Brill's Encyclopedia of Jainism Online

Get access Subject: Asian Studies

Edited by: John E. Cort, Denison University, Paul Dundas, University of Edinburgh, Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen, Kristi L. Wiley, University of California, Berkeley

Brill’s Encyclopedia of Jainism Online makes available up-to-date research on main aspects of the Jain traditions in original essays written by some of the world’s foremost scholars on Jainism. The encyclopedia is thematic and seeks to present a balanced and impartial view of Jainism with a focus on both historical and contemporary traditions and institutions. The articles address topics such as the human condition, pantheons, historical perspectives, regional cultures, renunciation, lay society, ritual, devotion, visual and material culture, time and space, literature, and philosophy and logic.

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Dāna

(3,852 words)

Author(s): Babb, Lawrence A.
The term dāna carries wide significance in South Asian cultures and religions. It refers generally to a charitable gift, offering, or alms. Any charitable donation can be considered a dāna, as can a grant or endowment, particularly to a charity or religious institution. In the specifically ritual domain, it commonly denotes gifting to venerated religious figures, human or divine, but this is only a part of a picture that also includes ritualized gifting in certain intercaste contexts and between affines. In the Hindu and Jain cultural milieu, a bride is understood to be a kanyādāna, a “g…
Date: 2019-04-15