The jains in Rececnt centuries,has been divided into 2 major subsect.
1. Digambara Jain
2. Swetambara Jain
Digambar Sect
The Digambara sect, in recent centuries, has been divided into the following major sub-sects:
1. Bisapantha,
2. Terapantha,
3. Taranapantha or Samaiyapantha and
• Bisapantha: The followers of Bisapantha support the Dharma-gurus, that is, religious authorities known as Bhattarakas who are also the heads of Jain Mathas, that is. religious monasteries. The Bisapanthas, in their temples, worship the idols of Tirthankaras and also the idols of Kshetrapal, Padmavati and other deities. They worship these idols with saffron, flowers, fruits, sweets, scented ‘agara-battis’, i.e., incense sticks, etc. While performing these worships. the Bisapanthis sit on the ground and do not stand. They perform Arati, i.e., waving of lights over the idol, in the temple even at night and distribute prasad, i.e., sweet things offered to the idols. The Bisapantha, according to some, is the original form of the Digambara sect and today practically all Digambar Jains from Maharashtra, Karnataka and South India and a large number of Digambara Jains from Rajasthan and Gujarat are the followers of Bisapanth.
• Terapantha: In their temples, the Terapanthis install the idols of Tirthankaras and not of Ksetrapala, Padmavati and other deities. They worship the idols with sacred rice called 'Aksata', cloves, sandal, almonds, dry coconuts, dates, etc. While worshipping, they stand and do not sit.
Note: Even though the name Terapantha sub-sect appears both among the Digambara and the Svetambara sects. Still the two Terapanthis are entirely different from each other. While the Digambara Terapanthis believe in nudity and idol-worship, the Svetambara Terapanthis are quite opposed to both.
• Taranapantha: The sub-sect Taranapanth is known after its founder Taran Swami(1448-1515 A.D.). This sub-sect is also called Samaiyapanth because its followers worship Sarnaya, i.e., sacred books and not the idols. Taran-Swami died at Malharagarh, in former Gwalior State in Madhya Pradesh, and this is the central place of pilgrimage of Taranapanthis.Taranapanthis do not believe in idol worship or outward religious practices. Taranapanthis emphasize spiritual values and learning through sacred literature. Malharagarh, in former Gwalior State in Madhya Pradesh, is the central place of pilgrimage of Taranapanthis.
• Kanjipantha: Kanji Swami (Gujarati:કાનજીસ્વામી, Hindi:कानजीस्वामी)[1] was a Jain scholar, philosopher and spiritual leader.He was the founder of the Kanji Panth within the Digambar Jain tradition.He influenced the practice of swadhyaya (study of texts) among the Jain laity.
Swetambar Sect
The Swetambara sect has also been split into three major sub-sects:
1. Murtipujaka,
2.Sthanakvasi, and
• Murtipujaka: This sect worships idols through symbolic offerings and adornment. The monks cover their mouths with strips of cloth (muppati) while speaking and collect food from laymen’s houses. They eat and stay in temples or special buildings known as upasrayas.
• Sthanakvasi: The main principle of this sect was not to practice idol-worship. Sthanakvasi do not have their religious activities in temples, but carry on their religious duties in places known as Sthanakas which are like prayer-halls. Further, the ascetics always cover their mouths, not just while speaking, and only use white muppatis.
• Terapanthi: This sect concentrates on 13 religious principles: (i) five Mahavratas (great vows), (ii) five samitis (regulations) and (iii) three Guptis(controls or restraints). The Terapanthis do not worship idols and emphasize meditation instead. All monks and nuns follow the instructions of their Acharya (religious head) and preach under his guidance.
Difference Between Digambara Sect And Swetambar Sect
The total number of points by which the Digambaras differ from the Svetambaras are eighteen. These are listed below:
The Digambaras do not accept the following Shvetambara beliefs:
A kevali needs food;
A kevali needs to evacuate (nihara);
The women can get salvation. (In order to get salvation a woman has according to the Digambaras to be born again as a man).
The Shudras can get salvation;
A person can get salvation without forsaking clothes;
A house holder can get salvation;
The worship of images having clothes and ornaments is permitted;
The monks are allowed to possess fourteen (specified ) things;
The Tirthankara Mali was a woman;
The eleven of the 12 original Angas (Canonical works) still exist;
Bharat Chakravarti attained kevali hood while living in his palace;
A monk may accept food from a Shudra;
The Mahavira’s embryo was transferred from one womb to another; and Mahavira’s mother had fourteen auspicious dreams before he was born. The Digambaras believe that she had actually 16 such dreams;
Mahavira had a sickness due to the tejolesya of Goshala.
Mahavira had married and had a daughter.
A cloth offered by the Gods (devadusya) fell on the shoulders of a Tirthankara.
Marudevi went for her salvation riding an elephant;
A monk may accept alms from many houses.