Siddhachakra is a popular yantra or mandala (mystical diagram) used
for worship in Jainism. It is also known as Navapada in the
Svetambara tradition and Navadevta in the
Digambara tradition. In the
Svetambara tradition it is associated with the Namokar
Mantra. It is related to the legend of King Shripala and
his wife Mayanasundari. It is depicted as a
Kalasha with the core of a
blossomed lotus representing Navapada in the centre surrounded by
guarding deities on petals. It is used in some rituals.
5.1 Navapada Aradhana and Ayambil Oli
6 See also
8 Further reading
9 External links
Siddha refers to a liberated soul, while chakra means wheel. It is
believed that worshiping
Siddhachakra results in freedom from the
cycles of life within a universal 'wheel' known as nirvana. It also
means a 'circle of perfection'. Navapada means 'nine petals' in
reference to the centre of the yantra, while Navadevta means 'nine
deities'. It is also described as a 'saint wheel'.
The two major sects of Jainism,
Svetambara and Digambara, differ in
their concept of Siddhachakra. The first five deities, known as the
Panch Parmeshthi (five supreme beings) are the same in both traditions
while the other four are different. They were traditionally known as
Navapada in the
Svetambara tradition and Navadevta in the Digambara
Siddhachakra most likely originally had only the Panch Parmesthi,
Arihant in the center and the other four in petals in four different
directions. It may have been inspired from Namaskara Valaya based on
Namokar Mantra as in some older Siddhachakra. The four last lines
describing phalashruti (benefits) are depicted in addition to the
petals at the four corners. They are described by
in Yogashastra. He also noted that Vajraswami (BCE 57 – 57 CE)
derived it from the lost Vidyanupravad parva text.
It seems that the other four padas were added later.
(1411 CE) described Navapada in Nandyavrata Mandala. Nirvanakalika (c.
11th century) described it but replaced Tapa with Suchi-vidya.
Ratnamandira Gani or
Acharya Ratnashekhara wrote about the legend of
Shripal in Siri-Sirivala-Kaha in
Prakrit along with
in 1372 or 1362 CE, the earliest known reference. A later popular
version called Shripal Rajano Ras was written in 1682 CE by Vinayvijay
King Shripala in a 17th- or 18th-century manuscript of Shripal Rajano
The legend takes pace during the time of the twentieth Jain
Tirthankara Munisuvrata, about 1.1 million years ago according to Jain
traditions. There was a king named Singharth and a queen Kamalprabha
of Champanagar. His brother Ajitsen captured Champanagar when he died.
To save five-year-old Shripal from his uncle, Kamalprabha fled from
the city and left him with a group of lepers while being chased by
soldiers. Shripal was also infected by leprosy. He changed his name to
Umar Rana and became the group's leader.
Eventually he reached
Ujjain where King Prajapal was ruling. Out of
anger from being disrespected by his daughter, Mayanasundari, he
married her to the leprous Shripal. They met a Jain monk, Munichandra,
who advised them to do a ritual named Ayambil Oli which is dedicated
to the central Navpada in Siddhachakra. It cured Shripal's leprosy
along with that of 700 other lepers. Later he conquered
Navdevata was depicted as Pratishtha-vidhi-mandala in
Pratishtha-tilaka by Nemichandra (c. 15th century). It was also
described in Pratishtha-Sirodhara by Ashadhar, Jin-samhita by
Indranandi (c. 10th century), and Paratishtha-Kalpa-Tippanam by
Jinasamhita by Ekasamdhi (c. 1250 CE) described it in detail,
depicting it as similar to Brihad Siddhachakra.
Siddhachakra in manuscript of Shripal Rajano Ras dated to the
17th or 18th century
Siddhachakra (Larger form)
There are two types of Siddhachakra. The small types have only a
central part depicting Nav pada which only includes Arihant, Siddha
Upadhyaya (teachers) and Sadhu
(monks) along with the other four. Large types includes all of the
structures described below called Brihad
Siddhachakra or Siddhachakra
Mahayantra. Small types are found frequently in Jain temples and in
carvings while larger ones are found in brass plate form or made of
different lentils during rituals on special occasions.
