Article: Saṃbhava

Contributed by Jasmine Kelly

Saṃbhavanātha or Lord Saṃbhava is the third 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 shows an important animal in Jain myth. The horse is the emblem – lāñchana – of Saṃbhavanatha or Lord Saṃbhava, the third Jina. It is also the symbol of the 6th group of Bhavanavāsin gods, the Vāyu-kumāra or ' stormy youths'.

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

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

Saṃbhava’s symbolic colour is gold and his emblem the horse.

Like all Jinas, Saṃbhava has a pair of spiritual attendants, often shown in art. His yakṣa is Trimukha. Digambaras call his yakṣī Prajñapti while Śvetāmbaras call her Duritāri.

Related Manuscripts

  • Worship of R̥ṣabha

    Worship of R̥ṣabha

    British Library. Add. 26519. Unknown authors. Possibly 18th century

  • Text


    Victoria and Albert Museum. IM 7-1931. Unknown author. Circa 1490

Related Manuscript Images

  • Ten Jinas

    Ten Jinas

    British Library. Or. 5149. Unknown author. 1464

  • A Jina in meditation

    A Jina in meditation

    Bodleian Library. MS. Ind. Inst. Sansk. 109. Unknown author. 1596 - All text is © JAINpedia / Institute of Jainology 2021 under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence The Jain universe online at

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