The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolizes Ahimsa in Jainism. The wheel represents the dharmachakra, which stands for the resolve to halt the saṃsāra ('transmigration') through relentless pursuit of truth and non-violence.
Parasparopagraho Jivanam ("the function of souls is to help one another") is the motto of Jainism.
Namokar Mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism.
Followers of Jainism are called "Jains", a word derived from the Sanskrit word jina (victor) and connoting the path of victory in crossing over life's stream of rebirths through an ethical and spiritual life.
Jains trace their history through a succession of twenty-four victorious saviors and teachers known as Tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha, who is believed to have lived millions of years ago, and twenty-fourth being the Mahavira around 500 BCE.
In contemporary times, according to Paul Dundas, the anekantavada doctrine has been interpreted by many Jains as intending to "promote a universal religious tolerance", and a teaching of "plurality" and "benign attitude to other [ethical, religious] positions".
This is problematic and a misreading of Jain historical texts and Mahavira's teachings, states Dundas.
Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the Tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology.
The main religious premises of Jainism are ahimsa ("non-violence"), anekantavada ("many-sidedness"), aparigraha ("non-attachment") and asceticism.
Followers of Jainism take five main vows: ahimsa ("non-violence"), satya ("truth"), asteya ("not stealing"), brahmacharya ("celibacy or chastity"), and aparigraha ("non-attachment").