Samavasarana of Tirthankara

In Jainism, Samavasarana or Samosharana ("Refuge to All") is the divine preaching hall of the Tirthankara, stated to have more than 20,000 stairs in it. The word samavasarana is derived from two words, sama, meaning general and avasara, meaning opportunity. It is an important feature in Jain art.[1] The Samavasarana seems to have replaced the original Jain stupa as an object of worship.[2]


Samosharana of Tirthankara Rishabha (Ajmer Jain temple)

In samavasarana, the tirthankara sits on a throne without touching it (about two inches above it).[3] Around the tirthankara sit the ganadharas (chief disciples). Living beings sit in the following order:[4]

According to Jain texts, there would be four wide roads with four huge columns, Manasthamba (literally, pride pillar), one in each side.[5] The total size of the hall varies depending upon the height of the people in that era. The size of Rishabhadeva's samavasarana was 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi).[6]



In samavasarana, a tirthankara sits facing the east, but appears to be looking in all directions.[4] Tirthankara sits on a soft cushion while preaching the Jain philosophy in plain terms.[7] All humans and animals can understand the discourse. Jain scriptures say that all creatures who listen would become less violent and less greedy.[8] The speech of the tirthankara is distinctly heard by every one present.[4]


See also



  1. ^ Wiley 2009, p. 184.
  2. ^ Shah, Umakant Premanand (1987). Jaina-rūpa-maṇḍana. Abhinav Publications. pp. 15–17. ISBN 978-81-7017-208-6.
  3. ^ Jain 2008, p. 95.
  4. ^ a b c Jain 2008, p. 96.
  5. ^ Jain 2008, p. 93.
  6. ^ "APPENDIX 14".
  7. ^ Jain 2008, p. 98.
  8. ^ Pramansagar 2008, p. 39-43.


Further reading