A tirthankar is a person who has conquered samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth), and provide a bridge for others to follow them from samsara to moksha (liberation). 24 tirthankaras grace each half of the cosmic time cycle in Jain cosmology. The first tirthankara was Rishbha Bahgwan (Symbol -Bull), who is credited for formulating and organizing humans to live in a society harmoniously. The last 24th tirhankar of the current cycle was Mahaveer Bhagwan (Symbol- Lion). In Jain tradition the tirthankars were royal in their final lives, and Jain texts record details of their previous lives. Their clan and families are also among those recorded in very early, or legendary, Hindu history. Twenty two tirthankars belonged to the Ikshvaku dynasty. Two tirthankars – Munisuvrat Bhagwan (Symbol- tortoise), the twentieth, and Neminath (Symbol- Shankha), the twenty-second – belonged to the Hari dynasty. Jain canons state that Rishabha, the first tirthankar, founded the Ikshvaku dynasty. In Jain tradition, the twenty tirthankars achieved siddha status on mount Shikharji. Twenty-one of the tirthankars are said to have attained moksha in the kayotsarga “standing meditation” posture, while Rishabha, Neminath and Mahaveer bhagwan are said to have attained moksha in the lotus position.
White Marble (Makrana Mines)
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