What is Bhaktamar?
Bhaktamara Stotra is a famous Jain Sanskrit prayer. It was composed by Acharya Manatunga (seventh
century CE).The name Bhaktamara comes from a combination of two Sanskrit names, “Bhakta”
(Devotee) and “Amar” (Immortal).
The prayer praises Rishabhanatha (adinath), the first Tirthankara of Jainism in this time cycle. The last
verse gives the name of the author Manatunga. Bhaktamar verses have been recited as a stotra (prayer),
and sung as a stavan (hymn), somewhat interchangeably. Other Jain prayers have taken after these
(such as the Kalyānamandira stotra, devoted to the twenty-third tirthankara, and the Svayambhu stotra,
to all twenty-four); additional verses here praise the omniscience of Adinatha, while devotionals are
considered a source for lay understandings of Jain doctrine.
According to legends, Manatunga Āchārya was chained and imprisoned by the local King Bhoj.
Manatunga Āchārya composed this stotra (hymn) in the prison. With the completion of each verse, a
chain broke, or a door opened. Manatunga was free when all the verses were finished.