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.

This piece is a summary of the article "Saṃbhava". The full article will be available soon.

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'.

Horse
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.

Images

  • Horse This manuscript painting of a horse 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 sixth group of Bhavanavāsin gods, the Vāyu-kumāra – ' stormy youths'.. Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

Further Reading

Historical Dictionary of Jainism
Kristi L. Wiley
Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements series; series editor Jon Woronoff; volume 53
Scarecrow Press; Maryland, USA; 2004

Full details

Glossary

Jina

A 'victor' in Sanskrit, a Jina is an enlightened human being who has triumphed over karma and teaches the way to achieve liberation. A synonym for Tīrthaṃkara, which means 'ford-maker' or one who has founded a community after reaching omniscience through asceticism. The most famous 24 – Ṛṣabha to Mahāvīra – were born in the Bharata-kṣetra of the middle world, but more are found in other continents. There have been Jinas in the past and there will be some in the future.

Mokṣa

The 'liberation' of the soul from its body and thus from the cycle of rebirth because it has no karma and becomes omniscient. The ultimate aim of Jainism is to achieve mokṣa and become a liberated soul in siddha-śilā.

Yakṣa

The male attendant of a Jina, one of the pair of guardian or protector gods for each Jina. The śāsana-devatā protect his teachings – śāsana – and can appease evil powers. The yakṣa and yakṣī's closeness to the Jina and their divine powers mean they are popular subjects of worship.

Yakṣī

The female attendant of a Jina, also called yakṣinī. One of the pair of guardian or protector gods for each Jina. The śāsana-devatā protect his teachings – śāsana – and can appease evil powers. The yakṣa and yakṣī's closeness to the Jina and their divine powers mean they are popular subjects of worship.

EXT:mediabrowse Processing Watermark

Related Manuscripts

Related Manuscript Images

http://www.jainpedia.org/themes/people/jina/sambhava/mediashow/print.html - All text is © JAINpedia / Institute of Jainology 2020 under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence The Jain universe online at www.jainpedia.org

Unless images are explicitly stated as either public domain or licensed under a Creative Commons licence, all images are copyrighted. See individual images for details of copyright.