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Shri Parshvanath

Lanchan

Birth Place : Varnasi (Kashi)
Birth Date (or) Tithi : Pous Vadi 10
Fathers Name : Aswasen
Mothers Name : Vamadevi
Lanchan (Sign) : Sarp
Nirvana Dham (or) Place: Samet Shikhar
Nirvana Date (or) Tithi : Sravan Sudi 8

Click Here to see the list of 108 names of Shri Parshvanath.

The 23rd Tirthankar Parshvanath is the very embodiment of the spirit of non-malice. In one of his previous lives, the one-sided malice entertained by one Kamath towards him on the one hand, and Parshva's feeling of amity towards him on the other are a proof of his highest attainment in non-violence. 

About 3000 years ago, an exceedingly illustrious child was born in the race of Iksvaku in the line of Kasyapa to king Asvasena of Varanasi from his enlightened consort Vamadevi on the eleventh day of the dark half of Pausa He was named Parshva Kumar. Parshva Kumar was brilliant, rich in intellect, endowed with many auspicious marks and detached to worldly life by birth. Although there was no dearth of luxury goods in his home, he had no attraction for them. Though reared under the shadow of affluence, he remained non-involved like a lotus though in water. In his youth, his parents tried to settle him in marriage but they could not succeed to make him agree. 

He was self enlightened by birth and so he was always indifferent to the worldly life. One day in the morning, he was going out for a walk in the company of his friends when in the way he saw his maternal grandfather garbed as a monk performing the panchagni penance on the way side. In the midst of the blazing flame, there was a pair of he and she snakes who were also getting burnt. Parshva Kumar knew all this by dint of his extra sensory knowledge and he asked his grandfather to desist from this type of penance, but the latter was not convinced till the log was pierced and the pair came out half burnt. Parshva Kumar consoled the snakes with sweet words. As their sin had reached a low point, after death they were born as Dharanendra and his consort Padmavati. 

After this heart rending episode, Parshva was full of compassion, and he became a digamber-possessionless monk on the eleventh day of the dark half of Pausa. 

Once the said monk Parshvanath was seated in meditation with a vow of non-breaking silence in the district of Ahi when a "god" named Samvara (who had in him the soul of Kamath) was flying through the sky. When his eyes fell on Parsva the inveterate hatred of his previous birth against him suddenly came up and he inflicted on him terrible hardships such as severe downpours, snowfall, hailstorm, terrible gusts of wind even heavy shower of stones, but he could not sway Parshva from his penance. 

At the time when Samvara was inflicting these hardships Dharanendra and Padmavati sought to soften his hardships. Though Parsvanath was fully protected in his meditation and he neither desired nor need help from any quarter, still Dharanendra and Padmavati tried to help him within their own resource. In accordance with this tradition, many images of Parsva have been found with the hood of a snake above him but these cannot and must not be very old, since, as per the sacred texts, images are made only after one had conquered all foes, internal as well as external, and become a victor (Arihanta), and at this stage, no hardship can be inflicted on him. So the image with the hood of a snake can be the image of monk Parshva, and not of Bhagwan Parshva. The images of Bahubali too need a similar consideration. An image with creepers may be that of monk Bahubali, but surely it cannot be that of Arihanta Bhagwan Bahubali. But unfortunately such a wrong tradition got started and is still continuing. One may come across in any temple in India the image of Bhagwan Parsva with the hood of a snake and of Bahubali with creepers. 

On the 14th day of the dark half of Chaitra, when fully immersed in self, monk Parsva had the acquisition of supreme knowledge. He became a Bhagwan. Afterwards, for about 70 years, he travelled on foot all over the country and delivered sermons at innumerable congregations. 

In the end, on completion of a Century of lifespan, he entered into nirvana at Sammet Sikhara, from which it has acquired the name Paresnath Hill. Even the Railway Station is named Paresnath. Located in the District of Hazaribag in Bihar, this is the most important place of pilgrimage for the Jains. On this mountain, twenty out of twenty-four Tirthankar's of the Jains have attained nirvana. Thousands of pilgrims visit this place every year. 

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