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KNOW YOUR TIRTHANKAR
Rushabhdev Bhagwan

Rushabhdev Bhagwan was the 1st Tirthankar of this Avsarpinikaal. He was son of King Nabhi and Marudeva Mata and was born at Ayodhya. His symbol is ox and it symbolizes farming. He introduced the technique of farming.

Rushabhdev Bhagwan had 84 Gandhar and his place of Nirvaan is Mount Ashtapada. Rushabhdev Bhagwan in his first sermon said that human being should avoid pramad (laziness). He gave an example that like when the deserts are too hot in day time, people instead of sleeping in night , cross the desert in night as its cool. Similarly too much sleeping (nidra) is also pramad and one should avoid it. To get eternal peace and blissfulness one should do less pramad and spend more time in Dharma Aradhana.

Ajitnath Bhagwan

Ajitnath Bhagwan was the second tirthankar of this Avsarpinikaal. Ajitnath Bhagwan was born to King Jitashatru and Queen Vijaya at Ayodhya. His place of Nirvaan is Sammetshikhar. His symbol is elephant. The counting of Bhav (births) starts after gaining Samyak Darshan. Ajithnath took 3 bhavs to attain liberation. The bhav in which he attained Samayak Darshan is described below. There was a king named Vimalvahan of Sushimanagar.

Once an acharya named Aridhman arrived in the town. King visits the acharaya and asks him a question. He asks,”What inspired you to take Diksa?” Acharaya narrates an incident about his life where he saw a garden full of flowers trees and life. The garden was full of flora and beauty. It was so beautiful the one could sit for hours in that garden. After a few days when the Acharaya again passed from that place, he saw that the garden was destroyed and nothing was left in it. He realized that our body is also the same and nothing will remain. Continuous life and death will give no benefit and so to stop this cycle, diksha is the only way out. King Vimalvahan attained Samyak Darshan after hearing this from Acharaya and later goes on to become our 2nd Tirthankar as Bhagwan Ajitnath.

He had 94 Gandhar and his topic of first sermon was Dharma Dhyan. He preaches about the importance of Dharma Dhyan and there are four ways by which it can be done. Namely, Agya-vichay, Apay-vichay, Vipak-vichay, Sansthan-Vichay.

Sambhavnath Bhagwan
Sambhavnath Bhagwan is the 3rd Tirthankar of the Avsarpani Kal. He was born to father King Jitari and mother Sena Devi. He was born in Shravasti Nagri. His symbol is Horse and had 102 gandhars. Sambhavnath Bhagwan attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar. Bhagwan took 3 bhavs to attain nirvana after Samiyak Darshan.

Bhagwan Sambhavnath was a king of Kshempuri. His name was Vipul Vahan. He was one of the finest kings and was full of mercy and karuna. The Nagari experienced draught and there were extreme situations where everyone faced a lot of difficulties. Lack of rainfall created scarcity of crops.

Normal public could survive by eating all kinds of vegetables including underground vegetables but the question was about the sadhus and the sadhvis. King Vipul Vahan decided to make food for all the sadhus, sadhvis, shravak, and shravika from his own stock in order to save them from this tragedy. And by this act he attained Samyak Darshan.

After Keval Gyan, the topic of his first sermon was anitya bhavna. If we follow the theory of Anitya Bhavna we can save ourselves from Ashubh dhyan (Aarth Dhyan).

Abhinandan Bhagwan
Abhinandan Bhagwan was the fourth Tirthankar of the Avsarpani Kaal. He was born in Ayodhya Nagri to King Samvar and mother Siddhartha. His symbol was monkey. His name was kept Abhinandan becasue as soon as he was born there was happiness all over the kingdom. People got extremely happy and overjoyed. He had 116 Gandhars. He attained Nirvana at Samet Shikhar. After samyak darshan he took 3 bhavs to attain nirvana.

There was king named Mahabal in Ratnasanchaya Nagri. He was full of qualities and was not attached either with his kingdom or with wealth and money. He was calm, polite, down to earth and humble. Once a sadhu arrived at the nagri and he was so impressed that he took Diksha under him. Being a man of qualities he would never get angry on someone who would criticise him or be overwhelmed if someone would praise him. He would always stay neutral and control his senses. He would do a lot of penance. By the way of penance and true faith in Jainism he attained Samyak Darshan. The topic of his first Sermon was Asharan Bhavna.

