List of Jain Tirthankaras

A Tirthankara is a rare individual who has conquered the samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth, on their own and made a path for others to follow.
Created On: Nov 17, 2020 10:57 IST
Modified On: Nov 17, 2020 10:57 IST
List of Jain Tirthankaras
List of Jain Tirthankaras

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that teaches spiritual purity and enlightenment through disciplined nonviolence to all living creatures. The aim of Jain life is to achieve the liberation of the soul.

Who is a Tirthankara?

Tirthankara’s are the savior and spiritual teacher of the Jain dharma. ‘Tirthankara’ in Sanskrit means "Ford-maker" and also known as Jina that is "Victor". According to Jain scripture, a Tirthankara is a rare individual who has conquered the samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth, on their own, and made a path for others to follow.

They are also called Arihantas, Jinas, Kevalis, and Vitrage. Arihant means "destroyer of inner enemies," Jina means "victor of inner enemies," and vitrage means "one who does not have any more attachment or hatred towards anyone." This means that they are entirely detached from worldly aspects. They have destroyed the four Ghatiya karmas, namely Gyanavarniya karma(knowledge-obscuring karma), Darshanavarniya Karma (perception-obscuring karma), Mohniya Karma (deluding karma), and Antaraya Karma (obstacle-creating karma).

Heterodox Schools of Indian Philosophy

Jains celebrate five major events in the life of a Tirthankara. They are called Kalyanak (auspicious events). They are:

1. Garbha Kalyanak: This is the event when the Tirthankar's soul departs from its last life and is conceived in the mother’s womb.

2. Janma Kalyanak: This is the event when the Tirthankar's soul is born.

3. Diksha Kalyanak: This is the event when the Tirthankar's soul gives up all his/her worldly possessions and becomes a monk/nun. (Digambar sect does not believe that women can become Tirthankar or be liberated.)

4. Kevalgyan Kalyanak: This is an event when Tirthankar’s soul destroys the four Ghatiya karmas completely and attains the Kevaljnana (absolute knowledge). Celestial angels set Samavsaran for Tirthankars from where he/she delivers the first sermon. This is the most important event for the entire Jain order as the Tirthankar reinstates Jain Sangh and preaches the Jain path of purification and liberation.

5. Nirvana Kalyanak: This event is when a Tirthankar’s soul is liberated from this worldly physical existence forever and becomes a Siddha. On this day, the Tirthankar’s soul destroys the four Aghati karmas completely and attains salvation, the state of eternal bliss.

Six Philosophical Systems or Shada Darsana of India

List of Jain Tirthankara

There are 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism. The first Tirthankara was Rishabhdev and the last one was Mahavira.

Name of Tirthankara

Symbol

Place of Nirvan

1. Lord Rishabha

Ox

Mount Ashtapada

2. Ajitanath

Elephant

Samet Shikhar

3. Sambhavanatha

Horse

Samet Shikhar

4. Abhinandananatha

Monkey

Samet Shikhar

5. Sumatinatha

 Goose

Samet Shikhar

6. Padmaprabha

Lotus

Samet Shikhar

7. Suparshvanath

Swastika

Samet Shikhar

8. Chandraprabha

Moon

Samet Shikhar

9. Suvidhinath Swami or Puspadanta

Crocodile (Makara)

Samet Shikhar

10. Sheetalnath

Wishing Tree (Srivasta)

Samet Shikhar

11. Shreyansanath

Rhinoceros

Samet Shikhar

12. Vasupujya

Buffalo

Champa Nagri

13. Vimalnatha

Boar

Samet Shikhar

14. Anantnatha

Bear (Falcon)

Samet Shikhar

15. Dharmanath

Spike-headed Club (Vajradanda)

Samet Shikhar

16. Santinath

Deer

Samet Shikhar

17. Kunthunath

He-Goat

Samet Shikhar

18. Aranath

Fish

Samet Shikhar

19. Mallinath

Waterpot

Samet Shikhar

20. Munisuvrata

Tortoise

Samet Shikhar

21. Naminatha

Blue-Lotus

Samet Shikhar

22. Neminatha

Conch

Raivatgiri 

23.Parshwanath 

Serpent

Samet Shikhar

24. Mahavira

Lion

Pavapuri

According to the Jainism scriptures, the philosophy of Jainism was formalized by the last Tirthankaras, i.e. Vardhaman Mahavir. Later, the philosophy of Jainism was forwarded by their chief disciples known as ‘Ganadharas’. The role of Ganadharas and Aacharyas can be understood from the fact that Jain scriptures are all composed by the Ganadharas and Acharyas and not by the Tirthankaras.

Jainism: Teaching of Mahavira | Spread of Jainism

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