They are human beings who:
The word Jina means ‘spiritual victor’ while Tīrthaṃkara means ‘maker of a ford’. Referring to the same people, these Sanskrit terms are titles. The first one describes how a person has successfully battled his natural attachment to the world, including emotions, people and things, to achieve enlightenment. The second term highlights how the enlightened person has built a ford across the river of rebirth so others can follow him to liberation.
Jinas are not gods but human beings. Liberated souls can be described as supreme souls – paramātman. This word is sometimes thought of as being equivalent to 'God' but is not like the monotheistic concept of God familiar in the West. Jains do not believe that a supreme being created the universe or judges people after death. The Jinas, however, are often called ‘Lord’ in English or dev – ‘gods’ – in Indian languages. Jains talk of Rishabhdev for instance. This is because they represent perfection in every way.
Even so, Jains traditionally believe in gods and goddesses because they live in the upper world of the three worlds of Jain cosmology. They are, however, unliberated souls and can only achieve liberation if they are reborn as human beings in the middle world.
Liberated souls are completely detached from the concerns of the world. Even though gods and goddesses have unliberated souls, they have supernatural powers. Deities can intervene in human affairs so some lay Jains may pray to them for help in matters such as health, happiness, fertility and wealth.
Along with other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, Jains believe that: