Published: 28.10.2004
Updated: 04.03.2016
Ganadhar, Ganadharas, Gandhars, Gaṇadhara

Groupleader, a primary disciple of a Tirthankara.

Sanskrit: गणधर (gaṇadhara)

All twenty-four Tirthankaras had ganadharas, in various numbers.

Ganadharas are at the most honourable position amongst 'Sadhu Pad'. Because they are second provider of Diwyadhawani after Teerthankara.

The Ganadharas of Mahavir were:

    1. Gautama Indrabhuti
    2. Agnibhuti
    3. Vayabhuti
    4. Akampita
    5. Arya Vyakta
    6. Arya Sudharma
    7. Manditaputra
    8. Mauryaputra
    9. Achalabhrata
    10. Metarya
    11. Prabhasa

  • The main Ganadhara of Mahavir was Gautama Indrabhuti, who reached universal knowledge in the same night when Mahavir died.
  • The monastic sangha of a Tirthankara is divided into a number of Ganas (orders), each headed by a Ganadhara.
  • Ganadharas are a common motif in Jaina miniature paintings:

Ganadhara Sudharma preaching a sermon. The seat of a Ganadhara looks similiar to the throne of a Tirthankara, the iconographic difference between Tirthankaras and Ganadhara is the white robe of a monk while the Tirthankara is usually depicted naked. The lotus flower beneath the seat is a typical iconographical feature of a Ganadhara (minature painting from a Kalpasutra manuscript, dated V.S. 1468 / 1411 CEfrom Sarabhai Manilal Nawab Collection, Ahmedabad. Ref.: S. M. Nawab, The Life of Lord Shri Mahavira as represented in the Kalpasutra paintings, Ahmedabad 1978, Fig. 161).


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  1. Agnibhuti
  2. Ahmedabad
  3. Akampita
  4. Arya Sudharma
  5. Arya Vyakta
  6. Gautama
  7. Gautama Indrabhuti
  8. Gaṇadhara
  9. Indrabhuti
  10. JAINA
  11. Jaina
  12. Mahavir
  13. Mahavira
  14. Manditaputra
  15. Mauryaputra
  16. Metarya
  17. Prabhasa
  18. Sangha
  19. Sanskrit
  20. Tirthankara
  21. Tirthankaras
  22. Vayabhuti
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