Parshvanatha

the way of ahimsa; Digambara and Svetambara
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Parshvanatha

Post by DNS » Thu May 31, 2018 8:30 pm

Parshvanatha (Pārśvanātha), also known as Parshva (Pārśva), was the 23rd of 24 Tirthankaras (ford-maker, teacher) of Jainism.[4] He is the earliest Jain Tirthankara who is generally acknowledged as a historical figure.[5][6] His biography is uncertain, with Jain sources placing him between the 9th and 8th century BC, and historians stating he may have lived in 8th or 7th century BC. Along with Mahavira, Rishabhanatha and Neminatha, Parshvanatha is one of the four Tirthankaras who attracts the most devotional worship among the Jains. His iconography is notable for the serpent hood over his head, and his worship often includes Dharanendra and Padmavati – the serpent god and goddess of Jainism.

Parshvanatha is said in Jain texts to have been born in Benares (Varanasi, India), renounced the worldly life and founded an ascetic community. He is credited with starting the tradition of "fourfold restraint" for monks – don't kill, don't steal, don't lie and don't own property. Svetambara texts, such as section 2.15 of Acaranga Sutra, state that Mahavira's parents were followers of Parshvanatha,[7] linking Mahavira to a pre-existing theology and as a reformer of pre-existing Jain mendicant tradition. Mahavira expanded the scope of Parshvanatha's first four restraints, with his ideas on Ahimsa (non-violence) and added the fifth monastic vow of celibacy in the practice of asceticism.[8] Parshvanatha, in contrast, according to them, had not required celibacy,[9] and had allowed the wearing of simple outer garments by monks.[10] The differences between the ideas of Parshvanatha and Mahavira, have been one of the many historic foundations behind the disputes between the two major Jain sub-traditions – Svetambaras and Digambaras.[11][12][13] The Digambara sect disagrees with the Svetambara interpretations,[14] and they reject the theory of difference in Parshvanatha and Mahavira's teachings.[12]

Parshvanatha's popularity among Jains is widespread, according to Paul Dundas – a professor of Sanskrit known for his publications on Jainism.[15] Parshva is popularly seen as a ford-maker who removes obstacles and has the capacity to save.[15] Parshvanatha died on Mount Sammeta (Madhuban, Jharkhand) along the River Ganges basin, a place that has been an important pilgrimage site for all sub-traditions within Jainism.[16][17]

Parshvanatha is generally accepted as a historical figure.[18][19] According to Dundas, the Jain texts such as the section 31 of Isibhasiyam, provide circumstantial evidence that he was a real person in ancient India.[18] Historians such as H. Jacobi have accepted him as a historical figure, because his Chaturyama Dharma (four vows) is mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures.[20]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parshvanatha

Arguably, this makes Jainism the oldest historical [organized] religion, not counting tribal and folk religious beliefs, but rather organized religions with a known founder, set doctrine, etc.

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Re: Parshvanatha

Post by DNS » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:01 pm

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Parshvanatha was born in Varanasi, a historic city along the river Ganges.

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Re: Parshvanatha

Post by DNS » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:02 pm

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Parshvanatha achieved moksha on Shikharji, the highest mountains in Jharkhand (northeast India)

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Re: Parshvanatha

Post by DNS » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:04 pm

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Sculpture with image of Parshvanatha, Thirakoil, 8th Century

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Re: Parshvanatha

Post by DNS » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:17 pm

Teachings: Similarities & Differences With Mahavira

According to the Svetambara Jain tradition, Parshva and the ascetic community he established followed a Fourfold Restraint.[67][68] In contrast, Mahavira stipulated five Great Vows as a mode of ascetic initiation.[67][69] This difference, and why the difference, has been often discussed in Svetambara Jain texts.[70] For example, the Uttardhyayana Sutra,[71][72] a Svetambara canonical text, presents Kesin as a follower of Parsva and Gautama as a disciple of Mahavira, discussing which is the true doctrine: the Fourfold Restraint or the five Great Vows.[73] Gautama states that there are outward differences, according to Dundas, and these differences are "because the moral and intellectual capabilities of the followers of the ford-makers have differed".[74] According to Wendy Doniger, Parshvanatha allowed monks to wear clothes, while Mahavira recommended giving up even clothes and practicing ascetic life in nudity – a practice that has been one of several differences between Digambara and Svetambara traditions of Jainism.[75][76]

According to the Śvētāmbara texts, the four restraints of Parshvanatha were Ahimsa, Aparigraha, Achaurya and Satya.[22] The ancient Buddhist canonical texts, such as Samaññaphala Sutta that mention Jain ideas and Nigantha Nataputta (Mahavira), also only state four restraints rather than the five vows found in later texts of Jainism. This has led scholars such as Hermann Jacobi to state that at the time the Mahavira and the Buddha met, the Buddhists knew of only four restraints in the Parshva tradition called caujjama dhamma.[16] Further scholarship, states Dundas, suggests a more complex uncertain situation, because some of the earliest Jain literature such as section 1.8.1 of Acaranga Sutra connects Mahavira with just three restraints (non-violence, non-lying, non-possession).[77]

The "less than Five vows" view in Svetambara canonical texts is however not accepted by the Digambaras, a tradition whose canonical texts have been long lost and who do not accept Svetambara Jain texts as canonical to Digambara tradition.[16] Digambara do have a vast literature, which explains their disagreement with the Svetambara interpretations.[16] Prafulla Modi, for example, rejects the theory of difference in Parshvanatha and Mahavira's teachings.[11] Champat Rai Jain states that Svetambara texts also insist on celibacy (sexual abstinence) for their monks, which is the fifth vow in Mahavira's teachings, and therefore there must not have been a difference in the teachings of Parshvanatha and Mahavira.[78]

According to Padmanabh Jaini, the Digambaras interpret the "fourfold" part contextually as referring "not to four specific vows" but "four modalities" which was properly elaborated by Mahavira into five vows.[79] Western and in part some Indian scholarship, states Jaini, "has been essentially Svetambara scholarship" and has largely ignored Digambara literature related to this controversy about Parshvanatha and Mahavira teachings.[79] According to Dundas, the medieval era Jain literature such as by the 9th-century Silanka suggests that the practice of "not using another's property without their explicit permission" and "celibacy" were interpreted as a part of "non-possession".[77]

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Re: Parshvanatha

Post by DNS » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:20 pm

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Parshvanatha temple, Khajuraho, UNESCO World Heritage Site
at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India.

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