner H. (2009), Encyclopedia of American religious history, Infobase Publishing, p. 531, ISBN 978-0-8160-6660-5
  8. ^ "Pathshala: The Next Generation".
  9. ^ "Pujya Sadhviji gives Keynote at Closing of the Jaina Convention | Parmarth Niketan".
  10. ^ "Unity: The American Context". pluralism.org.
  11. ^ "About JAINA". Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  12. ^ "Siddhachalam". www.siddhachalam.org.
  13. ^ "About Siddhachalam". Siddhachalam. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Jain Symbols". p. 29. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  15. ^ "US' Rice University to offer post-doctoral fellowship in Jain studies", The Economic Times, 25 January 2016
  16. ^ "Jain Center of America - JCA New York History".
  17. ^ "Building Temples and Networks". pluralism.org.
  18. ^ "JCNC – Jain Center of Northern California". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  19. ^ "Jain Center Of Southern California". jaincenter.org.
  20. ^ "Jain Society of San Diego". Jain Society of San Diego.
  21. ^ "JTLA - Jain Temple of Los Angeles". www.jaintempleofla.org.
  22. ^ JSOC Committee (29 January 2023). "JSOC – Jain Samaj Of Colorado". Jainsamajofcolorado.org. Retrieved 9 February 2023.
  23. ^ "Jain Center of Connecticut". www.jaincenterofconnecticut.org.
  24. ^ "JVB Orlando | Jain Vishwa Bharati Orlando, Florida".
  25. ^ "Tampa Jain Temple". Jain Society Of Tampa Bay: Tampa Jain Temple.
  26. ^ "Home | Jain Society of Central Florida". Jsocf.org. Retrieved 9 February 2023.
  27. ^ "Jain Center of South Florida USA, Jain Mandir United States of America, Bhagwan Mahavir Idols, Donate". www.jaincentersfl.org.
  28. ^ Jain Association of North East Florida
  29. ^ "Hindu Temple Society of Augusta". Hindu Temple Society of Augusta.
  30. ^ "Home - JSGA - Liferay". JSGA.
  31. ^ "Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago | JSMC - index". www.jsmconline.org.
  32. ^ "Hindu Temple of Central Indiana". www.htci.org.
  33. ^ "Hindu Temple & Cultural Center of Kansas City". www.htccofkc.org.
  34. ^ "Jain Temple of Louisville". www.louisvillejains.org. Retrieved 30 January 2024.
  35. ^ "Jain Centers in North America - JAINA-JainLink".
  36. ^ "JSMW – Live and Let Live". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  37. ^ "Jain Sangh of New England | Jain Derasar (Temple) Boston". JSNE.
  38. ^ "Home". jcgb.org.
  39. ^ "Welcome to Jain Society of Greater Detroit [JSGD.org]". www.jsgd.org.
  40. ^ "Bharatiya Temple of Lansing".
  41. ^ "Jain Center of Minnesota". Jain Center of Minnesota.
  42. ^ "Be back soon!". Jcstl.org. Retrieved 9 February 2023.
  43. ^ "Home Page - Hindu and Jain Temple of Las Vegas". www.hindutemplelv.org.
  44. ^ "JCNJ - Home". jaincenternj.org. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  45. ^ "LINK KESAYANGAN SEVEN4D PALING DEPAN DIHATI". 18 November 2023. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  46. ^ "The Jain Sangh". The Jain Sangh.
  47. ^ "Jain Vishwa Bharati of North America | JVBNA – Center for Peace and Meditation". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  48. ^ "The Oldest Temple in the Hemisphere? It's In Queens!". Queens Gazette. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  49. ^ "Hindu Cultural Society of Western New York | HCS WNY". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  50. ^ "hindusamajtemple.com |". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  51. ^ "Our Deities | Hindu Temple and Cultural Center".
  52. ^ "Jain Samaj of Long Island – Not for Profit organization registered under IRS section 501C". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  53. ^ "Jain Temple of New York – 271-09 80th Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040 | (718) 470-0000 | info@jaintempleny.org". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  54. ^ "Jain Center of Greater Charlotte". www.jaincenterus.org.
  55. ^ Jain Study Center of N. Carolina
  56. ^ "JCOCO | Jain Center Of Central Ohio". jaincentercolumbus.org.
  57. ^ "Jain Center of Cincinnati Dayton". www.jccinday.com.
  58. ^ "Jain Society Of Greater Cleveland – JSGC". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  59. ^ "Hindu Temple of Toledo". hindutempleoftoledo.org.
  60. ^ "Tulsajainsangh.org". Tulsajainsangh.org.
  61. ^ "HTS". www.hindutemple-lehighvalley.org.
  62. ^ "Hindu American Religious Institute". www.haritemple.org.
  63. ^ "Hindu Jain Temple - Home". Hindu Jain Temple.
  64. ^ "Samarpan Hindu Temple". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  65. ^ "TN - Jain Society of Middle Tennessee - JAINA-JainLink".
  66. ^ "Jain Center of Houston". JSH.
  67. ^ "JSNT". www.dfwjains.org.
  68. ^ "Home". austinjainsangh.org.
  69. ^ "Jain Society of Central Virginia – Jain Society of Central Virginia". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  70. ^ "Home". Jain Temple.
  71. ^ "Jain Society Of Seattle – Samyak‑Darshan‑Gyan‑Charitrani Mokshamargah". Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  72. ^ "Jain | Seattle | Jain Center of Washington State - JCOWS". pjcows.
  73. ^ "Jain Temple of Wisconsin". Jain Temple of Wisconsin.

Further reading edit

  • Jainism in America Bhuvanendra Kumar. Benaras, Jain Humanities Press, 1996
  • The Western Order of Jainism by Nathubhai Shah of London (Jain Journal Vol XXX1, No 1 July 1996)
  • Jains and Their Religion in America: A Social Survey by Dr. Bhuvannendra Kumar (Jain Journal Vol XXX1, No 1 July 1996)
  • JAIN eLibrary attempts to provide an increasingly complete digitized collection of Jain Scriptures, dictionaries, encyclopedias, articles, commentaries, photographs, and other materials related to Jain life.

External links edit