24 Tirthankara of Jainism – Meaning, List of Jain Tirthankar

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

24 Tirthankara of Jainism are the Jina or the victors of all intuitions. The count of Jain Tirthankar has been known to be 24. ‘Tirthankara’ is a mixture of 2 terms – ‘Teertha and ‘Samsara.’ Tirthankara symbolizes the creator of a Tirtha, a fordable route over the ocean of everlasting births and demises, the Samsara. Tirthankara is the Jain god name who defeated the Samsara and the cycle of death and rebirth on their own and made a pathway for others to follow. This article brings forth complete details pertaining to the 24 Tirthankara of Jainism.

24 Tirthankara of Jainism achieves Kevala Jnana (omniscience) after comprehending the true spirit of oneself or their soul. Tirthankara offers a bridge for others to seek the new teacher from Samsara to Moksha (freedom). In this article, understand the real meaning of 24 Tirthankara of Jainism, their symbols, the first Jain Tirthankar, and the list of 24 Tirthankara of Jaininsm in detail.

What is Tirthankara of Jainism?

A Jain Tirthankar is the teaching god or ‘Ford Maker’ in Jainism. 24 Tirthankaras were produced from each cosmic age in Jainism according to religious faith. The art of Tirthankaras is displayed as overseeing the body in a Kayotsarga pose.

  • Another popular posture in Tirthankara’s art is the meditation pose, in which he is witnessed sitting in a cross-legged position on a lion’s throne.
  • The difference between 24 Tirthankara of Jainism is based on symbolic colors or logos.
  • 24 Tirthankar names are given by taking inspiration from their mother’s ambitions previous to their births.
  • The first Jain Tirthankar was mentioned as Rishabhnath.
  • The life narratives of 24 Tirthankaras are quoted in a spiritual text of Jains called Kalpasutra, assembled by the Digambara sect Jain Muni Bhadrabahu.

List of 24 Tirthankara of Jainism

Below are the 24 Tirthankara of Jainism, with their emblems, colors, and symbols, listed in the table. Get complete knowledge of the 24 Tirthankaras and the related pertinents.

Present cosmic age
24 Tirthankar Name Jain Tirthankar Symbols/Emblems 24 Tirthankar Colours Meaning
Rishabhanatha/Adinath Bull Golden Lord First/Lord Bull
Ajith Elephant Golden Invincible one
Shambhava Horse Golden Auspicious
Abhinandana Ape Golden Worship
Sumati Heron Golden Wise
Padmaprabha Lotus Red Lotus-Bright
Suparshva Swastika Golden Good-sided
Chandraprabha Moon White Moon-bright
Suvidi/Pushpadanta Dolphin/Sea Dragon White Blossomed-toothed/Religious Duties
Shitala Shrivatsa Golden Coolness
Shreyamsha Rhinoceros Golden Good
Vasupujya Buffalo Red Worship with donations of custody
Vimala Boar Golden Clear
Ananta Bear/Hawk Golden Endless
Dharma Thunderbolt Golden Duty
Shanti Deer/Antelope Golden Peace
Kunthu Goat Golden Stack of Jewels
Ara Nandyavarta/Fish Golden Time Division
Malli Water Flask Blue Wrestler
Suvrata/Munisuvrata Tortoise Black Of good oath
Nami/Nimin Blue Lotus Golden Eye Winking/Bowing Down
Nemi/Arishtanemi Conch Shell Black The edge of whose wheel is intact
Parshvanath Snake Green Lord serpent
Vardhamana Mahavira Lion Golden Wealthy hero

Future 24 Tirthankara of Jainism

The names of the next 24 Tirthankara of Jainism, which will be born in the Utsarpini age according to Jain Cosmology, are as follows:

Tirthankaras Previous Human Birth 24 Jain Tirthankara Name
1 King Shrenika Padmanabha
2 Mahavira’s uncle Suparshva Surdev
3 King Kaunik’s son king Udayin Suparshva
4 The ascetic Potti Svamprabh
5 Śrāvaka Dridhayadha Sarvanubhuti
6 Kartik’s Shreshti Devshruti
7 Shravak Shamkha Udaynath
8 Shravak Ananda Pedhalputra
9 Shravak Sunand Pottil
10 Sharavak Shatak Shatak
11 Satyaki of Mahabharata Suvrat
12 Krishna Amam
13 Satyaki Rudhra Shrinishkashay
14 Krishna’s brother Balbhadra also known as Balrama Nishpulak
15 Shravika Sulsa Nirmam
16 Krishna’s brother’s mother Rohini Devi Chitragupta
17 Revati Gathapatni Samadhinath
18 Sharavak Shattilak Samvarnath
19 Rishi Dwipayan Yashodhar
20 Karna of Mahabharata Vijay
21 Nirgranthaputra or Mallanarada Malladev
22 Shravak Ambadh Devachandra
23 Shravak Amar Anantvirya
24 Swati Bhadrakat

Features of Tirthankara

The word ‘Tirth’ denotes the meaning of a pilgrimage site. The Tirthankara means the founder of the pilgrimage site. In Jainism, it is believed that the Tirthankara has attained enlightenment, and leads others toward the same.

