Parshvanatha known as Parshva and Paras, was the 23rd of 24 tirthankaras of Jainism. He is the earliest tirthankara, acknowledged as a historical figure. Parshvanatha's biography is uncertain, with Jain sources placing him between the 9th and 8th centuries BC and historians saying that he lived in the 8th or 7th century BC. Parshvanatha was born 350 years before Mahavira. With Mahavira and Neminatha, Parshvanatha is one of the four tirthankaras most worshiped by Jains, he is popularly seen as a ford-maker, who can save. Parshvanatha died on Mount Sammeta in an important Jain pilgrimage site, his iconography is notable for the serpent hood over his head, his worship includes Dharanendra and Padmavati. According to Jain texts, Parshvanatha was born in India. Renouncing worldly life, he founded an ascetic community. Texts of the two major Jain sects differ on the teachings of Parshvanatha and Mahavira, this is a foundation of the dispute between the two sects; the Digambaras believe that there was no difference between the teachings of Parshvanatha and Mahavira.
According to the Śvētāmbaras, Mahavira expanded Parshvanatha's first four restraints with his ideas on ahimsa and added the fifth monastic vow. Parshvanatha did not require celibacy, allowed monks to wear simple outer garments. Digambaras disagree with Śvētāmbara interpretations. Śvētāmbara texts, such as section 2.15 of the Acharanga Sutra, say that Mahavira's parents were followers of Parshvanatha. Parshvanatha is the earliest Jain tirthankara, acknowledged as a historical figure. According to Paul Dundas, Jain texts such as section 31 of Isibhasiyam provide circumstantial evidence that he lived in ancient India. Historians such as Hermann Jacobi have accepted him as a historical figure because his Chaturyama Dharma is mentioned in Buddhist texts. Despite the accepted historicity, some historical claims have led to different scholarly conclusions, he is claimed in Jain texts to have been 13.5 feet tall. Parshvanatha's biography is legendary, with Jain texts saying that he preceded Mahavira by about 250 years and that he lived 78 years.
Mahavira is dated to c. 599 – c. 527 BC in the Jain tradition, Parshvanatha is dated to c. 850 – c. 772 BC. According to Dundas, historians outside the Jain tradition date Mahavira as contemporaneous with the Buddha in the 5th century BC and, based on the 250-year gap, date Parshvanatha to the 8th or 7th century BC. Doubts about Parshvanatha's historicity are supported by the oldest Jain texts, which present Mahavira with sporadic mentions of ancient ascetics and teachers without specific names; the earliest layer of Jain literature on cosmology and universal history pivots around two jinas: the Adinatha and Mahavira. Stories of Parshvanatha and Neminatha appear in Jain texts, with the Kalpa Sūtra the first known text. However, these texts present the tirthankaras with non-human physical dimensions, their bodies are celestial, like deva. The Kalpa Sūtra is the most ancient known Jain text with the 24 tirthankaras, but it lists 20. Early archaeological finds, such as the statues and reliefs near Mathura, lack iconography such as lions or serpents.
Parshvanatha was the 23rd of 24 tirthankaras in Jain tradition. He was born on the tenth day of the dark half of the Hindu month of Pausha to King Ashwasena and Queen Vamadevi of Benares. Parshvanatha belonged to the Ikshvaku dynasty. Before his birth, Jain texts state that he ruled as the god Indra in the 13th heaven of Jain cosmology. While Parshvanatha was in his mother's womb, gods performed the garbha-kalyana, his mother dreamt fourteen auspicious dreams, an indicator in Jain tradition that a tirthankara was about to be born. According to the Jain texts, the thrones of the Indras shook when he was born and the Indras came down to earth to celebrate his janma-kalyanaka. Parshvanatha was born with blue-black skin. A strong, handsome boy, he played with the gods of water and trees. At age eight, Parshvanatha began practicing the twelve basic duties of the adult Jain householder, he lived as a soldier in Benaras. According to the Digambara school, Parshvanatha never married. Heinrich Zimmer translated a Jain text that sixteen-year-old Parshvanatha refused to marry when his father told him to do so.
