Illustrated Tirthankar Charitra

Shri Amar Muni

Word ‘Nath’ : A Study

A misconception prevails that the suffix ‘Nath’ with the names of many Tirthankars is the influence of the ‘Nath’ sect of Yogis. It is baseless as the founder of the Nath sect, Matsyendranth belonged to the 800 A.D. The suffix Nath is found in much earlier Jain works like Bhagavati Sutra and Avashyak Sutra. Yati Vrishabhacharya in his Tiloyana Pannats has also used this suffix (400 A..D). As such it appears that it was Matsyendra who was influenced by the popularity of Neminath and Parshvanath and started using the suffix Nath.