Girnar Bhakti
Shwetambar Jain Mahatirth, Girnar
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Neminath Bhagvan History of idol of Lord Neminath
Lord Sagar, 3rd Tirthankara of the previous era of 24 Tirthankaras (Gat Chovisi), attained the absolute supreme knowledge (Kevalgyan) on the land of Bharat Kshetra (Region), in Jambudveep. After attaining enlightenment, Lord Sagar travelled from one destination to another, purifying the land and imparting knowledge in the form of sermons (Deshana) seated in a Samavasaran1 , where crores of celestial beings, saints, nuns, human beings as well as animals would gather to worship Him and listen to His divine voice.

In the midst of an enchanting sermon, given by Lord Sagar in a garden situated on the outskirts of the city of Ujjayini, King Naravahan asked Lord Sagar,”Oh Lord! When would I able to attain salvation (Moksh)?” Lord Sagar replied, ”You will attain salvation in the reign of Lord Neminath, the 22nd Tirthankara of the subsequent era of 24 Tirthankaras who will remain celibate throughout his life”. On hearing this, King Naravahan renounced the materialistic world and was ordained a life of sainthood (Diksha) by Lord Sagar. After completing an austere life as a saint, King Naravahan took birth as a celestial being named Brahmadev in the 5th heaven (5th Devlok called Brahmalok), with life span of 10 Sagaropamas .
Almighty Lord Sagar, adorned by eight exclusive symbols (Ashtpratiharya) that are confined to a Tirthankara only, arrived at a lovely garden in the city of Champapuri where a samavasaran was created. Lord Sagar started his religious sermons.

Brahmadev the soul of King Naravahan left the luxuries of the 5th heaven to listen to the divine sermon given by Lord Sagar, respectfully bowed down to him and asked him, ”Oh Lord! When will I attain salvation and be able to experience the eternal bliss that liberated souls experience?” Lord Sagar resolved Brahmadev’s query by saying, “Hey Brahmadev! You will be the first disciple (Gandhar) of the 22nd Tirthankara Lord Neminath in the subsequent era of 24 Tirthankara and your name will be Vardatta. You will be instrumental in awakening souls and showing them the path of salvation. “ A soul attains permanent and true happiness only when he reaches the final destination – Moksh i.e. he attains salvation. All the worldly, materialistic pleasures experienced in various births are short lived and not happiness in real terms. To be free from temporary joys and sorrows, pain, diseases and attain eternal happiness of the soul, one should sincerely strive by walking on the path of renounciation, performing strict penances and nurturing comparision for all living beings. Thus, with a heart filled with purity, simplicity and devotion you can pave your way to salvation by destroying all your Karmic bondages”. On hearing these promising words, Brahmadev was delighted. With deep respect and gratitude towards Lord Sagar he went back to the 5th heaven.

Brahmadev thought,”I shall have an idol of Lord Neminath carved with the most exquisite precious gems and worship Him. Alas! With his grace, I shall be free from ignorance like darkness obstructing the light of knowledge. With his grace, I shall be free from all my karmic bondages and my transmigration from one life to another shall end!”. Filled with these emotions, Brahmadev got a robust idol made, whose grandeur and aura spread 12 yojans (unit of measurement) wide. Brahmadev devotionally worshipped this idol thrice a day, in the best possible way with devotional music, dance and excellent other divine offerings, for a continuous period of 10 Sagaropams. His love and devotion for Lord Neminath kept on growing everyday. Thereafter, Brahmadev’s soul transmigrated from one body to another and eventually took birth as King Punyasar in the reign of Lord Neminath.

Lord Neminath said, “King Punyasar, in one of his previous lives, specially got a magnificent idol of Lord Neminath made for him and worshipped it with heartfelt devotion, continuously for a period of 10 Sagaropams. Due to this devotion he was reborn as King Punyasar, who accepted sainthood and became my first disciple, Vardatta. He will attain salvation in this life itself”. On hearing these divine words of Lord Neminath, Brahmadev (of that period) stood up, bowed down to him and said,”Oh Lord! My ancestors and I have been worshipping the same idol with utmost loyalty and reverence in our hearts since ever and ever. All Brahmadevs that were born in the 5th heaven have assumed this to be immortal, till you acknowledged its mortality today”. Lord Neminath replied, ”Hey Indra! Heavens mainly have immortal idols, whereas mortal idols are present in the mortal world (Tirchaloka), please bring that idol here.” Brahmadev immediately got that idol from the 5th heaven ,King Krishna delightfully took the idol from Lord Neminath for worshipping it.

