Jain Center of South Florida
1960 N. Commerce Parkway #11
Weston, FL 33326
The worship usually occurs every day any time at the temple.
I visited the temple on Sunday from 8am to 2 pm.
According to historians, Jainism is a religion that aroused between 6th and 9th century. However, the people who believe in this religion teach that the religion has been there long before and it will ever exist. It is believed that Jainism is a religion that emerged from the Indian society and then was adopted by some other people. The major believes of the religion is that all people should live in peace. This is why the religious leaders of this religion usually teach the importance of living together as a society to the people they lead. The region also believes in individual efforts towards avoiding the evil acts. This means that individuals are required to make efforts so that they can become good followers of the religion. In addition, people are required to cleanse their souls so that they can become supreme beings that are special.
Jain religion does not believe in creation. According to the religion, the world was not created and all what is in the earth is usually regulated by the forces of nature. They people also believe in different forms of live such as live after death. However, the religion teaches that are various God that have supernatural powers. However, they do not believe in one supernatural creature and therefore there is emphasis that no one should depend on such a supernatural being. Generally, the people who believe in this religion are polytheists in that they believe in many gods. However, these people believe that the gods are living beings like others and therefore feel pain and at the end of their lives, they die. This is as opposed to other religion whereby, there is believe that gods do not die.
Jainism is a religion that originated from India. It is however important to note that United States is made up of people from different races. Some people moved to United States for various reasons and this is how the religion moved to southern Florida. The people who believe in the religion are only few. However, they cater for the needs of the Indian society living in the southern Florida. Some other people have resolved to join the religion due to its teachings. The beliefs of the religion are attractive to many and this is why some people have decided to follow the religion. Specifically, the religion believes in self development and this is why this part of the society has many learned individuals. They usually facilitate education though provision of scholarship opportunities. They also promote peace and therefore many people like this. They believe that no one should harm anything since any living thing feels pain. Their non violence believes is important in promoting peace in Sothern Florida.
Art is an important part of the Jain religion. There are many carvings made from the stones and wood mainly meant to demonstrate the culture and traditions of the religion. In most cases, the carvings involve the shapes of human beings. In addition, there are many sculptures that are made to represent the various gods that the people believe in. these sculptures are mostly found in their places of worship. However, some of them can be found in the national museums.
When one enters a Jain temple, there are various symbols that can be seen here. Water bowls, two curved fish, water flasks and a vase of jewels. All these symbols represent the offerings that the people are required to bring as offerings to the gods. These symbols were designed after people learnt art work. It represents the culture of the religion and therefore individuals who do not believe in the religion can learn a lot from the symbols about the religion. The sculpture in the temples usually represents various things. Some represents the throne, wisdom, peace and wealth. Symbolism is a special feature in the religion and therefore various art works are used to represent various believes of the religion.
The religion specifies clearly the types of clothes that should be worn by the followers of the religion. There is emphasis that people should wear simple clothes and not any modern clothes. In some instances, people are required to go to the places of worship when naked. Some of the religious leaders usually go to the temple with no clothes. The reason for this is that they do not believe in any bodily contact. However, other religion in the United States has influenced the dressing code of the religion. The monks and nuns are allowed to wear some special dresses that are usually white. This is commonly found in the catholic religion.
The people who follow the religion are required to follow certain rituals. The nuns and monks have to specifically observe certain rituals. When I visited the place of worship, I found out that the nuns are usually required to wear shoes. They have no homes and instead are supposed to be at the temple. They also beg for food and make sure that they cook it themselves. They also wear white clothes that are simple. Another thing is that the worshippers in this religion make many vows when in the temple. Usually, they pray to their gods and offer sacrifices in form of items such as jewels. The people also have various methods of worship. They gaze at the images of their gods, anoint them and chant words that are sometimes not understood by other people. The worshippers are not allowed to eat after the dark has appeared.
Another important culture of the religion is that they are vegetarians. This is because of the fact that they believe that nothing should be killed and therefore eating meat is not allowed in the religion.
Paryushana is the most important festival that is observed by the Jain believers. This is the festival that the people give thanks for the rain. The festival usually takes place between august and September. Another festival is the fasting. Here, there are limitation on eating and drinking of water. This festival is meant to make the believers grow spiritually and also help them avoid the desires of the world. Denali is another festival that is usually celebrated when the new moon appears. This could be early November or late October. Mahavir Jayanti is a festival that is celebrated to mark the birth of Mahavir who is one of the gods of the Jain believers. There are many festivals observed by the Jain believers and each festival has its importance and people take it seriously.
I learnt a lot of things from what I saw and taught when I visited the region. In the first place, I realized the important of having peace in the society. If one should not kill even animals, then why should he/she do the same for a human being? If this believe is adopted, peace would be a normal thing in the society. However, I was not comfortable in the temple. I did not follow the rituals they practiced and I did not feel like I was worshiping. This is because the rituals I saw were very different from ours. Worshiping idols is unacceptable in our religion and this is what made me very uncomfortable in the place.