Tirtha in Jainism
In Jainism, a tīrtha (तीर्थ “ford, a shallow part of a body of water that may be easily crossed”) is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the sangha. A tirtha provides the inspiration to enable one to cross over from worldly engagement to the side of moksha.
Jain tirthas are located throughout India. Often a tirtha has a number of temples as well as residences (dharmashala) for the pilgrims and wandering monks and scholars.
Tirtha sites include:
- Siddhakshetras or site of moksha liberation of an arihant (kevalin) or Tirthankaras like Ashtapada Hill, Shikharji, Girnar, Pawapuri, Palitana, Mangi-Tungi and Champapuri (capital of Anga)
- Puranakshetras where divine events have occurred like Mahavirji, Rishabhdeo, Kundalpur, Aharji etc.
- Puranakshetras associated with lives of great men like Ayodhya, Vidisha, Hastinapur, and Rajgir
- Gyanakshetra: associated with famous acharyas or centers of learning like Mohankheda, Shravanabelagola and Ladnu
Geographically, the tirthas are divided into six quarters:
- North India: Hastinapur, Taxila, and Ashtapada
- South India: Shravanabelagola, Sankighatta, Moodabidri, Humbaj, Anantnath Swami Temple, Gummileru
- Eastern India: Shikharji, Pawapuri, Champapuri, Pundravardhana
- Western India: Palitana, Girnar, Mount Abu, Mahavirji, Shankheshwar, Mahudi
- Central India: Vidisha, Kundalpur, Sonagiri, Muktagiri
- Overseas: Siddhachalam, Nava Ashtapada, Siddhayatan
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia