Yakshas and Yakshinis

Posted: 01.09.2015

by Dipti Shah

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Yakshas and Yakshinis

Who are they?

  • Devs are of four major kinds
  1. Bhavanpati
  2. Vyantar
  3. Jyotishk
  4. Vaimani
  • Yaksha and Yakshini are a kind of Vyantar
  • All Yakshas are Devs as well as Vyantars
  • However, all Devs are not Yakshas or Vyantars

Who are they?

  • Some of the Yaksha and/or Yakshinis are anointed as care takers of specific followers of Jainism
  • These care takers are also called Adhisthyak or Adhisthyaika
  • These care takers are samyaktvi (Having right faith)

Tirthanakar Adhisthayaks

  • 24 Yaksha and 24 Yakshinis are annoited as Adhisthayak and Adhisthayika of the 24 tirthankaras
  • Their job is to protect the followers of the particular tirthankara
  • Their anointment is done on the first day of establishment of the tirth by a tirthankara

Tirthankaras and their Yakshas and Yakshanis

Tirthankara

Yaksh / Yakshini

Rishabhanatha

Gomukha / Chakresvari

Ajitanatha

Mahayaksha / Ajitabala

Sambhavanatha

Trimukha / Duritari

Abhinandana

Nayaka / Kalika

Sumatinatha

Tumburu / Mahakali

Padmaprabha

Kusuma / Shyama

Suparsvanatha

Matanga / Shanta

Chandraprabha

Vijaya / Bhrikuti

Suvidhinatha

Ajita / Sutaraka

Shitalanatha

Brahma / Ashoka

Shreyamsanatha

Yakshet / Manavi

Vasupujya

Kumara / Chanda

Vimalanatha

Shanmukha / Vidita

Anantanatha

Patala / Ankusha

Dharmanatha

Kinnara / Kandarpa

Shantinatha

Garuda / Nirvani

Kunthunatha

Gandharva / Bala

Aranatha

Yaksheta / Dhana

Mallinatha

Kubera / Dharanapriya

Munisuvrata

Varuna / Naradatta

Naminatha

Bhrikuti / Gandhari

Neminatha

Gomedha / Ambika

Parshvanatha

Parshwayaksha / Padmavati

Mahavira

Matamga / Siddhayika

Yaksha / Yakshini and Others

  • One should not bow down to Yaksh or Yakshini idols in front of tirthankara or siddhas
  • The post of a monk is higher than Yaksh or Yakshini also.

Yakshinis in Jain Temples

  • Chakreshwari Devi
    - Adhisthayika of Adinath Bhagwan
    - Adhisthayika of Shatrunjay (Palitana)
    - Adhisthayika of Jin Shashan
  • Padmavati Devi
    - Adhisthayika of Parshwanath Bhagwan
  • Laxmi Devi
    - Goddess of Wealth
  • Saraswati Devi
    - Goddess of Knowledge

Yakshas in Jain Temples

  • Ghantakarna Veer
    - A Dev who helps overcome obstacles
    - His worship is controversial
  • Nakoda Bhairav
    - Kshetra (Area) Dev
    - Protects followers of Nakoda Parshwanath
  • Manibhadra Veer
    - Adhisthayak of Tapa Gachh (Jain clan)
    - Manikchand Sheth fought with robbers on his way to Palitana rather then giving up every thing and died
    - All Acharyas, irrespective of their group, visit a place of worship of Manibhadra Veer