It is depicted as a
Kalasha with an eye on both sides and a core made
of a fully blossomed lotus. It has many circles of petals marking
different concepts in Jainism.
Navapada of Siddhachakra
See also: Kalasha
Kalasha is depicted as a pot with a large base and a mouth generally
covered with a lid or topped with a coronet of mango leaves and a
coconut. It is decorated with clothes and ornaments in images. Two
eyes are depicted around the Kalasha, symbolising right faith and
At the neck of the
Kalasha are nine small pots known as Nav Nidhi
which describe nine kinds of wealth or treasures. Nine shrines
Navagraha are at the base of
Kalasha which indicate nine
At the core is a fully blossomed lotus with many circles of petals
marking different concepts in Jainism. Navpada (Nine elements) is at
the core surrounded by circles of petals called valaya. There is
variation in the number of circles made by the petals in different
images but generally there are ten circles.
Navapada is the core of the lotus. Navapada includes five supreme
beings having virtues, Guni or Panch Parmeshthi, and four right
virtues, Gunas according to
Svetambara tradition. Their attributes are
described in 108 scriptures. They are also illustrated
in silver or copper plates for worship. In the Digambara
tradition, it has the same
Panch Parmeshthi but the other four
elements are different.
Navpada of Siddhachakra
enlightened soul who teaches world the path of liberation
liberated soul residing in Moksha
the preceptor, leader of Sangha (community)
a person with knowledge who teaches to others
Jain monks and nuns
Right Faith/Jain Image
Right Knowledge/Jain temple
Right Conduct/Wheel of Dharma
Right Austerities/Jain scriptures
Navapada is surrounded by circles of petals called valaya which
describe various concepts and guarding deities as mantras.
Part of Navpada
Arihant of Navapada, many times as a mantra
Vowels and sounds
Part of Navpada
Other 8 members of Navapada
49 basic sounds
Vowels and sounds
powers of higher souls
in group of 6 in each section
8 Guru footprints
with mantra having names
2 petals, each at two poles have sacred mantra: Hrim and Klim
Jaya devi etc.
16 Adhishthayak Dev
16 Vidya devi
48 Attendant deities
Yaksha and 24 Yakshini
Some have additional petals describing four vira (guarding deities)
and ten Digpala (protectors of ten directions).
The sun and moon are depicted on the right and left side of the
Kalasha, respectively. There are four shrines with guarding deities in
the four corners: Kshetrapal, Vimaleshwar, Chakreshvari, and
Siddha Chakradhisthanak. Sometimes King Shripal and Queen
Mayanasundari are depicted on the sides of the
Kalasha as based on a
Siddhachakra yantra used for worship
Navapada Aradhana and Ayambil Oli
Navapada Aradhana is associated with the Shripal-Mayanasundari
legend. Navapada Aradhana is performed by meditating on Navapada
and doing an ayambil. In an ayambil, only one meal is eaten each day
of plain food without any spices, sugar, salt, oil, butter, milk,
vegetables or fruits. It is performed for nine days, twice a year. It
is called Ayambil Oli. It falls in the months of Chaitra (March/April)
and Ashwin (September/October) of the Jain
calendar. A procession of
carried out in towns known as Jalayatra.
It is a complex ritual taking a half day in which a whole Siddhachakra
is created on a floor using lentils. Mantras are recited along with
performing puja starting in the centre of the
Siddhachakra and moving
towards the outside.
Jain rituals and festivals
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Siddhachakra in Jainpedia
Story of Śrīpal and Mayṇasundarī in Jainpedia
Āyambil Oḷī in Jainpedia
Siddhachakra provided by the Victoria and Albert
Museum in London
Manuscript of Śrīpāla-rāsa and Gujarati commentary by Vinayvijaya
Yashovijaya of the 17th or 18th century
Śrīpāla-kathā by Ratnashekharsuri of 1467
John E. Cort
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Jeffery D. Long
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