At age 30, on the 11th day of the moon's waxing in the month of Pausha, Parshvanatha renounced the world to become a monk. He removed his clothes and hair, began fasting strictly. Parshvanatha meditated for 84 days before he attained omniscience under a dhaataki tree near Benares, his meditation period included strict vows. Parshvanatha's practices included careful movement, measured speech, guarded desires, mental restraint and physical activity, essential in Jain tradition to renounce the eg
Ethics of Jainism
Jain ethical code prescribes two dharmas or rules of conduct. One for those who wish to become ascetic and another for the śrāvaka. Five fundamental vows are prescribed for both votaries; these vows are observed by śrāvakas and are termed as anuvratas. Ascetics observe these fives vows more and therefore observe complete abstinence; these five vows are: Ahiṃsā Satya Asteya Brahmacharya Aparigraha According to Jain text, Puruşārthasiddhyupāya:All these subdivisions are hiṃsā as indulgence in these sullies the pure nature of the soul. Falsehood etc. have been mentioned separately only to make the disciple understand through illustrations. Apart from five main vows, a householder is expected to observe seven supplementary vows and last sallekhanā vow. Mahavrata are the five fundamental observed by the Jain ascetics. According to Acharya Samantabhadra’s Ratnakaraņdaka śrāvakācāra:Abstaining from the commitment of five kinds of sins by way of doing these by oneself, causing these to be done, approval when done by others, through the three kinds of activity, constitutes the great vows of celebrated ascetics.
Ahimsa is formalised into Jain doctrine as the foremost vow. According to the Jain text, Tattvarthsutra: "The severance of vitalities out of passion is injury." Satya is the vow to not lie, to speak the truth. A monk or nun must not speak the false, either be silent or speak the truth. According to Pravin Shah, the great vow of satya applies to "speech and deed", it means discouraging and disapproving others who perpetuate a falsehood; the underlying cause of falsehood is passion and therefore, it is said to cause hiṃsā. Asteya as a great vow means not take anything, not given and without permission, it applies to anything if unattended or unclaimed, whether it is of worth or worthless thing. This vow of non-stealing applies to action and thought. Further a mendicant, states Shah, must neither encourage others to do so nor approve of such activities. According to the Jain text, Puruṣārthasiddhyupāya:Driven by passions, taking anything that has not been given be termed as theft and since theft causes injury, it is hiṃsā According to Tattvarthasutra, five observances that strengthen this vow are: Residence in a solitary place Residence in a deserted habitation Causing no hindrance to others, Acceptance of clean food, Not quarreling with brother monks.
Brahmacharya as a great vow of Jain mendicants means celibacy and avoiding any form of sexual activity with body, words or mind. A monk or nun should not enjoy sensual pleasures, which includes all the five senses, nor ask others to do the same, nor approve of another monk or nun engaging in sexual or sensual activity. According to Tattvarthsutra, "Infatuation is attachment to possessions". Jain texts mentions that "attachment to possessions is of two kinds: attachment to internal possessions, attachment to external possessions; the fourteen internal possessions are: Wrong belief The three sex-passions Male sex-passion Female sex-passion Neuter sex-passion Six defects Laughter Liking Disliking Sorrow Fear Disgust Four passions Anger Pride Deceitfulness GreedExternal possessions are divided into two subclasses, the non-living, the living. According to Jain texts, both internal and external possessions are proved to be hiṃsā; the five great vows apply only to ascetics in Jainism, in their place are five minor vows for householders.
The historic texts of Jains accept that any activity by a layperson would involve some form of himsa to some living beings, therefore the minor vow emphasizes reduction of the impact and active efforts to protect. The five "minor vows" in Jainism are modeled after the great vows, but differ in degree and they are less demanding or restrictive than the same "great vows" for ascetics. Thus, brahmacharya for householders means chastity, or being sexually faithful to one's partner. States John Cort, a mendicant's great vow of ahimsa requires that he or she must avoid gross and subtle forms of violence to all six kinds of living beings. In contrast, a Jain householder's minor vow requires no gross violence against higher life forms and an effort to protect animals from "slaughter, beating and suffering". Apart from five fundamental vows seven supplementary vows are prescribed for a śrāvaka; these include four śikşā vratas. The vow of sallekhanâ is observed by the votary at the end of his life, it is prescribed both for the householders.