Sumatinath Bhagwan

Sumatinath Bhagwan was the fifth tirthankar of this Avsarpinikaal. Sumatinath Bhagwan was born to King Megh and Queen Sumangla at Ayodhya. His place of Nirvaan is Sammetshikhar. His symbol is Goose. The counting of Bhav (births) starts after gaining Samyak Darshan. Sumatinath Bhagwan took 3 bhavs to attain liberation.

Once upon a time a trader went to earn money with his two wives. While returning the trader died in an accident,leaving his only son has heir. The son was bought up by both the wives of the trader. As time passed the other wife who had no child started feeling insecured for her future as the son was the only heir and eventually she wouldn’t get any of her husband’s wealth. As a result of this, she started claiming that the child belonged to her and she was the real mother. This fight took them to King Meghrath. For the King and his courtiers, it was next to impossible to decide who the real mother was. After a lot of discussion the court astrologer came to a conclusion and said that Queen Sumangala was going to give birth to a Tirthhankar and would be possible for the Tirthankar to decide who the real mother was due to Avdhik Gyan. After listening to this the real mother immediately reacted and requested for a faster judgment as she wasn’t ready to keep her child with the other wife even for a moment. As soon as she said this, Queen Sumangala who was in the court, suddenly realized the importance of what the real mother was saying and also noticed that the other wife was silent. She immediately told King Megrath and justice was done to the real mother. This was only possible due to her child who had a soul of a Tirthankar and that is why he was named Sumatinath Bhagwan because Sumati means intelligence.

He had 100 Gandhar and his topic of first sermon was Ekatva Bhavna. He preaches about the importance of Ekatva Bhavna which means that each human being comes alone and goes alone and as such also each one has to pay for his own deeds alone. Even a person does any misdeed for his earnings and the benefits are enjoyed by all members of family but he has to alone suffer for this misdeed.

Padmaprabhu Swami

Padmaprabhu Swami is the 6th Tirthankar of this Avsarpani Kaal. He was the son of King Shridhar and queen Shushima. He was born in the town of Kaushambi. He was named Padmaprabhu because in the initial stages her mother always wanted to sleep on a lotus. He had 107 gandhars and took 3 bhavs after Samiyak Darshan to attain Moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Sansar Bhavna. He compared sansar with ocean and explained that the way the amount of water in an ocean is unaccountable, the same way, the number of times we take birth and death is also unaccountable. He also said that our soul keeps on changing its body according to its deeds and in this process it has to bear lot of pain and hardship. Sometime a soul may take birth as a king, and sometimes it takes birth in an animal. It all depends on what kind of karma we do and how we live our life. He also said that a soul has to suffer everywhere, no matter where it is. Even Dev Gati is not free from unhappiness. Hence, by explaining the weirdness of Sansar, where we are in constant cycle of birth and death, Bhagwan showed the path of Diksha and preached the importance of Diksha in achieving our ultimate goal of Moksh.

Suparshwanath

Suparshwanath Bhagwan is the 7th Tirthankar of this Avsarpani Kal. He was the son of King Pratisthit and Queen Prithvi. He was born in Varanasi. He attained Nirvana in Samet Shikhar. He had 95 Gandhars and he took 3 Bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain Moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Anyatva Bhavna which means that our soul and all the other things present in the world are different. Our soul is one different entitiy and it should not be connected to anything in the world. Our body is temporary but our soul is permanent. The demands of both soul and body are contradicting in nature, like for example, our body needs food, but our soul doesn’t. It is important for us to understand the needs of our soul because only that can take us to Moksh. For us as humans, it is difficult to think from the view point of our soul because for us our body is everything. The reason behind this difficulty is Mohniya Karma. It is the king of all the Karmas and it is very difficult to defeat it but it is not impossible. According to Anyatva Bhavna the person who strongly believes in this,will never get unhappy in his life, because he knows the fact that whatever is happening is happening to all the worldly things and none of them are connected to his/her soul.

Chandraprabhu Swami

Chandraprabhu Swami is the 8th tirthankar of the Avsarpani kal. He was born to King Mahasen and Mata Lakshmana in Chandrapuri Nagri. He had 93 gandhars and he attained Nirvana at Samet Shikhar. He took 3 bhavs to attain moksh after Samyak Darshan. His topic of first sermon was Ashuchi Bhavna. Asuchi means something that is not clean or something which is not pure. Bhagwan has referred our body as Ashuchi and tries to explain us that no matter what we apply on our body it will always remain dirty. Now if we think carefully, our body contains many kinds of waste and no matter how much we clean it, it will never get clean or pure. We waste a lot of time in cleaning our body. We should concentrate on purifying and cleaning our soul by doing religious practices and following the path of Jainism.

