Who Is Parshvanatha In Hindu Mythology?

When you look at Hindu mythology, specifically at the Tirthankaras or teachers, there is one called Parshvanatha. The second to last of all 24 of these ford-makers in Jainism, he is generally acknowledged but there is very little on his biography. It is thought that he was born around the eighth century BC. Others will argue that it was a century later. Like many of these masters, they renounced their life, and began to follow asceticism. In this particular master is credited with what is called the four fold restraint. It is simply for things you should not do which include never own property, lie, steal, and do not kill your fellow man.

Why He Was Omniscient And His Death

It was at the age of 30 that he was able to attain a form of enlightenment. He was under what was called the Dhaataki tree. He performed asceticism, but he also meditated for 84 days which is what allowed him to achieve Kevala Jnana. After learning all of this, he began to teach people. He did so for 70 years. It was at the age of 100 that he died, and his name is said to mean beloved of the people because of all of the things he had done for people in his land.

Previous Births And Disciples

According to the Jain mythologies, Parshvanatha was said to have had several rebirth’s which included coming back as an animal and a human. He was always moving toward inner harmony, and came back as many different people including the prime minister of King Aravinda, an elephant, and even a sage. He had many disciples that are discussed in the Jain texts. After his death, his disciple Subhadatta became the leader. The teachings were very similar to many of the others taught in the Jain traditions with the four fold restraint teachings being the one that sets him apart from the others.

Parshvanatha is one of the few Tirthankaras that does not have a very detailed history. Despite that, there are many accounts of how he was able to reach enlightenment, teach the people, and how he did have disciples. It was even stated that he had given up close, and added celibacy to the monistic vows. You will definitely know that you are looking at artwork or statues of Parshvanatha because he is depicted with a serpent hood that is over his head.