PRESIDING DEITY AND LOCATION :
Sri Parshvanath Bhagwan in white color, seated in lotus posture (ancient icon) and of height 60Cms (Shve) and
Sri Parshvanath Bhagwan in black color, seated in lotus posture and of height 75Cms (Dig) in shrines located in Bhelpur moholla of Banaras City.
ANTIQUITY AND SALIENT FEATURES :
From ancient time till today the two names Banaras and Kashi for this city are well known to every body. History of this place commences with the period of Sri Adhinath Bhagwan.The festive event of the selection ofher bride-groom by bride Sulochna, daughter of Akampanthe king of Kashi, was organized here and she putting the garland on Jaykumar (Bahubali’s grandson) the chief army officer of Emperor Bharat, had then selected him as her bride-groom.
Queen Vamadevi, wife of Ashvasena the king of Ikshvaku dynasty of this city saw in her deep sleep on the night of Chaitra Krishna 4 dreams indicative of the birth of a Tirthankar.At that moment the soul of Marubhuti after completing his hine previous incarnation entered the womb of mother to be Vama and as the period of pregnancy was over, she delivered a son endowed with all qualities on Posh Krishna Dasami during the rule of Anuradha constellation. Gods in heaven led by their chief Indra celebrated the event of this birth with great éclat and joy and in the King’s court also there was plenty of merriment and happiness. The name of the son was kept as Parshvakumar.
After attaining youth, Parshvakumar was married to Prabhavati the daughter of king Prasenjit.Once upon a time, the prince Parshva happened to see an ascetic practicing penance by the side of a great fire lit by mixing five constellation producing clouds of smoke. By intuition of Avadhignan, prince Parshva saw that in this fire a huge log of wood was burning which contained a male snake together with its female struggling to survive. Immediately he took out this heavy log of wood from the burning fire at the risk of his life and axed it open. The two snakes came out free and alive and Prince Parshva recited the Navkar Mantra to them. Soon after, however, they died but incarnated inheaven as God Dharmendra and Goddess Padmavati on account of the holiest of holy Namokar incantations which they heard while dying.
Parshvakumar in the course of time, happened to have an intense craving for taking Diksha. And no sooner he had this craving, than for a full year he gave away all his worldly wealth in charity and finally renounced the kingly life by taking Diksha together with three hundred kings in the garden known as “Ashrampada” onPosh Krishna 11 during the rule of ANuradha constellation. Wandering thereafter as a recluse and illustrious saint, he once again returned to the same garden and commenced deep meditation in a standing posture under “Ghataki” tree. Only in 84 days all his “Ghatia” Karmas were destroyed and Bhagwan Parshvanath attained Keval Gnan oN Chaitra Krishna 4 during the rule of Vishaka constellation. Gods in heaven led by their chief Indra at that time got the samosaran installed.
King Swayambhu of Hastinapur was present in the samosaran and he was so much touched by what Bhagwan Parshvanath preached, that he prayed for getting him initiated immediately. And this was done. Soon he became the chief disciple known by the name of Aryadatta. Both parents of Bhagwan Parshvanath and his wife also took Diksha at the same time.
In this way, the four Kalnayaks of Bhagwan Parshvanath took place in this land of Banaras. (According to Digamber traditions the conception was on Vaishakh Krishna 2 and the birth was on Posh Krishna 11. On the question of marriage, it was only proposed to him that he should marry with Prabhavati the daughter of king Ravikirti of Kanoj but he did not accept the proposal. Ravikirti was Parshvanath’s maternal Uncle).
During the period of Bhagwan Mahavir, the city was the capital of the kings of Malla dynasty, king Shrenik was given this city in his dowry. There is a reference that when Buddha visited this place, he met several disciples of Lord Sri Parshvanath.
Since pre-historic times, several temples were constructed here but as the years rolled by, they became worn out and then were renovated. In the local Bhartiya Kala Bhavan, there were invaluable relics collected proving the antiquity of this place. In a compostion entitled “Vividh Tirthkalpa” by acharya Sri Jinaprabhasurishvarji in 14th century, a mention is made of a pond of water existing, adjacent to Sri Parshavanth’s temple. In all probability, is the temple ofBhelpur. While carrying out renovations in the Shwetamber temple it could be that a new idol was installed as of the presiding tirthankar in place of the ancient one which still exists in “Bhamati” and is both artistic and truly expressive. Again renovations was made and sanctification ceremonies were performed by Acharya Bhagwan Sri Rajyassuriji maharaj in Vikram samvat year 2057. Aforesaid ancient idol was installed iN Sabha Mandap which still exists.
This land has been deeply sanctified on account of the happening of four Kalnayaks viz Chyavan, Janm, Diksha and Keval Gnan of Bhagwan Sri Parshvanath, the 23rd of the present 24 TIrthankars. Words are inadequate to describe the holiness of the land where all such great events have occurred during the life of Tirthankar who is not only ever present but also appears before his devotees to destroy their hardships and calamities. Many a fortunate soul must have drunk the nector of his live discourses and felt fulfilled. Every dust particle of this land therefore is holy. It was here that BhagwanParshvanath had saved from fire the two snales who re-incarnated immediately as God Dharmendra and Goddess Padmavatim who are believed to be Guardian Deities of the Jain order. They are believed to be present during the activities undertaken for glorification of Jain religion. The faithful devotees, by only remembering them, get all their wishes and hopes fulfilled. In every celebration and holy action they are generally remembered and these get completed without difficulties and delay. Even today, devotees often reveal the stories of miracles happening to them.
A very large temple of Kashi Vishvanath Bhagwan of Hindus also exists in this city and it is therefore the biggest holy place of pilgrimage. Once the city was divided into following four sections, viz, Dev Varanasi, Vijaya Varanasi, Madan Varanasi and Rajdhani Varanasi.
Besides this temple there are other 12 temples of Shwetambers and 11 temples of Digambers. Total number of temples thus is 25.
Here as a result of excavations at Rajghat and several other spots, many noteworthy objects and ancient material have been found which are preserved in the local museum. These include also Jain Icons of stone and metal.
APPROACH – ROUTE :
Varnasi Railway station is 3Kms away, from where taxis and autos are available. Cars and buses can ply right upto the temple door.
AMENITIES FOR JAIN PILGRIMS :
Adjacent to the temple, there exists Digamber and Shwetamber Dharamshalas with allfacilities and a bhojanshala.
MANAGED BY :
Sri Jain Swetamber Tirth Society, Bhelupur
P.O Varanasi: 221 010
Tel : 0542-275407. Fax : 310935
Sri Parshvanath Digamber Jain Tirthkshetra.
P.O. Varanasi - 221 010
Tel : 0542-275892, 275357