According to the Jain text, Puruşārthasiddhyupāya:The man who incessantly observes all the supplementary vows and sallekhanâ for the sake of safeguarding his vows, gets fervently garlanded by the maiden called'liberation'. Digvrata- restriction on movement with regard to directions. Bhogopabhogaparimana- vow of limiting consumable and non-consumable things Anartha-dandaviramana- refraining from harmful occupations and activities. Samayika- vow to meditate and concentrate periodically. Desavrata- limiting movement to certain places for a fixed period of time. Prosadhopavâsa- Fasting at regular intervals. Atihti samvibhag- Vow of offering food to the ascetic and needy people. An ascetic or householder who has observed all
The Palitana temples of Jainism are located on Shatrunjaya hill by the city of Palitana in Bhavnagar district, India. The city of the same name, known as Padliptapur, has been dubbed "City of Temples". Shatrunjaya means a "place of victory against inner enemies" or "which conquers inner enemies"; this site on Shatrunjaya hill is considered sacred by Svetambara Jains. It is said. There are 863 marble-carved temples on the hills spread in nine clusters, some being vast temple complexes, while most small in size; the main temple is dedicated to the first Tirthankara. The main temple is reached by stepping up 3500 steps. Along with Shikharji in the state of Jharkhand, the two sites are considered the holiest of all pilgrimage places by the Jain community. Jains believe that a visit to this group of temples is essential as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to achieve nirvana or salvation. Of note, Digambara Jains have only one temple here on the hills. Hingraj Ambikadevi is considered as the presiding deity of the hill, a Hindu Goddess worshiped in Baluchistan province of Pakistan, Sindh province and Saurashtra provinces of Gujarat state, near by regions.
On the summit, there is a shrine of a Muslim saint by name Angar Pir, reported to have protected the temples during Muslim invasions in early 14th century. As the temple-city was built to be an abode for the divine, no one is allowed to stay overnight, including the priests. Shatrunjaya means a "place of victory against inner enemies" or "which conquers inner enemies". There are 108 names of Shatrunjaya but only some of them are in common use; the Gulf of Cambay is to the south of the Shatrunjaya Hills, Bhavnagar city is to the north of the hills with the Shetrunji River flowing in between. The temple complex on the hills is located 56 kilometres southwest of Bhavnagar. Palitana, a town in the foothill is 2 kilometres away; the Palitana town is at an altitude of only 66 m. The Palitana Temples are situated at the saddle linking them; the summit is situated at an elevation of 7,288 feet. Reaching it involves climbing over 3,750 stone steps; the temples remain closed for the devotees during the monsoon season.
PathsIt takes two hours to make the 3.5 kilometres climb. There are multiple routes; the shortest one goes around the outer walls of the temples on the hilltop and passes Angar Pir, the shrine of a Muslim saint, reported to have protected the temples during Muslim invasions. A second route goes around the foot of the mountain. Elderly pilgrims who cannot climb the stairs are carried on a doli carried by porters and charged based on the pilgrim's weight. A large number of pilgrims take part in a third route in the month of Phalguna, which passes five sacred temple sites over a distance of 45 kilometres. GroundsFrom the top of Shatrunjaya are views of the Shetrunji river and the rugged, drought-affected landscape; the narrow streets or lanes in the temple complex are similar to the ones found in the medieval cities of Europe. The high walls surrounding the temples give the appearance of a fort. Important features include the Ashok tree, the Chaitra tree, four-faced idol of Mahavir, Hingraj Ambikadevi, Kumarpal and Samprati.
According to the Shatrunjaya Mahatmya, the first Tirthankara Rishabha sanctified the hill where he delivered his first sermon. It was his grandson Pundarika, grandson of Rishabha who attained Nirvana at Shatrunjay, hence the hill was known as "Pundarikgiri". There exists a marble image of Pundaraksvami consecrated in V. S. 1064 by Shersthi Ammeyaka to commemorate the sallekhana of a muni belonging to the Vidhyadhara Kula. Bharata Chakravartin, the father of Pundarik and half-brother of Bahubali came to Shatrunjaya many times, he is credited with building a temple here in honour of his father Rishabha. Legendarily it is associated with many other Tirthankaras.:249The Palitana temples were built over a period of 900 years starting in the 11th century. Kumarpal Solanki, a great Jain patron built the earliest temples, it is said that sculptors' skills and capacity to carve with abrasive cords the intricate designs was paid on the basis of the marble dust that they had collected every evening after their hard labour.