Suvidhinath Swami

Suvidhinath Swami is the 9th tirthankar of the Avsarpanikal. He was born to King Sugreev and Queen Rama in Kakandi Nagri. He had 88 gandhars and he attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar. He took 3 bhavs to attain moksh after Samyak Darshan. His topic of first sermon was Ashrav Bhavna. Bhavna mean thought process of human beings. It is not the action but the intention behind the action that results in the accumulation of the Karma. For pure thoughts and to drive out the evil ones, Jainism recommends different Bhavnas or thoughts. Term Ashrav means coming of karmas. Yog of mann(thought), vachan( speech) and kaya(action) causes the influx of karmas. This is called Ashrav.

While doing the chintan of Ashrav bhavna one should think of 42 ways through which karma comes that is –
1) The inflow of karma is caused by the 3 fold action of body, speech and mind.
2) 5 senses- having feeling of attraction (raag and dwesh) towards anything experienced by 5 senses leads to inflow of karma.
3) 4 kashaya- krodh(anger), mann(thoughts), maya and lobh(greed) leads to inflow of karmas.
4) 25 kriyas (actions)- 25 types of different kriyas that we do in our daily life also leads to inflow of karma.
5) 5 vows.

So we should we aware of these 42 reasons of Ashrav in detail and should try to avoid these reasons of inflow of karma to maximum possible extent.


Sheetalnath Bhagwan

Sheetalnath Bhagwan is the 10th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Dradharath and Queen Nanda Devi in the city of Bhadilpur. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 81 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain Moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Samvar Bhavna.

The word samvar means the stoppage of influx of karma. In this Bhavna one thinks about stopping evil thoughts and becomes absorbed in achieving spiritual knowledge.

There are 57 ways by which we can stop or prevent coming of karmas which are as follows-

5 types of Samity
3 types of Gupti
22 types of Parishah
10 types of Yati dharma
12 types of Bhavna, and
5 types of Charitra.

One must contemplate on samity, gupti, yati dharma etc. We must carry out these types of activities and try to reduce or stop new bondage of karma. Now let us take for example a boat, it is obvious that if the boat has a hole, water will slowly creep in and eventually the boat will sink. The only way the boat can be saved is to block the hole. The same way there are many ways from where karmas can creep into our life and spoil it. We have to block these ways and save our soul.

Shreyanshnath Bhagwan
Shreyanshnath Bhagwan is the 11th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kal. He was born to King Vishnuraj and Queen Vishnudevi Devi in the city of Sinhpur. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 76 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Neerjara Bhavna.

Neerjara means eradication of karma. There are 12 ways by which we can do Neerjara. The 12 types of taps/austerities are as follows-

Sr.No BAHYA TAPS ABHIYANTAR TAPS
1 Ansana Parayaschita
2 Unodari Vinay
3 Vriti Sankshepa Vaiyavritya
4 Ras Parityag Swadhaya
5 Kaya Klesha Dhyan
6 Vivikta Shayyasana Vyutsarga

Bahya taps are meant to discipline the sensual cravings and prepares the persons forAbhyantar taps which come next.
Vasupujya Bhagwan

Vasupujya Bhagwan is the 12th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kal. He was born to King Vasupujya and Queen Jaya Devi in the city of Champa Nagri. He attained nirvana at Champa Nagri and had 66 Gandhars. The topic of his first sermon was Dharma Durlabh Bhavna.

One should think that true preceptor, religious scriptures and religion are excellent shelters in this world full of agony. All other things lead to misery and suffering but at the same time it is very difficult to get right religion, scriptures and preceptor. There are 15 Karma Bhumis, 30 Akarma Bhumis and 56 Antar Dweeps. In 30 Akarma Bhumis and 56 Antar Dweeps there is no religion, no scriptures and no preceptors at all. So people who dwell there do not even know what religion is. So the question of following religion there does not arise at all. Out of 15 Karma Bhumis (5 Bharat Kshetra, 5 Erawat Kshetra and 5 Mahavidev Kshetra), religion in Mahavidev Kshetra is permanent and exists through out but, there are a certain restrictions in the other two Kshetras.

Vimalnath Bhagwan

Vimalnath was the 13th Tirthankar of the Avasarpini Kaal. According to Jain beliefs, he became a Siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Vimalanath was born to King Kratvarm and Queen Shyama Devi at Kampilaji of the Ikshvaku dynasty. Vimalnath Bhagwan got his name Vimalnath as during her mother’s pregnancy, she radiated a soothing glow, her temperature also became congenial , kind and generous. When Vimalnath Bhagwan was born the whole atmosphere was also filled with a soothing glow, and inspired by this spread of purity, the King thus named him Vimalnath.

