Showing posts from 2017

Purimtal Tirth - The holiest of the holy lands !

The land where the first Chaturvidh  (Four-fold) Jain Sangh was installed! The land where the first Tirthankar Lord Adinath attained Enlightenment! The land where Mata Marudevi became the first person of this cosmic cycle to attain Moksh ! The land where the first Samavasaran was created! The land where Gandhar Shri Pundarik Swami took Diksha ! The land where Lord Adinath gave his first sermon ! The land where the first “ Dwadshangi ” was created (scriptures created by the Gandhar’s based on the teachings of the lord)  The land where Lord Mahavir’s Samavasaran was also created 2500 years ago! The land where demi-gods Gomukh Yaksh and Chakreshwari Devi were manifested! The land where 3 holy rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati merge to form a divine “ Triveni-Sangam ” The land with so many attributes must be a revered pilgrimage like Shatrunjay, Shankheshwar, Girnar and Shikharji…Right? Perhaps no . We must’ve visited or atleast heard the n

Ancient idols of Lord Mallinath worshiped in female form

While I have always been fascinated by history, some intricacies of Jain antiquity have never failed to amaze me. One such instance where such historicity is debated is that the two major sects of Jainism – the Shwetambar’s and Digambar’s disagree on the matter whether the 19th Tirthankar, Shri Mallinath Bhagwan was a male or female. While the Shwetambar’s believe that Lord Mallinath was a female, the Digambar’s disagree on the same as they perceive that a true mendicant must renounce all property or possessions including clothes to attain Moksh (Liberation). This injunction effectively bars women from ever renouncing all "possessions" and, accordingly, from attaining Moksh. On the other hand, the Shwetambar’s have put forward various Shastras (scriptures) to claim that a female can attain Moksh and further state that a female (Lord Mallinath) becoming a Tirthankar is an Acchera / Asharya (exception/ extraordinary event) of this cosmic age. Further, even though

The Sultan of Sultans!

Once on my way to Palanpur , I came across a signboard on the Mehsana Palanpur Highway displaying the route to a very unique and uncommon name for a Jain temple named Shri Siddhidayak Sultan Parshwanath Tirth ! Why would lord Parshwanath be associated with a title given to a Turkic ruler? Surprised and curious to know more, I inquired about this signboard from the bus conductor who was astonished that I had never heard about this place before  - " સુલતાન દાદા નું નામ પણ નથી સાંભળ્યું તમે?"  Keen to know more, I got off at the very next stop and paid a visit to this amazing temple which recounts the tale of how Allaudin Khilji, (who had the audacity and the might to conquer large kingdoms, kill thousands of innocent lives, force hundreds of women to commit Jauhar and destroy magnificent temples like Somnath)   had to bow down before the might of Lord's divinity ~ The year was 1299 . After conquering various kingdoms of Ranthambore and Chittor in the Rajputana, De

Kakandi - Divinity in Tranquility

As the Tata Magic carrying me and my fellow passengers sped through the State Highway 18, deep purple skies surrendered to the advancing column of sun rays illuminating the fields as well as providing some warmth to our bodies in the foggy winter morning. Birds chirped away creating a beautiful melody in the background while the rows of Palmyra trees dotting the highway shone as if they were wearing golden crowns. Crossing the gurgling waters of Kiul river amidst such serene surroundings, I wished time would pause.  The dusty dirt tracks of Bihar I was on my way to the Kakandi tirth situated in the Kakan village of Bihar which the Shwetambar Jains believe to be the birthplace (and the land of 3 other Kalyanaks - Inception, Consecration and Omniscience) of the 9th Tirthankar, Shri Suvidhinath Bhagwan . Originally derived from the word ‘ Vihar ’ the name of the state Bihar signifies the wandering land of spiritual ascetics of sramanic traditions like Jainism, Buddh

The Torchbearer of Jivdaya !

A few years ago when I happened to visit Gujarat, our driver took a wrong turn on a deserted state highway in the outskirts of Patan (Google maps had not graced my cell phone at that time). Our driver was fanatically looking for someone who could guide us towards the main town and after treading a short distance, we came across a gentleman who offered to help us as he was heading towards the same destination. He boarded our vehicle and directed the route to the driver. Although the gentleman was in his mid-sixties, he seemed quite fit for his age and his banter continued non-stop which was quite annoying, given the fact that we were strangers moments ago. As we were about to reach the town, his excitement suddenly arose when I mentioned that we had come from Kolkata. He started recollecting something very earnestly and his eyes glinted as he announced that he also knew a great humanitarian from Kolkata. He proudly continued that this noble gentleman from Kolkata was deeply com