The Tirthankaras


The list of the Tirthankaras of the Jains is given below. In a Jain temple the Tirthankara is the central figure. His image is shown either standing rigidly in the kayotsarga posture or sitting in the yogasana posture. Since the images of the Tirthankaras look alike they have to be distinguished by their respective emblems. The emblem, generally an animal, is depicted below the seat of the Tirthankara. The Tirthankaras are usually accompanied by tutelar deities or attendants, called Yakshas and Yakshinis. The emblems of the Tirthankaras and the names of their attendants in the Digambara system are different, in a few cases, from those in the Shvetambara system. A tree, sometimes, shown with the image also distinguishes the particular Tirthankara. These trees are called Dikshavrikshas, for, it is said that the Tirthankaras gained their highest knowledge while meditating under their respective Diksha-vrikshas.

 

The emblems and the names of the attendants of the Tirthankaras were finalized near about the 8th century.1

 

 

 

REFERENCE

 

l Jain, Hiralal, Bharatiya Sanskrti men Jain Dharma ka Yogadana, p. 349.

 

 

Tirthankara      Color      Tree            Emblem

 

 

1. Rishavanatha      gold      banyan      bull

    (Adinatha)

 

2. Ajitanatha      gold      shala      elephant

 

3. Shambhavanatha      gold      prayala      horse

 

4. Abhinandana      gold      priyangu      monkey

 

5. Sumatinatha      gold      shala      curlew

                 (kravncha)

 

6. Padmaprabha      red      chatra      red lotus

 

7. Suparshvanatha      green (D)      shirisa      svastika &

     gold (S)            snakehoods

                 above head

8. Chandraprabha      white      naga      crescent

                 moon

9. Pushpadanta      white      shali      makara

    (Suvidhinatha)

 

10. Shitalanatha      gold      priyangu      Shrivriksha

                 (wishing tree)

                                       (D); Shrivatsa

11. Shreyamshanatha      gold      tanduka      rhinoceros

 

12. Vasupujya      red patali      buffalo or

                       bullock

13. Vimalanatha      gold      jambo      boar

14. Anantanatha      gold      ashoka      falcon

15. Dharmanatha      gold      dadhi      vajradanda

                 (thunderbolt)

16. Shantinatha      gold      nandi      deer

17. Kunthunatha      gold      bhilaka      goat

18. Aranatha      gold      mango      fish (D); nandya

                 varta (S)

19. Mallinatha      gold (D); ashoka      water pot or jar

                 blue (S)

20. Munisuvrata      black      champaka      tortoise

21. Naminatha      gold      bakula      blue lotus

22. Neminatha      black      vetasa      conch

    (Arishtanemi)

23. Parshvanatha      blue      dhataki      serpent on seat

                 and 7 snake hood

                 above head

24. Mahavira      gold      shala      lion

    (vardhamana)

 

---------------------------------------------------------

D-- Digambara

S-- Shvetambara

 

 

Tirthankara      Yakasha      Yakshini

 

 

1. Rishavanatha      Gomukha      Chakreshvari (D);

    (Adinatha)            Apratichakra (S)

 

2. Ajitanatha Mahayaksha      Rohini (D); Ajitabala (S)

 

3. Shambhavanatha      Trimukha      Prajnapti (D):

           Duritarih (S)

 

4. Abhinandana      Yaksheshvara (D); Vajrashrakhala (D)

     Yakshanayaka (S)      Kalika (S)

 

5. Sumatinatha      Tamburu      Purushadatta (D);

           Mahakali (S)

 

6. Padmaprabha Kusuma      Manovega, Manogupti (D);

           Shyama, Achyuta

 

7. Suparshvanatha      Varanandi (D);      kali (D); Shanta

     MatAnga (S)      (S)

 

8. Chandraprabha      Shyama (D);      Jvalamalini (D);

     Vijaya (D.S)      Bhrikuti (S)

 

9.      Pushpadanta      Ajita      Mahakali or Ajita (Suvidhinatha)            (D); Sutara (S)

 

10. Shitalanatha      Brahma, Brahme-      Manavi (D); Ashoka

           shvara, or      (S)

           Brahmashanti

 

11. Shreyamshanatha      Ishvara (D);      Gauri (D); Manavi Yakset (S)      (S)

 

12. Vasupujya      Kumara      Gandhari (D);

                             Chandra, Chanda (S)

 

13. Vimalanatha      Shanmukha or      Vajroti or

           Karttikeya      Vairotya (D);

                 Vidita (S)

 

14. Anantanatha      Patala      Anatamati (D);

                 Ankusha (S)

15. Dharmanatha      Kinnara      Manasi (D);

                 Kandarpa (S)

 

16. Shantinatha      Kimpurusha (D);      Mahamanasi (D);

           Garuda (S)      Nirvani (S)

 

17. Kunthunatha Gandharva      Vijaya or jaya (D) Nirvani (S)

 

18. Aranatha      Kendra (D);      Ajita (D); Yakshet, Yakshen- Dharani, Dhana(S)

           dra (S)

 

19. Mallinatha Kubera      Aparajita (D);

                 Vairotya or

                 Dharanapriya (S)

 

20. Munisuvrata      Varuna      Bahurupini (D);

                 naradatta (S)

 

21. Naminatha      Bhrikuti      Chamunda (D);

                 Gandhari (S)

 

22. Neminatha      Sarvahna (D);      Kushmandini or

    (Arishtanemi)      Gomedha (S)      Dharmadevi (D);

                 Ambika (S)

23. Parshvanatha      Dharanedra or      Padmavati

           Parshvayaksha

 

24. Mahavira      MatAnga      Siddhayini or

(vardhamana)            Siddhayika

-------------------------------------------------------------

D- Digambara

S- Shvetambara