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The Pañca-Parameṣṭhi (Sanskrit for "five supreme beings") in Jainism are a fivefold hierarchy of religious authorities worthy of veneration.[1][2]

Five supreme beings[edit]

They are following:

  1. Arihant: The awakened souls who have attained keval gyan are considered as Arihant. The 24 Tirthankaraas or Jinas, the legendary founding figures of Jainism in the present time cycle are Arihants. All Tirthankaras are Arihants but all Arihants are not Thirthankars.[2]
  2. Ashiri or Siddha : The souls which have been liberated from the birth and death cycle.
  3. Acharya: "Teachers"
  4. Upadhyaya: "Preceptors"
  5. Muni or Sadhu: Monks

The five initials, viz. A+A+A+U+M are taken as forming the Aum syllable.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jaini, Padmanabh S. (1998). The Jaina Path Of Purification. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 163. ISBN 9788120815780. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Shah, Natubhai (1998). Jainism: The World of Conquerors, Volume 1. Sussex Academic Press. p. 174. ISBN 9781898723301. Retrieved 14 December 2012.