They were destroyed by Turkish Muslims invaders in 1311 AD, when the saint Jinaprabhasuri, 50 years old, presided over the temples. Two years the rebuilding began. While some temple building activity took place under Samara Shah, it was only two centuries that it picked up momentum, when in 1593, Hiravijayasuri organized a major pilgrimage to this location to attend the consecration ceremony of the temple built for Rishabha by Tej Pal Soni, a merchant. Following this, there was proliferation of temples here. Most of the temples which are now present date to the 16th century. In 1656, Shah Jahan's son Murad Baksh granted Palitana villages to the prominent Jain merchant Shantidas Jhaveri, a Svetambara Jain, in 1656, subsequently when all taxes were exempted that the temple town further prospered, it was brought under the control of the Anandji Kalyanji Trust in 1730 to manage not only Palitana temples but many other temples of Svetambara Jains, since the Mughal period. History makes a mention that Lunia Seth Tilokchand, a merchant from Ajmer led a large contingent of pilgrims to
The flag of Jainism has five colours: red, white and black. These five colours represent the Pañca-Parameṣṭhi, it represents the five main vows, which are small as well as great. These five colours represent the "Pañca-Parameṣṭhi" and the five vows, small as well as great: White - represents the arihants, souls who have conquered all passions and have attained omniscience and eternal bliss through self-realization, it denotes peace or ahimsa. Red - represents souls that have attained salvation and truth, it denotes truthfulness. Yellow - represents the acharya the Masters of Adepts; the colour stands for non-stealing. Green - represents those who teach scriptures to monks, it signifies chastity. Dark blue or black - represents monks and nuns, it signifies non-possession. It is believed that the complexion of all the 24 Tirthankaras was of one of these 5 colours. For instance and Pushpadanta were white and Neminatha were blue or dark colour and Vasupujya were red, Mallinatha and Pārśva were green, while the remaining were golden or yellowish.
The swastika in the centre of the flag represents the four states of existence of soul. The four stages may be: heaven-beings or deities human beings animal/birds/insects/plants hell beingsIt represents that the soul can embody any of these forms, owing to karma, which may escalate it to higher-level forms such as heavenly beings, or degrade it to lower-level forms such as lesser animals or hell beings; the purpose of soul is to liberate itself from these four stages and be arihants or Siddha eventually. The three dots above the swastika represent the Ratnatraya of Jainism: Samyak Darshana - "Right Faith" or "Right Vision" Samyak Gyana - "Right Knowledge" Samyak Charita - "Right Conduct"These are part of the Jainist paradigm by which jīva seek to rid themselves of karma and the cycle of rebirth, saṃsāra, which it develops; the curve above the three dots denotes Siddhashila, a place in the highest realms of Universe, composed of pure energy. It is above earth, or heaven, it is the place where souls that have attained salvation, for instance and Siddhas reside eternally with supreme bliss.
Respect for Jain Flag is respect for Pañca-Parameṣṭhi. According to Jainism, respect for Pañca-Parameṣṭhi abiding the Ratnatraya destroys the sorrow of the four states of existence and guides one to the sweet home of infinite bliss. Jain symbols Jain rituals
Jain cosmology is the description of the shape and functioning of the Universe and its constituents according to Jainism. Jain cosmology considers the universe, as an uncreated entity, existing since infinity, having neither beginning nor end. Jain texts describe the shape of the universe as similar to a man standing with legs apart and arm resting on his waist; this Universe, according to Jainism, is broad at the top, narrow at the middle and once again becomes broad at the bottom. According to Jains, the Universe is made up of six simple and eternal substances called dravya which are broadly categorized under Jiva and Ajiva as follows: Jīva Jīva i.e. Souls – Jīva exists as a reality, having a separate existence from the body that houses it, it is characterised by upayoga. Though the soul experiences both birth and death, it is neither destroyed nor created. Decay and origin refer to the disappearing of one state of soul and appearing of another state, these being the modes of the soul. Ajīva Pudgala – Matter is classified as solid, gaseous, fine Karmic materials and extra-fine matter i.e. ultimate particles.
