Girnar Bhakti
Shwetambar Jain Mahatirth, Girnar
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Rahnemi The temple of Rahnemi: (The liberated soul Rahnemi – 51 inches)
At an ascent of about 350 steps from the Gaumukhi Ganga, is the temple of Rahnemi on the right with a black coloured idol of Rahnemi. This idol was coated with holy plaster during the Vikram Samvat year of 2058. Across India, this is probably the only temple where an idol of a liberated soul and not a Tirthankar has been installed as the main idol.

Rahnemi, the younger brother of Lord Neminath, renounced the world and embraced monkhood on this very land of Girnar. He then carried out penance with great restraint, destroyed the eight karmas and attained enlightenment and salvation in Sahasavan.

After the Rahnemi temple, further ahead lies the Ambaji temple. This temple of Goddess Amba can be reached via the strenuous climb of Sachakaka which is 535 steps.
Samavasaran temple (Lord Neminath – 35 inches):
This Samavasaran temple has a four faced black coloured idol of Lord Neminath (four idols, one each in each of the four directions) dating back to the period of King Samprati. The consecration of this idol was carried out under the holy auspices of respected Acharya Himanshusuri Maharaj Saheb,Acharya Kalapurnasuri Maharaj Saheb, Panyas Hemchandravijayji Maharaj Saheb and many other Jain monks and nuns on the fifth day of the second half of the month of Chaitra in the Vikram Samvat year 2040 (1984 A.C).

Entering the Samavasaran temple, you actually get the feel of being present in the Lord’s Samavasaran. Climbing up the steps, the sight of the four idols of the Lord placed in the center under the Ashoka tree, makes one’s heart blithe. In the hall around the Samavasaran, 10 idols of Tirthankars belonging to the past cycle of 24 Tirthankars, a black idol of Lord Neminath, 24 alluring idols of the 24 Tirthankars of the future cycle and a yellow coloured idol of Lord Padmanabh , 1st Tirthankar of the next cycle of 24 Tirthankars has been installed. Also a wonderful idol of Lord Neminath, remarked as “Jeevit Swami” which means that this was created when Lord Neminath was living and an idol of Rahnemi catches one’s eyes. An exquisite wooden Samavasaran temple housing idols of the 6 chief disciples of Lord Neminath has been placed here.

Idols of Lord Neminath’s presiding guardian Gomedhyaksh and Goddess Ambikadevi can be seen after entering the temple on the left and right respectively. In other halls, pictures and footprints of the respected elders and mentors of rev. Acharya Himanshusuriji Maharaj Saheb can be seen.

In a cave below, behind the Samavasaran, a captivating idol of Lord Neminath (11 inches) has been placed. Many great souls have carried out special meditations here for several days, while fasting for 3 days at a stretch and yet many souls come here frequently to contemplate and meditate.

The construction of this Samavasaran temple has been carried out by the Sahashavan Kalyanakbhumi Tirthoddhar Samiti – Junagadh (close meaning: the Sahasavan Shrine Restoration Foundation – Junagadh). This foundation was formed by the rev. Acharya Himanshusuri maharaj saheb’s inspiration. This foundation manages the accommodation facilities for the virtuous souls who are desirous of staying back to carry out contemplation and penance. With prior permission, one can stay overnight for special religious activites and arrangements are also made for regular meals and even Ayambil . Light refreshments are also offered to all Jains who visit this place.

On the right, upon exiting and descending the steps of the Samavasaran temple, is the place where Acharya Himanshusuri maharaj saheb, who galvanised the formation of this temple, was cremated. His picture and footprints have been kept here.

Descending 60 steps from this cremation land, the road on the right leads one to the Bugada’s rest house, 10 steps away. Many great souls rested here while carrying out severe penance and austerities like fasting for 68 days, 30 days, etc at a stretch. 30 steps down from here is the place where Lord Neminath attained enlightenment. An ancient temple is found here.

The ancient temple of Lord Neminath’s enlightenment: In the center of this enlightenment temple, are the footprints of Lord Neminath and besides that are the footprints of his younger brother, Jain monk Rahnemi on one side, and Jain nun Rajimatishri on the other. Rajimatshri was affectionately attached to Lord Neminath since the previous 9 births but both of them renounced the world, attained enlightenment and eventually attained salvation on this holy mountain.30 steps further down from this temple, an ancient temple of Lord Neminath’s renounciation is seen on the left (i.e. the temple built at the place where he renounced the world).
The ancient temple of Lord Neminath’s renounciation
The ancient temple of Lord Neminath’s renounciation is situated in a large courtyard and placed inside the temple are black coloured footprints of Lord Neminath. Noble souls wishing to seek salvation should definitely come here before their renounciation to pay their obeisance and touch this auspicious and extremely charged land.

Right opposite this place of Lord’s renounciation is the Valmiki cave and on the left, as we climb down, we come across several revered Hindu spots like Bharatvan, Girnari caves, Hanumandhara, etc. Going down further, we come across a place called the Madhi of Jeenabava which is located on the road of the periphery of the mountains.

Ascending about 70 steps on the right from this temple of renounciation, leads one to the foothills of the mountain. Descending about 1,800 steps on this path, one finds arrangement for drinking water made on a platform under a Rayan tree, and even boiled water is available here. After a descent of another 1200 steps and a walk of about ½ a km, one arrives at the foothills of the Girnar mountains.

Besides being the place of renounciation and enlightenment of Lord Neminath, Sahasavan is also a witness to other significant historical events:
  • Scores of celestial beings conjured the first and the last Samavasaran of Lord Neminath at Sahasavan.
  • It was at Sahasavan that Jain nun Rajimati and Jain monk Rahnemi attained salvation.
  • Krishna Vasudev is believed to have built three temples with idols made of Gold and precious gem stones, here at Sahasavan.
  • At Sahasavan, in temples made of Gold, enticing idols of 24 Tirthankar Lords installed.
  • Near Sahasavan, in a place called Laksharam, total 72 idols of Tirthankars belonging to the past, present and future cycles of 24 Tirthankars have been placed in a cave.
Ayambil means a special type of meal in which no green vegetables or fruits are taken. Additionally, the food cannot contain oil, ghee(refined butter),milk, sugar or other spices.

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