About The Parsavantha Jain Temple At Villupuram District
The Parsavantha Jain temple in Tamil Nadu is also renowned by the names of Meltsithamur Jain Math. The Bhagwan Sri Parshvanath Jain temple located in the sector of Gingee Taluk, Villupuram district is notable among Jain followers. This noteworthy temple is located near the town of Gingee. Historically, the Jain Matha was located at Kanchipuram but it was later shifted to Villupuram.
Cultural significance of the shrine
The district of Villupuram has immense historical and religious significance. It is a significant center that propagates the pedagogies of Jainism. Here, you will find two distinct temples that are dedicated to Malinatha and Parsvanatha. The notable Parsvanatha Jain Temple tamil nadu has images of several deities that were carved during the ninth century. This religious place consists of a huge edifice of Parsva Tirthankara. This temple was perpetuated and revived by Queen Kadavarkonpavai, who was the wife of the Chola King Aditya I. This religious center continues to have a stronghold among the Jains. The temple is among the most reputed centers, dedicated to the Digambara sect.
The temple’s presiding deity
The reigning deity of this religious shrine is Parshvanatha, who is also renowned as Parshva. He is known among the Jains as the twenty-third Tirthankara and is the earliest Jain leader. This Lord was Varanasi’s formal prince and after a certain period, he renounced his position for becoming a monk. It is said that Lord Parsva meditated for almost eighty-four days after which he attained Kevala Jnana. He is known to have attained moksha atop Shikharji that is now known among Jains as the Parasnath hills, named after the lord.
Details regarding the idol
The moolavar devta or presiding deity in this shrine is that of Shri Parshwanath Bhagvan. Here, the Lord’s statue is found to be in a meditating posture, and it is almost fourteen feet high. The sculpture is made of black stone, and Parsva’s eyes depict a state of yogic stage. Sculptors have taken special care to portray the image of kindness and grace in the statue’s face. BhagvaanParsva is distinguished among followers as purisadaniya or beloved man.
Presence of other shrines
The holy place comprises of a tower that is known as the Prabavali. Both the tower sides are engraved with images of twenty-three theerthankaras and two samaraitharis. It entails images and carvings of Padmavati Yakshi, Dharanendiran, and Peeta. This temple initially consisted of rock-cut carvings of Adinatha, Ambika Yakshi, Mahavira, and Bahubali.
Rituals that are followed
The temple near Gingee is essentially a Jain Matha that holds immense religious significance among the community of Tamil Jains. The head of this religious center is Bhattaraka Laxmisena Swami. The primary deity of Jain temples is known as the Mula Nayaka. The universal prayer of Jains is Namokara Mantra that is also known as Parmesthi Mantra, Nabkar Mantra, and even Panch Namaskar Mantra. This temple follows elaborate rituals due to the offering of various symbolic objects. This is followed by chanting of hymns in the name of Tirthankaras. The rituals that are followed in this temple include Pratikramana, Pancakalyanaka Pratishtha, Samayika, along with Guru Vandana.
Celebration of religious events
Numerous special poojas and religious festivals take place in the Parsavantha Jain Temple. Tamil Jains celebrate Akshaya Tritiya Tapa or Varshi Tapa. It is said that during this day Tirthankara Rishabdev, the first Jain completed a period of austerity on the third day. It was completed on the fortnight of Jain calendar’s Vaishak month. Another popular celebration is that of Pausha Dashami. This event is celebrated in the dark half of the tenth day of Pushya or Paushya month, usually during the month of either December or January.
This particular event marks the birth or Janma Kalyana of twenty-third Tirthankara, Parshvanath. Another prominent event is that of Mahavir Jayanti which marks the birth of Lord Mahavir. Lord Mahavir’s birth is known to have happened during the bright half of the thirteenth day of the Chaitra month, according to the Jain calendar. The festival of lights i.e. Diwali commemorates the event of Mahavir’s attainment of Moksha.
Important center of pilgrimage
Jaina Tirtha or pilgrimage centers hold immense importance for followers of the Jain sect. According to Parsvanatha Jain Temple history, these followers worship Lord Mahavir and other notable Tirthankaras. Numerous festivals like Vasant Panchami, Jinaratri, Akshay Tritiya, Upakarmaa, Karthikai Deepam are celebrated with great aplomb and splendor among the worshippers. Followers of Lord Parsavantha follow sacred rituals and keep fast for appeasing the Lord.