Tīrthȧkara

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Tīrthaṅkara (Skt., ‘builders of the ford’). In Jainism, the title given to the twenty-four omniscient spiritual teachers who have displayed the way of salvation across the ocean of suffering and existence, thus a synonym for jina. With the exception of Ṛṣabha (first), Pārśva (twenty-third), and Mahāvīra (twenty-fourth), the Jain canon gives a highly stereotyped description of their lives. Jain temples today house identical images of all twenty-four tīrthaṅkaras, which are distinctively identifiable only from the totem which is commonly associated with each: (1) Ṛṣabha (bull), (2) Ajita (elephant), (3) Sambhava (horse), (4) Abhinandana (ape), (5) Sumati (heron), (6) Padmaprabha, (7) Supārśva, (8) Candraprabha, (9) Suvidhi (crocodile), (10) Śītala (wishing tree), (11) Śreyamsa (rhinoceros), (12) Vasupujya (male buffalo), (13) Vimala (boar), (14) Ananta (hawk/bear), (15) Dharma (thunderbolt), (16) Śānti (deer), (17) Kunthu (goat), (18) Ara (diagram), (19) Malli (water jar), (20) Manisuvrata (tortoise), (21) Nami (blue lotus), (22) Nemi (conch shell), (23) Pārśva (snake), (24) Mahāvīra (lion).