Shri Amar Muni
Important facts about
The southern part of the Jambu continent is Bharat
area, the northern is the Airavat area and the central part is Mahavideh
area. In the Bharat and Airavat areas there are twenty four Tirthankars
in each during every ascending and descending cycle of time.
In the Mahavideh area the Tirthankars are always
The being that earns the Tirthankar-nam-karma gets
liberated in the third birth, counted from the birth of gaining this
potency and purity.
The auspicious influence and indications of a future
Tirthankar start appearing six months before the conception or descent (Garbh-kalyanak).
The Tirthankars in the Bharat and Airavat areas have five auspicious
events (Kalyanak) during their life time.
During this descending cycle all the beings that
became Tirthankars descended from the dimensions of gods in the Bharat
area. Six months before the moment of descent, all the other gods get
infused with special feeling of reverence for these would be Tirthankars
and they express the feelings by bowing.
Six months before the end of their life in hell, the
beings that become Tirthankars are relieved from the hellish afflictions
through the interference of gods.
Even during pregnancy, the being destined to be a
Tirthankar possesses three fold knowledge-Mati (intellect), Shruti
(literal), and Avadhi (extrasensory) Jnan. He even uses this knowledge
if and when need arises.
The Tirthankars do not feed on the mother�s milk. The
king of gods appoints various goddesses as governesses to take care,
with due respect, of chores like bathing, dressing, feeding, and
After the birth of a Tirthankar, 56 goddesses of
directions arrive and perform the post-birth rituals. 64 Indras and
other gods perform their traditional duties of joyous birth celebrations
taking the new born Tirthankar Pandukvan on Meru mountain.
There are four unique congenital attributes of a
1. The divine physical structure is free of sweat,
glime or slime, and ailment.
2. His breath is fragrant.
3. Due to extreme compassion and tranquillity the
reed blood corpuscles of a Tirthankar turn white. As such the color of
flesh and blood of a Tirthankar is Milky white.
4.. His food intake and excretion is invisible to
normal human eye.
If the karma responsible for mundane indulgences
precipitate, when young, he is married to a good woman from a family of
high status. However, he has no fondness for a luxurious family life.
During the year preceding his renunciation he gives
10.8 million gold coins in charity every day, making it 388 million gold
coins during the year.
The moment he takes the vow of abandoning all
intentional sinful activities he acquires the Manahparyav Jnan (the
capacity to perceive the subtle and gross thoughts, feelings and
attitudes of every being).
At the time of taking Diksha (the formal initiation
to become an ascetic) the Tirthankars utter Namo Siddhanam, offering
salutations only to the Siddhas or the liberated souls.
At the time of taking Diksha the Tirthankar pulls
five fistful of his hair and gives them to Indra. The Indra (king of
gods) puts these into a gem studded golden box with due care and
immerses in the milky sea.
All the Tirthankars remain silent during the period
of their spiritual practices, beginning from the moment of initiation
till they acquire omniscience. Their discourses start only after they
have become omniscient.
During their period of practices the Tirthankars move
about alone, detached, and unscheduled.
As ordinary ascetics they neither give away any
discourses nor make any disciples.
When they destroy the vitiating Karmas as a result of
their higher spiritual practice and acquire virtues like omniscience,
ultimate perception, all power, and capacity to propagate religions,
then they attain the status of Arihant Tirthankar.
They are endowed with thirty four unique attributes
and thirty five unique speech attributes.
They are free of all the eighteen vices.
The eighteen vices are:
1-5. The five power hindrances (hindrance of charity,
progress, pleasure, facility, and potency); 6. mirth; 7. fondness; 8.
irritation; 9. fear; 10. hatred; 11. distress; 12. lust; 13. dogma; 14.
ignorance; 15. slumber; 16. indulgence; 17. attachment; and 18.
There is another such list of vice:
1. dogma; 2. ignorance; 3. pride; 4. anger; 5.
illusion; 6. greed; 7. fondness; 8. irritation; 9. slumber; 10.
distress; 11. falsity; 12. larcency; 13. jealousy; 14. fear; 15.
violence; 16. love; 17. enjoy; and 18. mirth.
The first Tirthankar, Rishabhdev, in his earlier
incarnation, had the knowledge of all fourteen subtle canons. All the
other twenty three Tirthankars, In their earlier incarnations had the
knowledge of only eleven canons.
