Mahavir Swami, the disseminator of Jainism is the 24th and the last Tirthankar of Jain religion. He is known to be an originator of the central doctrine of Jainism. He is generally represented in sitting or standing meditative stance with a symbol of Lion under Him.
The word Mahavira literally means great fighter or great hero. People know Lord Mahavir by different names such as Vir or Virprabhu, Sanmatinayak, Gnatputra, Ativir , Mahaativir, Shraman, Niggantha, Jnataputta and Nayaputta. He is most commonly known as Vardhaman as after His birth His family flourished with heaps of wealth. On the birth of Mahavir Swami, Lord Indra bathed Him with celestial milk. His day of appearance is called as Mahavir Jayanti and is celebrated with great enthusiasm every year.
Lord Mahavir was born to King Siddharth and Queen Trishala at Kundalgram in Vaishali district in 599 B.C and lived as a sovereign. He lived an aristocratic life till His age of 30. He was married to Yashoda and had a daughter named Anoja. He was a great thinker. At the age of 30, He left His royal household and family, gave up His worldly belongings and became a monk.
After experiencing lot of things, He attained omniscience i.e. the ideal knowledge about the nature of Sarhsara and the path leading from it to happiness and to deliverance.
At the age of forty-two and in the thirteenth year of His renunciation, Mahavir Swami attained supreme illumination. During this period, He learnt to command His feelings and desires. After achieving Kevalgyan He roamed to many places to let people know about the everlasting truth in His last thirty years.
The sole aim of Bhagwan Mahavira was to raise the quality of life of all living beings. He taught the need of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct. His followers were organized into a fourfold order i.e. monk (sadhu), nun (sadhvi), layman (shravak), and laywoman (shravika) that are known as Jain Sangh. Lord Mahavira’s nirvan took place at the age of seventy two years. He took His last breathe in the chancellery of King Hastipal of Pawapuri. He is termed as Mahavira because of His hunt for legitimacy and the real virtues of life.
He wanted the people to attain the eternal delightful state of one’s self by completely achieving sovereignty from the cycle of life, pain, misery, birth and death. He also called it as attaining liberation, nirvan, complete freedom, or Moksha.
He preached that one’s own good or bad actions lead him in the oppression of karmic atoms which forces the person to seek pleasures in worldly possessions and wealth and lead them to the state of vicious thoughts, actions, anger, disgust, greed, and many other vices.
He explained that all living beings are spiritually equal and they all should give up the world in search of true happiness.
Mahavir Swami believed in three principles known as Anekantavada, Syadvada and Karma. According to Him, at the soul of right conduct lies the five grand vows or moral values. These are –
• Nonviolence or Ahimsa means that one should not cause harm to anyone.
• Truthfulness or Satya means that one should speak the harmless truth only.
• Non-stealing or Asteya means not to take anything that is not properly given.
• Chastity or Bramacharya means to avoid all physical pleasures and
• Non-possession/Non-attachment or Aparigraha means to isolate completely from material world to attain one-self.
Without accepting the idea of non-absolutism (anekantavada) and the theory of relativity (syadvada) all the above vows cannot be completely implemented.
According to Lord Mahavira, to release one’s self,the right faith (samyak darshan),the right knowledge (samyak gyan), and the right conduct (samyak charitra) should be taken into consideration.
Lord Mahavira preached His devotees just to improve their quality of life. The basic idea is to attain divine excellence by maintaining moral behavior and following proper code of conduct.
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