Paramāṇu or ultimate particle is the basic building block of all matter. The Paramāṇu and Pudgala are indestructible. Matter combines and changes its modes but its basic qualities remain the same. According to Jainism, it destroyed. Dharma-dravya and Adharma-dravya – Dharmastikāya and Adharmastikāya are distinctly peculiar to Jaina system of thought depicting the principle of Motion and Rest, they are said to pervade the entire universe. Dharma and Adharma are by itself not motion or rest but mediate motion and rest in other bodies. Without Dharmastikāya motion is not possible and without Adharmastikāya rest is not possible in the universe. Ākāśa – Space is a substance that accommodates the living souls, the matter, the principle of motion, the principle of rest and time. It is all-pervading and made of infinite space-points. Kāla – Kāla is an eternal substance according to Jainism and all activities, changes or modifications can be achieved only through the progress of time. According to the Jain text, Dravyasaṃgraha: Conventional time is perceived by the senses through the transformations and modifications of substances.
Real time, however, is the cause of imperceptible, minute changes that go on incessantly in all substances. The Jain doctrine postulates an eternal and ever-existing world which works on universal natural laws; the existence of a creator deity is overwhelmingly opposed in the Jain doctrine. Mahāpurāṇa, a Jain text authored by Ācārya Jinasena is famous for this quote: According to Jains, the universe has a firm and an unalterable shape, measured in the Jain texts by means of a unit called Rajju, supposed to be large; the Digambara sect of Jainism postulates that the universe is fourteen Rajju high and extends seven Rajjus from north to south. Its breadth is seven Rajjus at the bottom and decreases till the middle where it is one Rajju; the width increases till it is five Rajju and again decreases till it is one Rajju. The apex of the universe is one Rajju wide and eight Rajju high; the total space of the world is thus 343 cubic Rajju. The svetambara view differs and postulates that there is constant increase and decrease in the breadth and the space is 239 cubic Rajju.
Apart from the apex, the abode of liberated beings, the universe is divided into three parts. The world is surrounded by three atmospheres: dense-wind and thin-wind, it is surrounded by infinitely large non-world, empty. The whole world is said to be filled with living beings. In all the three parts, there is the existence of small living beings called nigoda. Nigoda are of two types: Itara-nigoda. Nitya-nigoda are those which will reborn as nigoda throughout eternity where as Itara-nigoda will be reborn as other beings too; the mobile region of universe is one Rajju broad and fourteen Rajju high. Within this, there are animals and plants everywhere where as Human beings are restricted to 2.5 continents of middle world. The beings inhabiting lower world are called Naraki. Deva live in top three realms of lower world. Living beings are divided in fourteen classes: 1. Fine beings with one sense. 2. Crude beings with one sense. 3. Beings with two sense. 4. Beings with three sense. 5. Beings with four sense. 6.
Beings with five sense without mind. 7. Beings with five sense with a mind; these can be developed which makes it a total of fourteen. Human beings are the only ones which can attain salvation; the early Jains contemplated the nature of the earth and universe and developed a detailed hypothesis on the various aspects of astronomy and cosmology. According to the Jain texts, the universe is divided into 3 parts: Urdhva Loka – the realms of the gods or heavens Madhya Loka – the realms of the humans and plants Adho Loka – the realms of the hellish beings or the infernal regionsThe following Upanga āgamas describe the Jain cosmology and geography in a great detail: Sūryaprajñapti – Treatise on Sun Jambūdvīpaprajñapti - Treatise on the island of Roseapple tree.
History of Jainism
History of Jainism is the history of a religion founded in Ancient India. Jains trace their history through twenty-four tirthankara and revere Rishabhanatha as the first tirthankara; some artifacts found in the Indus Valley civilization have been suggested as a link to ancient Jain culture, but this is speculative and a subjective interpretation. This theory has not been accepted by most scholars because little is known about the Indus Valley iconography and script; the last two tirthankara, the 23rd tirthankara Parshvanatha and the 24th tirthankara Mahavira are considered historical figures. Mahavira was the elder contemporary of the Buddha. According to Jain texts, the 22nd Tirthankara Arshth-nemi lived about 85,000 years ago and was the cousin of Hindu god Krishna. Jains consider their religion eternal; the two main sects of Jainism, the Digambara and the Śvētāmbara sect started forming about the 3rd century BCE and the schism was complete by about 5th century CE. These sects subdivided into several sub-sects such as Sthānakavāsī and Terapanthis.