He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 56 Gandhars. His topic of the first sermon was the Bodhi Durlabh Bhawna. One should think that it is very difficult for the transmigrating soul to acquire right faith, right knowledge and right conduct in this world. Therefore one has the opportunity to be a religious person, take advantage of it to develop right religious talent. One must contemplate on how difficult it is for the souls that are wandering aimlessly in the sansar so they should not be the slightest negligence in observing the religion propagated by the Jina. This thought will strengthen once effort to attain right faith and knowledge.

Anantnath Bhagwan

Anantnath Bhagwan is the 14th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Sihnsen and Queen Suyasha Devi in the city of Ayodhya Nagri. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 50 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Importance of Tatva.

Jain Tatvas are the single most important subjects of Jain philosophy. It deals with the theory of karma which provides the basis for the path of liberation. Without the proper knowledge of these tatvas a person cannot progress spiritually. The proper understanding of this subject brings about right faith, right knowledge and right conduct to an individual. Jainism is not about changing the world but it is changing our own selves. The objective of tatvas is to change the self. The entire Sadhna of an aspirant can be presented in tatvas. If one understands the essence of tatvas he will understand the mystery behind the ups and downs of his life and he will be able to do proper sadhna.

Dharmanath Bhagwan

Dharmanath Bhagwan is the 15th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Bhanu and Queen Suvrata Devi in the city of Ratanpur. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 43 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Importance of Kshaya.

According to Jain religion, as long as a person has Kshaya, they will not escape the cycle of life and death. The word Kshaya can be broken down into “Kash”, meaning worldly life and “aya” meaning gain. Therefore Kshaya means to gain worldly life again and again. There are 4 types of Kshaya- anger, pride, deceit and greed. As the cold water calms down the fire, likewise forgiveness is necessary to calm down the anger.

Arrogance is like mountain, so politeness is essential to cross it. To destroy the bush like curved network of elusion, rein of simplicity is necessary. To heal the deep ditch of temptation, soil of contentment is necessary. These four sinful worldly activities are more dangerous than a butcher. Butcher kills a creature bodily, but these disorders kill the sentiment of soul so, we have to be aware of these activities.

Shantinath Bhagwan

Shantinath Bhagwan is the 16th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Vishvasen and Queen Achira Devi in the city of Hastinapur. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 36 Gandhars. He took 12 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Indriya-Jay.

Indriya means senses. We have 5 senses namely, touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. There are 23 vishayais of the 5 senses and we are always attracted to these vishayais. Controlling our senses in very important because it is because of them that we are engaged in unholy activities. Example a fish is always in search of food and that’s the main reason of its death.

A fisherman, easily offers some food to the fish and catches it. Therefore if the fish is able to control its craving for food it can possibly live longer. The same way a deer loves music, and gets so engrossed in that music that it is easily killed by a hunter. Butterflies are attracted to fire light and due to this they die. These animals are prey of just one sense but we are under 5 senses and are unable to control it. Bhagwan says that controlling these senses is very important and so taking vows helps us and motivates us to control these senses.

Kuntunath Bhagwan

Kuntunath Bhagwan is the 17th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Sursen and Queen Shri Devi in the city of Hastinapur. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 35 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Mann Shudhi

The key is used for two purposes that are to open the lock and to lock it. Human mind is like a key; it can open the door of the soul and can lock the door of the soul. Declined mind locks the development of the soul, where as a renounced conscience allows the soul to develop. By opening the door of the soul, our soul can see ourselves, can know the real treasure and can consent it. Real success is to develop the rarely received conscience for sacred devotion. The way a mirror is of no use for a blind man, the same way if any person doing religious activities without purifying his mind, is of no use. We call Tirthankars ‘Jinas’ because they are able to control their minds. We are always trying to defeat the outer or worldly enemies, while we have forgotten that some enemies are reviving in ourselves for allowing them to grow inside is our biggest failure. We always try to win over the world but the real challenge is not to win over the world but to win over ourselves. The challenge is to win over our mind as our mind is unstable and wonders. It is inconstant. When mind is provoked then senses do sinful acts and if mind doesn’t contribute to the senses than it can’t do sinful acts. We can control our mind by continuous practice and asceticism.

Arnath Bhagwan

Arnath Bhagwan is the 18th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Sudarshan and Queen Maha Devi in the city of Hastinapur. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 33 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was to get rid of Rag and Dwesh.

