Article: Nami

Naminātha or Lord Nami is the 21st of the 24 Jinas of the present cycle of time.

The word Jina means ‘victor’ in Sanskrit. A Jina is an enlightened human being who has triumphed over karma through practising extreme asceticism and teaches the way to achieve liberation. A Jina is also called a Tīrthaṃkara or ‘ford-maker’ in Sanskrit – that is, one who has founded a community after reaching omniscience.

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The blue lotus is the emblem – lāñchana – of Naminātha or Lord Nami, the 21st Jina.

Blue lotus
Image by C. Frank Starmer © CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

There is no historical evidence of Nami’s existence but traditional writings recount his life as following the usual career of a Jina. Tradition holds that he was born in Mithilāpurī and achieved liberation on Mount Sammeta, also known as Pārasnātha Hill.

Nami’s symbolic colour is black, yellow or emerald and his emblem is a blue lotus.

Like all Jinas, Nami has a pair of spiritual attendants, often shown in art. His yakṣa is Bhṛkuṭi. The Digambaras call his yakṣī Cāmuṇḍī while the sect of the Śvetāmbaras names her Gāndhārī.


Historical Dictionary of Jainism
Kristi L. Wiley
Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements series; series editor Jon Woronoff; volume 53
Scarecrow Press; Maryland, USA; 2004

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