Jainism co-existed with Hinduism in ancient and medieval India. Many of its historic temples were built near the Buddhist and Hindu temples in 1st millennium CE. After the 12th-century, the temples and naked ascetic tradition of Jainism suffered persecution during the Muslim rule, with the exception of Akbar whose religious tolerance and support for Jainism led to a temporary ban on animal killing during the Jain religious festival of Paryusan; the origins of Jainism are obscure. The Jains claim their religion is eternal, consider Rishabhanatha the founder in the present time-cycle, someone who lived for 8,400,000 purva years. Rishabhanatha is the first tirthankar among the 24 Tirthankaras who are considered mythical figures by historians. Different scholars have had different views on the origin; some artifacts found in the Indus Valley civilization have been suggested as a link to ancient Jain culture, but this is speculative. According to a 1925 proposal of Glasenapp, Jainism's origin can be traced to the 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanatha, he considers the first twenty-two tirthankaras as legendary mythical figures.
According to another proposal by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first vice president of India, Jainism was in existence long before the Vedas were composed. Jain texts and tradition believes in 24 Tirthankaras. Historians only consider the last two based on historical figures of the 1st millennium BCE. Buddhist sources don't mention Mahavira as a founder of new the tradition, but as part of an ascetic Nirgranthas tradition; this has led scholars to conclude that Mahavira was not the founder, but a reformer of a tradition established by his predecessor, Parsvanatha. During the 6th century BCE, Mahāvīra became one of the most influential teachers of Jainism. Jains revere him as the last tirthankara of present cosmic age. Though, Mahavira is sometimes mistakenly regarded as the founder, he appears in the tradition as one who, from the beginning, had followed a religion established long ago. There is reasonable historical evidence that the 23rd Tirthankara, the predecessor of Mahavira, lived somewhere in the 9th–7th century BCE.
Neminatha was the predecessor of Parshvanatha, 84,000 years ago, 22nd Tirthankara of the Jain tradition. The texts of Jainism call the Hindu god Krishna a cousin of Neminatha, say that Neminatha taught Krishna all the wisdom that he gave to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. According to Jeffery D. Long, a professor of Religion known for his publications on Jainism, this connection between Krishna and Neminatha has been a historic reason for Jains to accept and cite the Bhagavad Gita as a spiritually important text, celebrate Krishna related festivals and intermingle with Hindus as spiritual cousins; the Vedas mention the name Rishabha. However, the context in the Rigveda and the Upanishads suggests that it means the bull, sometimes "any male animal" or "most excellent of any kind", or "a kind of medicinal plant". Elsewhere it is an epithet for the Hindu god Shiva. Hindu mythical texts such as the Bhagavata Purana include Rishabha Jina as an avatar of Vishnu. After the nirvana of Parshvanatha, his disciple Subhadatta became the head of the monks.
Subhadatta was succeeded by Haridatta, Aryasamudra and lastly Kesi. Uttaradhyayana, a Svetambara text have records of a dialogue between Kesi; the Tirthankaras are believed in the Jain tradition to have attained omniscience, known as kevala jnana. After Mahavira, one of his disciples Sudharma Svami is said to have taken over the leadership, he was the head of Jain community till 515 BCE. After his death, Jambuswami, a disciple of Sudharma Svami became the head of the monks, he was the head till 463 BCE. Sudharma Svami and Jambu Svami are traditionally said to have attained keval jnana, it is said. After Sudharma svami, there followed five sutrakevalis, i.e. those who were well versed in the scriptures, who headed the monks of the Jain community. Bhadrabahu was the last sutrakevali. After Bhadrabahu, there were seven leaders. Knowledge of the scriptures was progressively being lost with each in turn. During Chandragupta Maurya's reign, Acharya Bhadrabahu moved to Karnataka to survive a twelve-year-long famine.
Sthulabhadra, a pupil of Acharya Bhadrabahu, stayed in Magadha. When followers of Acharya Bhadrabahu returned, there was a dispute between them regarding the authenticity of the Angas; those who stayed at magadha started wea