4 Kashayas –Krodh,Maan, Maya, Lobh ( Anger, Pride, Deceit, Greed) can be grouped into 2 categories – Raag ( Attachment) and Dwesh ( Hatred). Raag is formed from Maya and Lobh and Dwesh is formed from Krodh and Maan. Spiritually our goal should be to get rid of wordly life and become liberated, but when we live in attachment and hatred we hinder the spiritual progress of the soul. We, human beings are opportunistic and when we are deprived of what we want than we react with anger and in same way if we do not get the fame we think we deserve, our ego gets hurt and we react irrationally. Therfore in reality even the anger and ego are caused by the liking and it is nothing but one form of attachment (raag). In other words attachment is the single route of all our Kshaya. So those who have conquered attachment are called vitragi means one who has no attachment. Therefore instead of reacting with more kashaya, we should stay calm in order to break the cycle of life and death.

Mallinath Bhagwan

Mallinath Bhagwan is the 19th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Kumbha and Queen Prabhavati Devi in the city of Ayodhya. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 28 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Samta (Neutral to all situations).

One should always remain neutral in all types of situations whether its is adverse or favourable. One should not become pitiable at times of crisis or adversity, but should be normal, as crisis should not snatch our happiness because getting trouble or pleasure is according to our Karmas. We should happily accept the grief and happiness as it comes as these are only results of our karmas.

Munisuvrath Swami

Munisuvrath Swami is the 20th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Sumitra and Queen Padmavati Devi in the city of Rajgiri. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 18 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Marganusarita.

Marganusarita means a soul with less Kshayas and 35 qualities that were mentioned by Munisuvrath Swami. A Marganusari can only go ahead on the path of religion.

Naminath Swami

Naminath Swami is the 21st Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Vijay and Queen Vapra Devi in the city of Mithila Nagri. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 17 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Duties of Shravak.

The duties of a Shravak are-

  1. Shravak who desires spiritual elevation must sacrifice sleep. He must get up 1.5 hrs before sunrise and offer salutation to the panch-parmesti and to recite Navkar-Mantra.
  2. Follow the preaching of Jain Sadhu.
  3. He should study Jain scriptures.
  4. He should do Samayik.
  5. Follow discipline in daily activities.
  6. Charity of four kinds.- food, medicines, knowledge and Abhaya daan
Neminath Swami

Neminath Swami is the 22nd Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Samudravijay and Queen Shiva Devi in the city of Shouryapur. He attained nirvana at Raivatgiri and had 11 Gandhars. He took 9 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Abhakshya Tyag.

Marganusarita means a soul with less Kshayas and 35 qualities that were mentioned by Munisuvrath Swami. A Marganusari can only go ahead on the path of religion.

Parshwanath Swami

Parshwanath Swami is the 23nd Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Ashwasen and Queen Vama Devi in the city of Varanasi. He attained nirvana at Sametsikhar and had 10 Gandhars. He took 10 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Importance of Deshvirti dharma. Tirthankar Parmatma has prescribed twelve vows which are of profound psychological significance, for the attainment of excellence in character. The code of conduct and observance prescribed are not to be considered as merely useful for practice but are essential and unavoidable.

Mainly there are 12 vows and for each, 5 atichar has been mentioned. Atichar means the errors of commission and omission. For the performance of austerities fully, atichar should be given up. The 12 vows have been confined in three parts;

1) Five Anuvrats- Anuvrat means an ordinary and gross observance with the original austerity according to the vow.
2) Three Gunvrat- safeguarding the original vrat increasing its efficacy and quality.
3) Four Sikshavrat- the vow that provides the light experience of the life of a Sadhu and which provides discipline and is meant for practice.

Mahavir Swami

Mahavir Swami is the 24th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Siddharth and Queen Trishala Devi. He attained nirvana at Pavapuri and had 11 Gandhars. He took 27 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was causes of bondage of karmas.

The causes of karmic bondage –in the order they are required to be eliminated by soul for the spiritual progress.

1) MITHYATVA- the deluded world view is the misunderstanding as to how this world really functions on account of one-sided perspective, irrational skepticism, pointless generalizations and ignorance.
2) AVIRTI- is the inability to refrain voluntarily from the evil actions that harms oneself and others.
3) PRAMADA- this is the third cause of bondage of karma. It means lack of enthusiasm towards acquiring merit and spiritual growth and improper action of mind, body and speech without any regards to oneself or others.
4) KASHAYA- keep the soul immersed in the darkness of delusion leading to deluded conduct and unending cycle of reincarnations.
5) YOGA- The threefold activities of mind, body and speech attract and bind karmas when such actions are influenced by passions.

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