Image of Rishabhanatha at Kundalpur pilgrimage site in Madhya Pradesh, India

Rishabhanatha

Rishabhanatha Rishabhanatha (also Ṛṣabhadeva, Rishabhadeva, or Ṛṣabha) is the first Tīrthaṅkara of Jainism. He was the first of twenty-four teachers in the present half-cycle of time in Jain cosmology, and called a “ford maker” because his teachings helped one across the sea of interminable rebirths and deaths. Jain legends depict him as having lived millions of years ago....

Lord Mahavira's Jal Mandir (water temple) in Pawapuri, Bihar, India

Mahavira

Mahavira Mahavira, also known as Vardhamana was the 24th tirthankara of Jainism. He was the spiritual successor of 23rd tirthankara Parshvanatha. Mahavira was born in the early part of the 6th century BCE into a royal Kshatriya Jain family in present-day Bihar, India. His mother’s name was Trishala. He abandoned all worldly possessions at the age...

Tirthankara images at Siddhachal Caves inside Gwalior Fort.

Tirthankara

Tirthankara In Jainism, a tirthankara (tīrthaṅkara; literally a ‘ford-maker’) is a saviour and spiritual teacher of the dharma (righteous path). The word tirthankara signifies the founder of a tirtha, which is a fordable passage across the sea of interminable births and deaths, the saṃsāra. According to Jains, a tirthankara is an individual who has conquered the saṃsāra, the...

Mahavira was the last Tirthankara and Salakapurusa of this descending time cycle as per the Jain Universal History

Salakapurusa

Salakapurusa According to the Jain cosmology, the śalākāpuruṣa (शलाकपुरूष) “illustrious or worthy persons” are 63 illustrious beings who appear during each half-time cycle. They are also known as the triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣa (63 illustrious persons). The Jain universal or legendary history is a compilation of the deeds of these illustrious persons. Their...

Religious Cosmology

Religious Cosmology Religious cosmology is an explanation of the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe, from a religious perspective. This may include beliefs on origin in the form of a Creation Myth, subsequent evolution, current organizational form and nature, and eventual fate or destiny. There are various traditions...

Seven tattvas

Tattva in Jainism

Tattva in Jainism Jain philosophy explains that seven tattva (truths or fundamental principles) constitute reality. These are: jīva– the soul which is characterized by consciousness ajīva– the non-soul āsrava (influx)- inflow of auspicious and evil karmic matter into the soul. bandha (bondage)- mutual intermingling of the soul and karmas. samvara (stoppage)- obstruction of the inflow of karmic matter...

Image depicting map of Jambudvipa as per Jain Cosmology

Jain Cosmology

Jain Cosmology Jain cosmology is the description of the shape and functioning of the Universe (loka) and its constituents (such as living beings, matter, space, time etc.) according to Jainism. Jain cosmology considers the universe, as an uncreated entity, existing since infinity, having neither beginning nor end. Jain texts describe...

Tortures in the hells

Naraka in Jainism

Naraka in Jainism Naraka (नरक) is the realm of existence in Jain cosmology characterized by great suffering. Naraka is usually translated into English as “hell” or “purgatory“. However, Naraka differs from the hells of Abrahamic religions as souls are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment...

Image of Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara (Photo:Samanar Hills)

God in Jainism

God in Jainism In Jainism, godliness is said to be the inherent quality of every soul. This quality, however, is subdued by the soul’s association with karmic matter. All souls who have achieved the natural state of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge (kevala jnana), infinite power and infinite perception are regarded as God...

Classification of Saṃsāri Jīvas (transmigrating souls) in Jainism

Vitalism in Jainism

Vitalism in Jainism Vitalism is at the core of Jain philosophy which separates Jiva (soul or life) from Ajiva (non-soul). According to Jain cosmology, whole universe is made up of six simple substances and is therefore eternal. These six substances (dravya) are:- Jiva Time Space Dharma (medium of motion) Adharma Matter (Pudgala) Jiva or soul is distinguished from the rest...

Jain god

Jainism and Non-creationism

Jainism and Non-creationism Jainism does not support belief in a creator deity. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents—soul, matter, space, time, and principles of motion—have always existed. All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws. It is not possible to create matter out of nothing and hence the sum total...

Jal Mandir, Pawapuri

Jainism

Jainism Jainism or Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian religion. 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...

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