As soon as the status of Tirthankar is attained Indra
creates the divine pavilion (Samavasaran). In the assembly in this
pavilion the Tirthankar gives discourses in the Ardha-Magadhi language
with the view that the common man may be benefited. The Samavasaran is
attended by all, including men, gods, and animals. In this first
discourse at least one individual gets inspired to abandon mundane life
and become and ascetic. Bhagavan sits in the lotus pose in the
Tirthankar Munisuvrat and Arishtanemi were born in
the Harivamsha clan and the remaining twenty two in the Ikshvaku clan.
At the moment of their renunciation Bhagavan
Rishabhdev was the oldest in age (8.4 million Purva). Bhagavan
Parshvanath and Mahavir were the youngest in age (30 years).
The tallest among the Tirthankars was Bhagavan
Rishabhdev (500 Dhanush) and the smallest was Bhagavan Mahavir (seven
Vasupujya, Malli, Nami, Parshva, and Vardhaman became
ascetics as princes during the first third part of their life. Remaining
nineteen Tirthankars became ascetics as kings during the last third part
of their life. (The three divisions of age are equal parts of average
age of human beings of a specific era).
From Rishabh to Shreyans all Tirthankars not only did
marry but ruled also, Vasupujya altered this tradition by becoming and
ascetic when he was a young prince. The nineteenth and twenty second
Tirthankar remained unmarried.
Bhagavan Rishabh started the process of renunciation
at Vinita town and Arishtanemi at Dwarka. All the remaining Tirthankars
did theirs at their birth places.
Bhagavan Mahavir was initiated alone, Parshvanath and
Mallinath with three hundred persons each, Vasupujya with six hundred,
Rishabh with four thousand and the remaining Tirthankars with one
thousand persons each.
Tirthankar Shreyans, Malli, Munisuvrat, Arishtanemi,
and Parshva all took Diksha during forenoon, and the remaining nineteen
during the afternoon. Sumati took Diksha after having meals, Malli and
Parshva after a three day fast, Vasupujya after one day fast, and the
remaining Tirthankars after two days fasts (on the last day of the
Tirthankar Rishabh broke his fast after one year
since the day of initiation, all remaining Tirthankars broke the next
Tirthankar Rishabh got sugar-cane juice as the first
alms and the remaining ones got Ksheer (rice cooked in milk);
The places where the Tirthankars got their first alms
were blessed with a shower of gold equivalent to the dimensions of their
All the Tirthankars of Bharat and Airavat areas
except the first and last propagate for dimensional religion or the
religion with four great vows as its central theme. The four vows are
abandonment of or refraining from: 1. all types of violence, 2. all
types of falsity, 3. all types of unoffered acquisition, and 4. all
types of possessions. The first and the last Tirthankars propagate five
dimensional religion by adding the vow of abandonment of all types of
lustful activities to the above four.
The Ashok tree under which Mahavir got initiated was
of 32 Dhanush height. The Chaitya tree of Rishabhdev of a height
equivalent to three times that of his body. All the remaining
Tirthankars were initiated under trees having the height equivalent to
12 times the height of their respective bodies.
Bhagavan Rishabh attained omniscience after a
thousand years of his initiation and Mallinath just after four and a
The area of the divine pavilion of Rishabh was 12
Yojans. There was a gradual reduction of 2 Kosa (1/2 Yojan) in this area
for succeeding Tirthankars till Naminath (22nd). The area of
the divine pavilion of the twenty-third Tirthankar, Parshvananth, was
1.5 Yojans and that of Mahavir was one Yojan. These dimensions are for
the descending cycle, that for the ascending cycle are the same but in
reverse order. In the Videh area the dimension is 12 Yojans uniformly.
Indranilmani (Sapphire) is essentially used in the decoration of these
The maximum number of chief disciples was one hundred
for Bhagavan Sumatinath and the minimum for Parshvanath - ten.
When the Karmic ties are completely broken the
Tirthankar stops the speech completely.
Before the Nirvana (liberation) Rishabhdev had
observed a last penance (Santhara) of six days, Mahavir that of two
days, and the remaining Tirthankars that of one month.
Rishabh, Arishtanemi, and Mahavir all three were
sitting in the Paryankasan (a specific yogic posture) and the remaining
twenty one were standing in the Kayotsarg Mudra (a yogic posture) at the
moment of liberation.
Rishabhdev was liberated at the Ashtapad mountain,
Arishatanemi at Girnar mountain, Vasupujya at Champa town, Mahavir at
Pava town and all the rest at Sammetshikhar (Parasnath hills).