The Most Famous Tirthankara of the Jains, Ranked

Choose the Tirthankara you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 23, 2024 07:30
In the intricate mosaic of Jainism, the Tirthankaras hold positions of profound reverence, guiding the pathway to spiritual enlightenment. Their stories and teachings are fundamental to understanding the core philosophies and rituals of Jainism. However, the familiarity and popularity of these revered figures can vary, making it essential to gauge public perception and knowledge. By voting for the most famous Tirthankara, enthusiasts and followers contribute to a collective effort that highlights the cultural and spiritual influences of these spiritual leaders. This dynamic list not only reflects current sentiments but also educates newcomers about the significant figures within Jainism, enriching their understanding of the religion.

Which Is the Most Famous Tirthankara of the Jains?

  1. 1


    The 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism, Parshvanatha is believed to have lived in the 8th century BCE. He propagated the four Jain vows: non-violence, truth, non-stealing, and non-possession.
    • Birth Year: 877 BCE
    • Nirvana Year: 777 BCE
  2. 2


    The 24th and last Tirthankara of Jainism, Mahavira is considered the founder of modern Jainism. He was a contemporary of Buddha and is revered for his teachings on non-violence, truth, and renunciation.
    • Birth Year: 599 BCE
    • Nirvana Year: 527 BCE
  3. 3


    The 16th Tirthankara, Shantinatha is known for his teachings on peace and meditation. He is also revered for his ability to bring harmony and resolve conflicts.
    • Believed Period: Varies
  4. 4


    The 18th Tirthankara, Aranatha is celebrated for his role in spreading Jainism in the northern parts of India and for his teachings on non-attachment.
    • Believed Period: Varies
  5. 5


    The 5th Tirthankara, Sumatinatha is known for his teachings on simplicity and the importance of meditation in achieving spiritual goals.
    • Believed Period: Varies
  6. 6


    The 7th Tirthankara, Suparshvanatha is known for his teachings on the importance of inner purity and the practice of penance.
    • Believed Period: Varies
  7. 7


    The 19th Tirthankara, Mallinatha is unique as she is often represented as a female in the Svetambara sect, making her an important figure in discussions of gender in Jainism.
    • Believed Period: Varies
  8. 8


    The 22nd Tirthankara, Neminatha is said to be a cousin of Krishna. He is known for his teachings on non-violence and his deep connection to nature and animals.
    • Believed Period: Around 3,000 BCE
  9. 9


    The 15th Tirthankara, Dharmanatha is known for his emphasis on dharma (righteousness) and the path of virtue.
    • Believed Period: Varies
  10. 10


    Also known as Adinatha, Rishabhanatha is considered the first Tirthankara of Jainism. He is credited with the invention of many human cultural practices and the propagation of the Jain faith.
    • Believed Period: Many millennia BCE

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Tirthankara of the Jains. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Tirthankar is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 0 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Tirthankar once every 24 hours. The rank of each Tirthankar is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Famous Tirthankara of the Jains

Rank #1 for the most famous Tirthankara of the Jains: Parshvanatha (Source)
Jainism, an ancient religion from India, honors its spiritual leaders known as Tirthankaras. These enlightened beings guide followers on the path to liberation. They achieve perfect knowledge and teach others how to attain it. The Tirthankaras are central figures in Jainism, each playing a pivotal role in its teachings and practices.

The concept of a Tirthankara is unique to Jainism. They are not gods but revered teachers who have conquered inner passions and attained omniscience. The term Tirthankara means "ford-maker," symbolizing one who creates a path across the river of human misery. By following their teachings, Jains believe they can achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

There are 24 Tirthankaras in Jainism. Each one provides guidance and inspiration. They are often depicted in statues and paintings, meditating in a lotus position with serene expressions. These images serve as focal points for devotion and reflection.

The life of a Tirthankara follows a similar pattern. They are born into royal families, live a life of luxury, and then renounce worldly pleasures to seek spiritual truth. They undergo intense meditation and self-discipline, achieving enlightenment. After this, they spend the rest of their lives teaching others.

The teachings of the Tirthankaras emphasize non-violence, truth, and self-control. They advocate for a life of simplicity and detachment from material possessions. By following these principles, Jains aim to purify their souls and progress on the path to liberation.

Jain literature, such as the Agamas and Kalpasutras, contains detailed accounts of the lives and teachings of the Tirthankaras. These texts are studied and revered by followers. They provide insights into the spiritual journeys and the profound wisdom of these enlightened beings.

The influence of the Tirthankaras extends beyond religious texts. Their teachings have shaped Jain practices and rituals. For instance, the principle of non-violence, or Ahimsa, is a cornerstone of Jain ethics. It guides dietary choices, daily conduct, and even professions. Jains often adopt professions that minimize harm to living beings, reflecting the profound impact of Tirthankara teachings.

Festivals and rituals in Jainism often center around the Tirthankaras. Paryushana, one of the most important Jain festivals, involves fasting, meditation, and reading scriptures. It is a time for Jains to reflect on the teachings of the Tirthankaras and renew their commitment to spiritual principles.

The Tirthankaras also inspire Jain architecture and art. Temples dedicated to them are found across India, each featuring intricate carvings and statues. These temples serve as places of worship and meditation, where followers can connect with the teachings of the Tirthankaras.

In summary, the Tirthankaras are the spiritual bedrock of Jainism. Their lives and teachings provide a roadmap for followers seeking liberation. Through their example, Jains learn the importance of non-violence, truth, and self-discipline. The legacy of the Tirthankaras continues to guide and inspire millions, making them central figures in the Jain faith.

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