YJA Pathshala is an online self-paced course for learning more about Jainism. Intended for youth ages 16-29 who cannot regularly access a traditional pathshala, these materials will provide a basic foundational understanding of Jain principles and practice. Extensive prior knowledge of Jainism is not required.

To access each month’s content, scroll down and click on the name of the corresponding month which contains a detailed guide to approaching each month’s material. To receive regular Pathshala emails, sign up through the form on the right!

Why Pathshala? Understanding of the meaning behind prayers, rituals and practice will make visits to temple more fulfilling and Jain practice more relevant to your day to day choices and actions. We hope that participants can take what they learn through the Pathshala and apply it to consider their own actions through the lenses of Jain principles such as non-violence, compassion and honesty.

With #yjalove,

Anjali Doshi
Director of Education, 2016-2017

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Course Content

The theme for this month is Jiv in Jainism. Ranging from the smallest one sensed being to Tirthankars, this month we’re covering all sorts of living beings. Along the way, we’ll discuss how spiritual progression occurs according to Jainism, and the supreme beings called the Panch Parmeshthi. Whether you just want to refresh these concepts, or they are completely new to you, we hope reviewing this month’s content will help you gain a deeper understanding of Jainism!

The theme for this month is Jain Cosmology. This month’s material will expand your point of view of Jainism, from a narrow focus on individual actions to an awareness of the infinite cosmos itself, by discussing the 6 fundamental substances that make up the universe, the Jain Universe, and the Jain Time Cycle. Whether you just want to refresh these theories, or they are completely new to you, we hope reviewing this month’s content will help you gain a deeper understanding of Jainism!

The theme for this month is Karma Theory. This month’s material will shed light on a fundamental part of Jain philosophy, by explaining what karma is, the way it is acquired, and the results of karma, as well as its implications for leading a Jain lifestyle. Whether you know all of this theory or it is completely new to you, we hope reviewing this month’s content will help you reflect on ways you could be doing more punya and less paap in your life!

The theme for this month is Temple & Rituals. This month's material will allow you to dive into the intersection between Jain philosophy and practice, by explaining the reasons for going to temple, the meaning of rituals like puja and sathiyo, and the significance of Samayik and Pratikraman. Whether you know all about these rituals or they are new to you, we hope reviewing our Pathshala content will make your next trip to the temple more meaningful!

The theme for this month is Jainism 101 and basic Jain principles. This month's material will get you oriented by giving you a high-level overview of Jainism and its most fundamental tenets, including the 3 A's, 5 major principles, and fundamental concepts like karma and moksha. Whether you have encountered these principles many times before and are just refreshing your memory or they are entirely new to you, don't forget to take time to think about how you can apply them!

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students should:

  • Be familiar with basic Jain philosophy (as given by the monthly topics on the syllabus)
  • Understand the meaning and practice of basic daily/yearly Jain rituals and practice
  • Be aware of what resources they can access for more information about Jainism
  • Be able to discuss the application of Jain principles to daily life

Content Curators

    YJA Executive Board

  • Anjali Doshi | Director of Education
  • Chintav Shah | Director of Project Development
  • Education Subcommittee

  • Aditi Jain (Coppell, TX)
  • Ayush Jain (Woodstock, MD)
  • Kanvi Shah (Herndon, VA)
  • Manvi Shah (New Hyde Park, NY)
  • Niket Jain (Neshanic Station, NJ)
  • Rachna Shah (South Barrington, IL)
  • Shreyal Gandhi (Ashburn, VA)

Content Editors

  • Avish Jain | Co-Chair
  • Hetali Lodaya | Co-Chair
  • Megha Vipani | Director of Public Relations