Seated image of Shantinatha with old Kannada inscription (1200 A.D.) engraved on the pedestal in Shantinatha Basadi, Jinanathapura
|Symbol||Deer or Antelope|
|Height||40 bows (120 metres)|
|Age||over 700,000 years|
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Shree Shantinatha was the sixteenth Jain tirthankar of the present age (Avasarpini). Shree Shantinatha was born to King Visvasen and Queen Achira at Hastinapur in the Ikshvaku dynasty. His birth date is the thirteenth day of the Jyest Krishna month of the Indian calendar. He was also a Chakravartin and a Kamadeva. He ascended to throne when he was 25 years old. At the age of 50 years, he became a Jain monk and started his penance. According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma.
Biography in Jain tradition
Life before renunciation
He was born to King Visvasen and Queen Achira at Hastinapur on 13th day of Jestha Krishna in the Ikshvaku clan. Before the birth of Shantinatha, Queen Achira dreamt the fourteen most auspicious dreams. Shantinatha spent 25,000 years as youth (kumāra kāla) and married a beautiful princess. He ruled his kingdom for 50,000 years. During his rule, armoury was blessed with divine chakraratna. During his reign He conquered all 6 divisions of earth in all direction, acquiring elephant, horses, nine-fold most precious treasures and fourteen ratna(jewels). Shantinatha became the 5th Chakravartin.
During his time epidemic of epilepsy broke out and he helped people to control it. Shantinath became idea of peace and tranquility by averted epidemics, fire, famine, foreign invasions, robbers etc. giving him name of Shantinath. He is also associated with special right known as Shantikarma. According to Acharya Hemachandra, epidemics, evils and misery were destroyed when Shantinatha was in his mother's womb.
Shantinatha when made aware of his previous incarnations renounced his worldly life and became a Jain ascetic. After sixteen year of asceticism, on the 9th bright day of month of Pausha (December–January), he achieved Kevala Jnana (omniscience) under a nandi tree. According to Jain text, Shantinatha during his penance neither taken sleep nor food. After achieving Kevala Jnana he visited Somanasapur, and was offered first ahara food by King Dharma Mitra and his wife.
He is said to have lived 1 lakh year and spend many years spreading his knowledge. On 13th day of the dark half of the month Jyestha (May–June), he attained nirvana at Sammed Shikharji,[note 1] known contemporaneously as the Parasnath Hills in northern Jharkhand.
- King Srisena
- Yugalika in Uttar Kurukshetra
- Deva in Saudharma heaven
- Amitateja, prince of Arkakirti
- Heavenly deva in 10th heaven Pranat (20 sagars life span)
- Aparajit Baldeva in East Mahavideha (life span of 84,00, 000 purva)
- Heavenly Indra in 12th heaven Achyuta (22 sagars life span)
- Vajrayudh Chakri, the son of Tirthankar Kshemanakar in East Mahvideha
- Heavenly deva in Navgraivayak heaven
- Megharath, the son of Dhanarath in East Mahavideh in the area where Simandhar Swami is moving at present
- Heavenly deva in Sarvartha Siddha Heaven (33 sagars life span)
Along with Rishabhanatha, Neminatha, Parshvanatha and Mahavira, Shantinatha is one of the five tirthankars who attract the most devotional worship among the Jains. According to Santistava compiled by Acharya Manadevasuri, the head of Shvetambar in 3rd century AD, mere recitation of Shantinath negates all bad omens, brings peace and protect devotees from problems. Santistava is considered one of the four most beautifully written stavans. The Laghnu-Shantistavaa, compiled by Acharya Manadevi suri in 7th century, is hymn to Shantinatha full of tantric usage. The yakshi Nirvani devi is also known as Shanti-devi and prayed to with Shantinatha for peace.
- The Shantinatha Charitra, by Acharya Ajitprabhasuri, describes the life of 16th Jain tirthankara Shantinatha. This text is the oldest example of miniature painting and has been declared as a global treasure by UNESCO.
- Shantipurana written in around 10th century by Sri Ponna.
- Santyastaka is a hymn in Praise of Śāntinātha composed by Acharya Pujyapada in 5th century.
- Ajitasanti complied by Nandisena in 7th century is a praise to Shantinatha and Ajitnatha.
- Santikara complied by Munisundarasuri in 15th century.
- Mahapurusha Charitra compiled by Merutunga in 13th-14th century, talks about Shantinatha.
Shantinatha is usually depicted in a sitting or standing meditative posture with the symbol of a deer or antelope beneath him. Every Tīrthankara has a distinguishing emblem that allows worshippers to distinguish similar-looking idols of the Tirthankaras. The deer or antelope emblem of shantinath is usually carved below the legs of the Tirthankara. Like all Tirthankaras, Shantinath is depicted with Shrivatsa[note 2] and downcast eyes.
Shantinatha, Pakbirra Jain temple
Shantinatha Idol, 12th century, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Main idol of Shantinatha Shri Semliya Tirth
Shantinatha statue, 15th century, Honolulu Academy of Arts
- Shantinatha Temple, Khajuraho - a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Prachin Bada Mandir, Hastinapur - birthplace of Shantinatha
- Shantinath Temple, Deogarh
- Shantinatha Basadi, Jinanathapura
- Shantinath Jain Teerth
- Aharji Jain Teerth
- Shantinath Jain temple, Kothara
- Shantinath Jain Temple in Leicester (first Jain Temple in Europe and the Western World) - Jainism in the United Kingdom
- In 2016, the tallest statue of Shantinatha with the height of 54 feet (16 m) was erected in Ajmer.
- The 32 feet (9.8 m) statue of Shantinath at Shantinath Jinalaya, Shri Mahavirji
- The 31 feet (9.4 m) statue of Shantinath at Prachin Bada Mandir, Hastinapur
- The 30 feet (9.1 m) image at Aggalayya Gutta, Warangal.
- The 22.5 feet (6.9 m) statue of Shantinath at Bhojpur Jain Temple
- The 18 feet (5.5 m) Idol at Aharji
- The 18 feet (5.5 m) sculpture at Shantinatha basadi, Halebidu.
- The colossal 5.33 metres (17.5 ft) statue in Naugaza Digambar Jain temple.
- The 15 feet (4.6 m) image at Shantinatha temple, Khajuraho.
- The 15 feet (4.6 m) image inside Shantinath Basadi, Chandragiri
- The 12.2 feet (3.7 m) statue in Bahuriband built in 12th century.
Shantinath Basadi, Chandragiri
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- Some texts refer to the place as Mount Sammeta. This place is revered in Jainism because 20 out of 24 Jinas died here.
- A special symbol that marks the chest of a Tirthankara. The yoga pose is very common in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Each tradition has had a distinctive auspicious chest mark that allows devotees to identify a meditating statue to symbolic icon for their theology. There are several srivasta found in ancient and medieval Jain art works, and these are not found on Buddhist or Hindu art works.
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