Audio Glossary: J

An Indian religious tradition , roughly contemporary with Buddhism, the core concept focuses on the effort to free the soul from its entrapment in matter. The Jains are strict vegetarians; connected with this is the practice of ahimsa (see above), which is one of their cardinal doctrines.
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Jalaram Bapa (1799-1881)
A Gujerati merchant, an exemplary holy man much revered by many Hindus, who is held to have been visited by Lord Rama.
A Hindu festival celebrating the birthday of Lord Krishna.
Janam sakhi
Literally 'birth narrative'; in Sikhism, stories of the life of Guru Nanak.
The vocationally based groups in Indian society often referred to as 'castes': Hindus were traditionally expected to marry within their jati. 'Varna' is the term used of the four main groupings of castes; jati is applied to sub-castes confined to special professions, such as metalworker, potter, tailor, etc...
Jataka Tales
Stories of the previous lives of the Buddha.
In Sikhism, the appointed leader of one of the five takhts (Gurdwaras designated as centres of authority).
Jehovah's Witness
Millenarian movement founded by Charles Russell. Witnesses interpret the Bible literally, live plainly and actively propagate their faith, publishing the Watchtower magazine.
Itinerant Jewish teacher and healer of the first century CE. Believed by his followers to be the Messiah, or Christ ('Anointed One'). In Christian theology he is seen as Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son; to Muslims, known as Isa, he is a major prophet of Islam.
Jewish Chronicle
A British Jewish newspaper, the oldest Jewish newspaper in the world still publishing.
The word primarily refers to the requirement for an individual Muslim to constantly strive for spiritual and moral betterment. The word can be used of the so-called 'holy war' to extend the domain of Islam or to defend Muslim rights in a non-Muslim state.
Biblical figure, son of Saul and friend to David.
A monotheistic religion the adherents of which, Jews, believe to have began when God instituted the covenant of circumcision with Abraham from whom they understand themselves to be decended. The holy book is known as the Tenakh although a collection of writings called the Talmud is also very important.
Jum'ah prayers
('day of assembly') In Islam the mid-day prayers on Friday when men are required to attend the mosque and where a sermon follows the prayers.