Shri Amar Muni
The Difference Between Tirthankar and
Depending on mental alertness or dynamism of the practicer there are
numerous levels of practicers, viz. Jinakalpi (solitary), Abhigrahdhari
(who gives emphasis on specific resolution), Pramatta (partially alert),
Apramatta (absolutely alert), Saragi (partially detached), Vitragi
(absolutely detached), etc. The first step in this progression is Sadhu
(ascetic) and the last is Vitrag, Tirthankar and Kewal Jnani (omniscient).
Although there is no difference in the level of knowledge of a Tirthankar
and an omniscient, the status of Tirthankar has its own importance. It has
its own attributes and recognition. The difference between these two
states of highest purity are as follows -
1. In a Tirthankar there is precipitation of the Tirthankar-nam-karma.
This is absent in case of common omniscient.
2. For two earlier births a Tirthankar necessarily acquires
right-perception. It is not a rule for a common omniscient.
3. A Tirthankar while in the womb has Avadhi Jnan (all knowledge of
the physical world). It is not a rule for a common omniscient.
4. The mother of a Tirthankar has fourteen great dreams at the time
of conception. It is not so in the case of a common omniscient.
5. A Tirthankar is always a male, the case of Mallinath being an
unique exception. For a common omniscient this rule does not apply.
6. A Tirthankar is not breast-fed; whereas a common omniscient (Kewali)
7. A Tirthankar gives charity for one year immediately before Diksha,
as a rule. A Kewali does not necessarily.
8. A Tirthankar does not give discourse before attaining omniscience,
he may, however, answer a question. A Kewali does give discourses even
as a common ascetic.
9. In a Tirthankar�s life there are five auspicious events. It is not
so in case of a Kewali.
10. A Tirthankar acquires Manahparyav Jnan immediately after his
Diksha. A Kewali does not.
11. A Tirthankar is self-enlightened. A Kewali is not necessarily.
12. Before his Diksha a Tirthankar is formally asked for that by the
gods. For Kewali no god arrives.
13. A Tirthankar establishes the four pronged religious organization
or ford; not a Kewali.
14. A Tirthankar has a religious order; not a Kewali.
15. The principal disciples of a Tirthankar are Ganadhars. A Kewali�s
disciples are not.
16. A Tirthankar has eight auspicious attributes; not a Kewali.
17. A Tirthankar has thirty four unique attributes; not a Kewali.
18. A Tirthankar�s speech has thirty five unique attributes; not a
19. A Tirthankar in his progression to purity does not touch the I,
II, III, V and XI Gunasthans (the specific stages on the path of
purity); whereas a Kewali may touch all gunasthans except the XI.
20. A Tirthankar does not have Kewali-Samudghat (a special process of
spsiritophysical transformation); a Kewali has.
21. A Tirthankar is born in the Kshatriya caste. A Kewali may be from
any and all castes.
22. A Tirthankar has Sam-chaturasra Samsthn (one of the six types of
anatomical structures). A Kewali may have nay of the six.
23. The minimum and maximum age of a Tirthankar is 72 years and 8.4
million Purvas respectively. In case of a Kewali it is 9 years and 10
24. The height of a Tirthanakar may be between 7 Haath (about 7 feet)
and 500 Dhanush (about 2000 feet). A Kewali is between 2 Haath and 20
25. A Tirthankar may exist only in fifteen specific Karma-bhumi�s
(the worlds of action). A Kewali exists generally in the fourth part,
however, one born in the fourth part may attain the status during the
fifth part also.
26. A Tirthankar is always self initiated. A Kewali may also be
initiated by others.
27. A Tirthankar exists only in the third and fourth part, however,
one born in the fourth part may attain the status during the fifth part
28. Two Tirthankars never happen to meet each other; whereas Kewalis
29. The minimum number of Tirthankars existing at one time is twenty
and maximum is 170. For Kewali�s these numbers are 20 million and 90
30. The Ganadhars create the twelve canons based on Tirthankar�s
preaching. This is not so in case of a Kewali.
31. A Tirthankar does not face any afflictions after he becomes an
omniscient. A Kewali may have to face.
32. A Samavasaran (divine pavilion) is created for a Tirthankar; not
for a Kewali.
33. The first discourse of a Tirthankar is never a failure; it is not
necessarily so in case of a Kewali.
34. The soul of a Tirthankar always descends from the dimension of
gods or ascends from hell. The soul of a Kewali may come from any of the
35. In case of a Tirthankar the Vedaniya Karma (the Karma of
sufference) is of good-bad quality and the remaining non-vitiating
Karmas are of exclusively good quality. In case of a Kewali only the
Ayushya Karma (age determining) is of exclusively good quality, the
remaining three being good-bad.
36. Only worthy souls arrive in the assembly of a Tirthankar; whereas
in a Kewali�s assembly even unworthies may come.
37. There is only one Tirthankar in one specific area. Kewali�s may