Tirthankara Parshvanath

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Tirthankara Parshvanath / तीर्थंकर पार्श्वनाथ

Parshvanath or Parshvanatha was the twenty-third Tirthankara (fordmaker) in Jainism. fl. ca. in the 9th Century BCE, traditionally (877 – 777 BCE) . He is the earliest Jain leader generally accepted as a historical figure. He was a nobleman belonging to the Kshatriya caste. He lived a life of a nobleman for 30 years and was married, before he renounced the world to become a monk. He meditated for 84 days before attaining Nirvana. According to the Jain tradition he attained nirvana 250 years before the nirvana of Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankar. The chronology accepted by most Jains (Svetambaras) places Mahavira's death in 527 BCE. Parshva was the son of king Ashvasena and queen Vama of Varanasi. He renounced the world and became an ascetic when he was 30 years old. He achieved Nirvana atop Sammet Sikhar, now named Parshvanatha after him. He was called purisādāṇīya ("beloved of men"), a name which shows that he must have been a genial personality. Still in our times he is most popular among the Jains. Lord Parshvanath is always represented with the hood of a naga shading his head. The Yaksha Dharanendra and the Yakshi Padmavati are often shown flanking him.

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