Lord Neminath then started portraying the significance of the holy mountain of Girnar and said, “Girnar is the 5th golden peak of Shatrunjaya. It is enveloped by heavenly trees such as the Mandra and Kalpavruksha(Wish Fulfilling tree ). The waterfalls and streams running through the mountain, depict that the sins and violent instincts of those souls, having the potential to be liberated, will be washed away by the mere sight or touch of this pious mountain Girnar. One who donates money earned by lawful means for any good cause related to Girnar, would be prosperous in his future lives. One who will worship the idol of Lord Neminath with supreme devotion and offer unadulterated food, clothes and vessels to saints on this holy mountain, is said to have set foot on his journey towards the eternal bliss of liberation. Not only birds but even the trees that reside on this holy mountain are very fortunate. Celestial beings, saints, enlightened souls, demigods and angels frequently visit this sacred mountain to pay homage and offer their services. One is also relieved from severe diseases like leprosy, if he bathes continuously in the the waters of the wells or ponds ( like the Gajpad Pond)present here, for a period of 6 months”.

Hearing about the magnificence of Girnar, King Krishna asked Lord Neminath, “Oh Lord! O ocean of compassion! How long will we be able to worship the idol obtained by Brahmadev that has been placed in the temple of my palace? Where will it be worshipped once it’s been taken away?” Lord Neminath replied, ”This idol will be worshipped in the temple of your palace till the city of Dwarkapuri exists, after that it will be worshiped by the celestial beings of Kanchangiri. 2000 years after my salvation, Ratnasar a merchant, will bring this idol from a cave to Girnar, with the help of Ambika Devi(Godess). With extreme faith and devotion, he will install the idol in a temple here. The idol will stay in this temple for 1,03,250 years. On the onset of the barbarous 6th era, Ambika Devi will take this idol to the netherworld (patalalok). She with many other celestial beings in the netherworld will continue worshipping this idol.”

After knowing the marvellous history of Lord Neminath currently residing on the top of the pious mountain Girnar, we conclude that this idol was made in the reign of Lord Sagar, the 3rd Tirthankara of the previous era of 24 tirthankaras, by Brahmadev of the 5th heaven and thus, is the most ancient idol worshipped on the land of Bharatkshetra, today.

A three layered circular structure created by celestial beings for a Tirthankara’s sermon soon after he attains Kevalgyan.
1 Sagaropam = 10 Kodakodi [1 crore x 1 crore] palyopams years(countless years).

Antiquity of the idol of Lord Neminath

Years of the previous ascending cycle of time (Utsarpini Kaal) : 21,000 years of 1st era + 21,000 years of the second era + 84,250 years (after which the reign of Lord Sagar began) of the 3rd era + x years (a few years after the inception of the reign of Lord Sagar, Brahmadev got this idol made) of the 3rd era. Thus total of 1,26,250 years +x years deducted from 10 Kodakodi(crore times crore) sagaropams(uncountable numbers of years) of the previous ascending cycle of time.

Years of the present descending cycle of the time (Avasarpini kaal) : 39,485 years subtracted from 21,000 years of the 6th era (yet to come) + 18,484 years which are left of the 5th era. Thus, 40 kodakodi sagaropams of th previous descending cycle of time.

Thus, (A total of 1,26,250 years + x years deducted from 10 kodakodi sagaropam of the previous ascending cycle of time) + (39,485 years deducted from 10 kodakodi sagaropams of the present descending cycle of time) = 20 kodakodi sagaropams of one time cycle (kalchakra) minus total of 1,65,735 years and x years, result to the time period of this idol’s existence till date.

Antiquity of the main temple or the present location of the idol of Lord Neminath 2000 years after the salvation of Lord Neminath, the idol was placed in the current temple situated on the pious mountain Girnar. The reign of Lord Neminath lasted for 82,000 years after his salvation, followed by the reign of Lord Parshvanath which lasted for 250 years, succeeded by 2,335 years of the reign of Lord Mahavir. Thus the temple where the idol of Lord Neminath currently resides is approximately 84,785 years old. Go to Top

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