98. Shree Antariksh Parshwanath Bhagwan
Mulnayak: Nearly 105cms. high (including hoods), black – coloured idol of Bhagwan Antariksh
Parshvanath in the semi-Padmasana (Ardh Padmasana) posture. This idol is made of sand. This
idol is in the air ie. there is space between the idol and the platform where the idol is. A thin muslin
cloth can be taken from under the idol from one end to the other end. This idol is 11,80,000 years
old. This idol belongs to the period of 20th Thirthankar Bhagwan Munisuvrat Swami. This is one
among the ancient idols of Bhagwan Parshvanath. This idol is in the basement of the temple.
Tirth: It is outside the Shirpur village in Maharashtra.
Historicity: Even today, this ancient idol is in the air. Devotees pray to this idol in the “Tirthvandana
Stotra” which is said daily in the morning Pratikraman. There is a story behind the origin of this idol.
King Ravana sent this brother-in-law (sister’s husband) King Khardushan to another place for
some important work. During lunch time Khardushan halted in Vigoli desh. Khardushan had made
a vow not to have food without offering prayers to a Thirthankara. So he made a Thirthankara idol
of sand and chanting Navkar Mahamantra he installed the idol. After offering prayers, he put the
idol in a nearby well. The Dev who was in the well took the idol in his hands and made the idol into
stone idol. The Dev worshipped this idol for a long period of time. Chandravanshi King Shripal of
Alachpur Nagar was suffering from leprosy. All remedies done to cure his disease failed. One day
the king went out of his city. Feeling thirsty, he searched for water. Seeing a well, he washed his
hands, legs and face with the well water and after drinking the water he came to his tent and slept.
After many days, he had a peaceful sleep. In the morning, he saw that his hands, legs and face
were cured of his disease. Thinking this to be the miracle of the well water, the king came to the
well and took a bath with the well water. He was completely cured of his disease. Wanting to know
the reason for the miracle of the well water, the king prayed to the Dev. The Dev appeared before
the king and told him that this miracle is due to the idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath which is in the
well. By offering prayers to this idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath all the sufferings of a devotee are
removed. Seeing the miraculous powers of the idol, the king asked the Dev to give him the idol.
Seeing the devotion of the king, Dharnendra Dev became pleased and gave him the idol and told
him how to take the idol out of the well. The next day, the idol was taken out of the well according
to the instructions given by the Dev. The king then placed the idol in a chariot and the chariot was
drawn by two new born calfs which were 7 days old. After going for some distance, the king turned
back and saw if the chariot was coming or not. Immediately, the chariot stopped. Leaving the idol in
space, the chariot went back. Much effort was made to move the idol but the idol did not move and
it was standing in space under a tree. It is said that the idol was 7 hands above the ground. A
person on a horse-back and a lady with a pot of water on her head could go below this idol
meaning the idol was so high above the ground. Hence this idol came to be known as “Antariksh
Parshvanath”. But due to kalyug, now there is space for only a thin cloth to go below the idol and
even today the idol is in space and it does not touch the ground. The Jain Sangh built a beautiful
temple and the idol of Shri Antariksh Parshvanath Bhagwan was installed in it on the 5th day of the
bright half of the month of Magh in V.S.1142 by the revered hands of Malldhari Acharya Shri
Abhaydevsurishvarji. King Shripal worshipped Bhagwan and did Aarti. He built a city there by the
name Shripur and today it is known as Shirpur. This Tirth became very famous. This temple was
renovated many times. Miracles keep happening here. Shri Bhavvijay Gani lost his eye-sight and
he was very depressed. Acharya Shri Vijaydevsuriji asked him to pray to Goddess Padmavati. The
goddess pleased by his prayers appeared before him and told him to worship Bhagwan Antariksh
Parshvanath to recover his eyesight. Ganivarya along with the jain Sangh came to Antariksh Tirth
and prayed to Bhagwan with great faith and devotion. He started telling a Stotra and by the
influence of this Stotra he was able to do darshan of Bhagwan. His eyesight had returned. All were
overjoyed with this miracle. Under instructions of Ganivarya Bhavvijayji, the idol was reinstalled on
the 5th day of the bright half of the month of Chaitra in V.S.1715. This idol is very beautiful, alluring,
influential and miraculous. A fair is held every year on the 3rd day of the bright half of the month of
Phalgun and on the 10th day of the dark half of the month of Paush.
Other Temples: Near this temple, there is a beautiful artistic pinnacled temple of Bhagwan
Works of art and Sculpture: This idol is very ancient, artistic and splendid. The idol of Antariksh
Parshvanath Bhagawan is in the basement. The idol of God is beautiful and attractive.
Guidelines: This tirth is at a distance of 19 kms. from its nearest railway station, Washim, and at a
distance of 72 kms. from Akola. The nearest village of Malegaon on the Hingoli – Balapur route is
at a distance of 11 kms. from Shirpur. Bus service and private vehicles are available from here.
Dharamshala and Bhojanshala facilities are available here. Nearby there is a Digambar
Scripture: A mention of Antariksh Parshvanath Bhagwan is made in “Vividh Tirth Kalp”, “Updesh
Saptati”, “Prabandh Panchshati”, “Shri Antariksh Parshvanath Chaand”, “365 Shri Parshvanath Jin
Naammala”, “Shri Sankheswar Parshvanath Chaand”, “Shri Bhateva Parshvanath Stavan”, “108
Naamgarbhit Shri Godi Parshvanath Stavan”, “Shri Parshvanath Sankhya Stavan”, “Heer
Sowbhagya Mahakavya”, “108 Naamgarbhit Shri Parshvanath Stavan”, “Antariksh Parshvanath
Stotra”, “Shri Parshvanath Naammala”, “Shri Antariksh Parshvanath Stavan”, “Tirthmala”, “Shri
Parshva Prabhu ke 108 Naam Chaand” etc. A mention of Antariksh Parshvanath is made in the
Marathi Granth “Smruti Sthal” written in the 14th century. The main temple of Shri Antariksh
Parshvanath is in Shirpur in Maharashtra. There is an idol of Antariksh Parshvanath in Jiravala
Tirth, in Bhiladiyaji Tirth, in Kalikund Parshvanath temple in Santacruz, Mumbai; in Sherisa Tirth, in
Shri Sambhavnath temple in Karad, in Palitana in Kesariyajinagar and in many other places in
Trust: Shri Antariksh Parshvanath Shwetambar Jain Tirth, Shri Antariksh Parshvanath Maharaj
Sansthan, Post: Shirpur, Taluk: Malegaon, District: Washim – 444 504, State: Maharashtra, India.