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Sammed Shikharji Jain Temple Controversy, History and Importance

Sammed Shikharji Jain Temple

A sizable nationwide demonstration by members of the Jain community was conducted in opposition to the Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand government’s proposal to designate Sammed Shikharji as a tourism destination. For Jains, Sammed Shikharji in Jharkhand’s Parasnath Hills is a revered destination for pilgrimage. India Gate in Delhi, which attracts tourists on January 1, witnessed a significant Jain community protest.

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Let us have a look at the Controversy, History and Importance of Sammed Shikharji Jain Temple:

Sammed Shikharji Jain Temple Controversy

  • After the Jharkhand government announced Sammed Shikharji as a tourist destination, the controversy around the shrine has been escalating for weeks.
  • Madhya Pradesh’s Jain community protested the choice earlier by taking to the streets.
  • Former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath wrote to PM Modi and chief minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren pleading with him to change his mind.
  • Twenty of the 24 Tirthankars (spiritual leaders of the Jain religion) are thought to have found salvation at Sammed Shikharji.
  • In a statement opposing the state government’s choice, the Vishva Hindu Parishad stated that the VHP is committed to preserving the reverence of all Indian holy sites.

The VHP stated in its statement that the area should be designated a holy area and that there shouldn’t be any meat- and drug-related tourism activities. According to reports, a Jain temple in Gujarat was vandalised on December 16, 2022. The nation-wide demonstration on Sunday also opposed that vandalism. Asaduddin Owaisi, the leader of AIMIM, endorsed the demonstration and demanded that the Jharkhand government reverse its decision.

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Sammed Shikharji Jain Temple History

Shikharji, often spelled Sammed or Sammet Shikharji, is a holy place in the Indian state of Jharkhand’s Giridih district. The highest mountain in the state of Jharkhand, Parasnath Hill, is where it is situated. Both Digambara and Svetambara consider it to be the most significant Jain Tirtha (pilgrimage destination), as it is the location where twenty of the twenty-four Jain tirthankaras, together with numerous other monks, obtained Moksha.

The Jnatrdharmakatha, one of the twelve fundamental texts of Jainism, has the first mention of Shikharji as a tirth (place of pilgrimage). The Parsvanathacarita, a biography of Prva written in the eleventh century, also makes mention of Shikharji. An illustration of Parshavanatha’s nirvana at Shikharji can be seen in a palm-leaf manuscript of the Kalpa Stra and Kalakacaryakatha from the thirteenth century CE.

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Sammed Shikharji Jain Temple Importance

  • Both Digambara and Svetambara regard Shikharji as the most significant pilgrimage site, and both groups share control of the principal temples.
  • In 1768 CE, Jagat Seth rebuilt the temples at Shikharji to their present configuration.
  • The idol itself is old, though. The 1678 CE date is written in Sanskrit at the bottom of the image.
  • One of the shrines is older than the 14th century.
  • A number of vtmbara temples were built in the 20th century.
  • Pigrims serve fruits, flowers, rice, sandals, dhupa, sandals, and diya.
  • There is a Bhomiyaji temple at the foot of Shikharji (Taleti).
  • There is a mural painting of every temple on Parasnath Hill on the walls of the Jain temple in the village of Madhuban.
  • The earliest temple to hold a Bhaktamara Stotra yantra is the Svetambara Bhaktamara temple, founded by Acharya Ramchandrasuri.

At the base of the hill is a sizable Digambar Jain temple that features a statue of Nandishwar Dweep. A Calcutta trader constructed the Nichli temple, which is notable for its architecture. Arched entrances and Tirthankara carvings may be seen throughout the temple.

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