A Tirthankar is a human being who has attained a highly exalted state due to intense spiritual practices in various lifetimes and signifies the ultimate pure developed state of the soul. Having attained the highest spiritual goal of human life, they help others cross the ocean of Samsara and win freedom against the infinite cycles of birth and death that man has to undergo.
Birth and childhood
He was born to Queen Vipra Rani and King Vijay Raja of Mithila of the Ikshvaku dynasty on the eighth day of the dark half of the month of Shravan according to the Hindu calendar. The Queen witnessed fourteen dreams which are the signs of the advent of the birth of a Tirthankar. They were-
1. A large and beautiful white bull entering her mouth.
2. A lion
3. A garland of flowers
4.A giant elephant having four tusks
5.Goddess Lakshmi seated on a lotus
6.The glorious Sun
7. The full moon shining in the sky
8.A sea of milk
9.A golden urn
10.A Flag which was fluttering
11.A vehicle of the Gods which moves in space
12.A pond filled with lotus flowers
13.A heap of gems
14.A fire without smoke
In his earlier incarnation he was King Siddharth of the town of Kshambi in Eastern Mahavideha. He had performed severe penances in earlier lifetimes and had
reached an exalted state of enlightenment hence he reincarnated as a God in the Aparajit dimension and later descended into the womb of Queen Vipra Devi. During her pregnancy a group of powerful Kings attacked Mithila. The King being peace loving wished to avoid bloodshed and did not know how to proceed. The wise ones in the palace then informed the King to allow to Queen to go to the roof of the palace and glance at the attacking armies. When the Queen did as she was instructed, to the astonishment of all, the pious soul in the womb completely changed the minds of the Kings and they bowed and surrendered to the King such were the Divine vibrations emanating from the child in the womb. Thus when the child was born he was named Naminath. Years passed and the child grew up into a peace loving and religious boy. Soon they got him married and the King handed over the Kingdom to him and retired to the forest to pursue spiritual penances.
Naminath ruled wisely for a number of years and in his prayers he saw his earlier lifetimes and realised the reason of his birth. He then decided to give up everything and become an ascetic on the ninth day of the dark half of the month of Ashadh according to the Hindu calendar. After rigorous spiritual practices he achieved Omniscience in a garden near Mithila under a Bakul tree.
He then began preaching on Right perception, Right Knowledge and Right Action. He urged his followers to practice compassion and non violence and to rise above worldly pleasures and realise the true goal of life. After a long time of preaching and penances he attained Nirvana at Sammed Shikhar on the tenth day of the dark half of the month of Vaisakh.
Temples of Bhagavan Naminath in India
Naminath Jain temple, Alibaug, Maharashtra
Naminath Jain Temple, Kailashnagar, Surat, Gujarat
Naminath Jain Temple, Juna Bazar, Karjan,Gujarat.
Naminath Jain Temple, Khandala, Maharashtra
Naminath Jinalaya Temple, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
The symbol of Naminath is blue lotus(Neel kamal). Bhagavan Naminath was born to redeem mankind from the eternal cycles of birth and death and to lead them on the path of self realisation. He exhorted his follows to transcend worldly bondage and attain sublime heights. Divine Beings like him are born to purify the earth and India is blessed to have been witness to the birth of such Supreme Souls.