Article: Ajita

Contributed by Jasmine Kelly

Ajitanātha or Lord Ajita is the second of the 24 Jinas of the present cycle of time.

The word Jina means 'victor' in Sanskrit. A Jina is an enlightened human being who has triumphed over karma through practising extreme asceticism and teaches the way to achieve liberation. A Jina is also called a Tīrthaṃkara or 'ford-maker' in Sanskrit – that is, one who has founded a community after reaching omniscience.

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Story and images

This manuscript painting of an elephant shows an important animal in Jain myth. The elephant is the emblem – lāñchana – of Ajita, the second Jina, and appears in parables, stories and auspicious dreams in Jain myths

Elephant
Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

There is no historical evidence of Ajita's existence but traditional writings recount his life as following the usual career of a Jina. Tradition holds that he was born in Ayodhyā and achieved liberation on Mount Sammeta, also known as Pārasnātha Hill.

Ajita’s symbolic colour is gold and his emblem the elephant.

Like all Jinas, Ajita has a pair of spiritual attendants, often shown in art. His yakṣa is Mahāyakṣa. Digambaras call his yakṣī Rohinī while Śvetāmbaras call her Ajitā.

Related Manuscripts

Related Manuscript Images

  • Ten Jinas

    Ten Jinas

    British Library. Or. 12744. 1522. Unknown author.

  • Image of a Jina

    Image of a Jina

    British Library. Or. 13623. Yaśo-vijaya. 1733

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