  • They are believed to have acquired emancipation and freedom from the birth and death cycles.
  • They teach other people about the worth of human life and the path of liberation.
  • They are the preachers and lead others who are seeking to attain Nirvana.

Important Tirthankaras of Jainism

24 Tirthankara of Jainism were supposed to be the common soul born as a human and acquired the states of a Tirthankar after intense practices of self-punishment, tranquility, and meditation. Below are some critical facts about the most recognized Tirthankaras.

Rishabhnath – First Tirthankara of Jainism

The first Tirthankara of Jainism, Rishabhnath, is assumed to exist even before the beginning of the Indus Valley Civilization.

  • Lord Vishnu is another name given to the 1st Jain Tirthankar in Bhagavata Purana.
  • Rishabhnath is also mentioned in the Vedas.
  • This Tirthankara of Jainism had several sons, including Bahubali and Bharat, and the world’s highest statue, The Gomateshwara Statue (Karnataka), is devoted to Bahubali.
  • Rishabhnath’s script name is defined as Brahmi, which is assumed to be kept by taking inspiration from his daughter’s name.

Parsvanath – 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism

The 23rd Tirthankara was known as Parsvanath. It is understood that he lived about two centuries earlier than Vardhamana Mahavira.

  • Parsvanath put forward the religion of Jainism, which Mahavira subsequently refreshed.
  • His birthplace was in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh state, close to 817 BCE.
  • He achieved Kaivalya in Jharkhand above Mount Sammeta (Parasnath).
  • The tallest sculpture of Parsvanath is discovered in Navagraha Jain Temple (Karnataka).

Parsvnath established four-fold constraints according to the Svetambaras Sect or White-Clad Sect of Jainism; these were:

  • Asteya
  • Satya
  • Ahimsa
  • Aparigraha
  • Mahavira included Brahmacharya.

Mahavira – 24th Tirthankara of Jainism

The name of the 24 Tirthankar in the Jain religion is Mahavira, Siddhartha, and Trishla’s son. He had taken birth in Bihar, India, and he was a modern-day Gautam Buddha.

  • He quit his worldly occupancies at 30 and desired stringent life leading to Kevala Gnan.
  • He achieved Kaivalya beneath a bush of Sal.
  • The 24th Jain Tirthankar acquired Nirvana in Pavapuri of Bihar.
  • The main teachings of Mahavira include Ahimsa, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha, Asetya, and Satya.

24 Tirthankara of Jainism UPSC

Candidates who desire to work as Government officials must cover the entire Syllabus of UPSC and read the NCERT books or study material on important subjects. 24 Tirthankara of Jainism comes under the Indian Art, Culture, Literature, and Architecture section of the UPSC Syllabus. Candidates can examine the Art and Culture Notes for UPSC preparation to learn the topic thoroughly.

The notes are beneficial for candidates studying for IAS, IPS, IFS, or any other Government competitive exams. Aspirants must be competently familiar with the Tirthankaras of Jainism topic for the exam, which is a crucial part of the Syllabus.

24 Tirthankara of Jainism UPSC Questions

Candidates can also study NCERT Books for UPSC to make a strong foundation before picking advanced UPSC books for Prelims and Mains preparation. The aspirants can practice the questions pertaining to 24 Tirthankara of Jainism.

Question: Consider the following pairs:

Tirthankara Symbol: [1] Shambhava – Snake, [2] Abhinandana – Ape, [3] Dharma – Thunderbolt, [4] Parshvanath – Horse.

Select the correct pairs: (A) 1 and 3, (B) 2 and 3, (C) 1, 2, and 4, (D) All of the options

Answer: Option (B) 2 and 3 [Abhinandana – Ape, Dharma – Thunderbolt]

Question: Which of the given statements is/are correct about Jainism? [1] Its primary goal is to achieve liberation, for which no ritual is necessary. [2] Lord Mahavira was the final of the 24 great teachers.

Select the correct options from below: (A) 1 only, (B) 2 only, (C) Both 1 and 2,  (D) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (Option C) Both 1 and 2

Its primary goal is to achieve liberation, for which no ritual is necessary. It is run by three principles known as the Three Jewels or Triratna

  • Right Knowledge (Samyakjnana)
  • Right Action (Samyak Charitra)
  • Right Faith (Samyak Darshan)

Lord Mahavira was the final 24th great teacher who had earned complete understanding (Moksha) while living and imparting it to the masses.

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