Trishala, also known as Videhadatta, Priyakarini, or Trishala Mata (Mother Trishala), was the mother of Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, and wife of the Jain monarch, Siddhartha of Kundagrama, of present-day Bihar.[2][3] She finds mention in the Jain texts.[1]

Mother of last Tirthankara
Queen Trishalas dream from Kalpasutra.jpg
Kalpa Sūtra miniature of Queen Trishala (bottom) and her auspicious dreams, c. 1472.
Other namesPriyakarini , Videhadatta[1]
Personal information


Trishala was born as a princess in the royal Licchavi Empire. Jain text, Uttarapurāṇa details the life of all Tirthankaras and other Salakapurusa. It is mentioned in the text that King Chetaka of Vaishali had ten sons and seven daughters. His eldest daughter Priyakarini (Trishala) was married to Siddartha.[4] As per Indologist Hermann Jacobi, Vardhaman Mahavira's mother Trishala was sister of King Chetaka.[3] His third wife, Kshema, was a daughter of the chief of the Madra clan of Punjab.[5] Trishala had seven sisters, one of whom was initiated into the Jain monastic order while the other six married famous kings, including Bimbisara of Magadha. She and her husband Siddhartha were followers of Parshva, the 23rd Tirthankara. According to Jain texts, Trishala carried her son for nine months and seven and a half days during the 6th century BC. However, Svetambaras generally believe that he was conceived by Devananda, the wife of a Brahmin Rishabhadatta and the fetus was transferred to Trishala's womb by Indra because all Tirthankaras have to be Kshatriyas.[2] All this is mentioned in the Svetambara text, Kalpa sutra, which is primarily a biography of the Tirthankaras.[citation needed]

Auspicious dreamsEdit

Detail of a leaf with, The Birth of Mahavira (the 24th Jain Tirthankara), from the Kalpa Sutra, c. 1375–1400.
Aspicious dreams seen by the Tirthankara mother.

According to the Jain scriptures, the mother of Tirthankaras see a number of auspicious dreams when the embryo is enliven through the descent of the life (soul) in the mortal body. This is celebrated as Garbha Kalyanaka.[6] According to the Digambara sect, the number of dreams is 16. While the Śvētāmbara sect believe them to be only fourteen. After seeing these dreams, she woke her husband King Siddhartha and told him about the dreams.[7] The next day Siddhartha summoned the scholars of the court and asked them to explain the meaning of the dreams. According to the scholars, these dreams meant that the child would be born very strong, courageous, and full of virtue.

  1. Dream of an elephant (Airavata)
  2. Dream of a bull
  3. Dream of a lion
  4. Dream of Laxmi
  5. Dream of flowers
  6. Dream of a full moon
  7. Dream of the sun
  8. Dream of a large banner
  9. Dream of a silver urn (Kalasha)
  10. Dream of a lake filled with lotuses
  11. Dream of a milky-white sea
  12. Dream of a celestial vehicle (Vimana)
  13. Dream of a heap of gems
  14. Dream of a fire without smoke
  15. Dream of a pair of fish (Digambara)
  16. Dream of a throne (Digambara)


Today members of the Jain religion celebrate the event of the Dreams. This event is called Swapna Darshan and is often part of "Ghee Boli".

The parents of Tirthankaras and their mothers in particular are worshipped among Jains and are frequently depicted in paintings and sculpture.[7]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b Mahāprajña, Acharya (1974). Shraman Mahavira (PDF). Ladnun: Jain Vishwa Bharati Prakashan. pp. 7, 8.
  2. ^ a b "Mahavira, Jaina teacher". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b Sunavala 1934, p. 52.
  4. ^ Jain, Dr. Pannalal (2015), Uttarapurāṇa of Āchārya Guṇabhadra, Bhartiya Jnanpith, p. 482, ISBN 978-81-263-1738-7
  5. ^ Krishna, Narendra. (1944) History of India, A. Mukherjee & bros. p. 90.
  6. ^ Zimmer, Heinrich (1953), Joseph Campbell (ed.), Philosophies Of India, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, p. 195, ISBN 978-8120807396
  7. ^ a b Shah 1987, p. 47.


External linksEdit