Adinath

Odegal Basti, Shravanabelgola

Adinath is first in the series of twenty-four Jain tirthankaras, or saviors. His name means "Lord First," because he was the first to preach the Jain religion. He is also called Risabhanatha, "Lord Bull," after a bull which appeared to his future mother in a dream.

As a legendary figure, Adinath is credited with teaching mankind the arts of civilization, including pottery, weaving, and writing. He is associated with Rama through his birthplace, the city of Ayodhya, and he attained moksha (enlightenment, liberation) on Mt. Kailasa, the home of Shiva.

All tirthankaras look alike (compare the following pages; Jain iconography is not for the faint of heart.) The way to identify individual saviors is by their associated animal or other symbols. With the present statue, a bull is carved on the pedestal below the main figure, and there is another helpful aid as well (photo).

Odegal Basti is a 12th century shrine (photo) that is oddly propped up on a flat of the hill, near the saint and his temple.