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Jainism Part-1

Updated on December 28, 2019



Biography of Mahavir Swami-

Mahavir Swami, the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara of Jainism, was born around 599 BC (540 BC according to some scholars) to the Kshatriya clan known in Kundagram near Vaishali. His father's name was Siddharth. Siddhartha was the head of Kundagrama, a small kingdom of known Kshatriyas. Mahavir's mother's name was Trishala. She was the sister of the famous king Chetak of the Lichchavi dynasty. Mahavir Swami's childhood name was Vardhaman. On his birth, astrologers predicted that when he grows up he will become either a Chakravarti king or a supreme monk. Vardhman was given Kshatriyot education from childhood. At a young age he was married to the beautiful Rajakanya her named Yashoda. He also had a daughter from this matrimonial relationship, who was married to a Kshatriya chieftain named Jamali. Vardhaman's father died when he was 30 years old. His retirement trend became even stronger by this incident and he gave up his house after taking orders from his elder brother Nandivardhan and became a monk.

The monk Mahavir wore clothes for one month and practiced severe penance. But he did not succeed in achieving his goal. Due to this he became disgruntled and left the community of playbacks and started doing penance alone. His clothes had fallen into ruins. Vardhamana began to remain naked. Several types of germs began to mount on their naked bodies and bite them. But for twelve years, he continued to suffer all kinds of problems, completely neglecting his body.

He abandoned all the bonds of the world and became completely disinterested. Finally, Mahavira attained Kaivalya (knowledge) on the banks of Ujjwalia (Rijupalika) Sarita near Jambhiyagam (Jumbhika). At the same time he received the title of "Kevalin". Because of conquering their senses, they are called "gin". Due to showing unique courage at the time of penance, he started to be called as "Mahavira". He had broken all earthly bonds. Hence they are also called "Nigrantha".

After knowing the truth, Mahavir Swamiji started the task of showing the public the right path of living. They started moving from one place to another to spread their ideas in public. The states of Magadha, Kashi, Kosal etc. were his propaganda. Because Mahavir Swami was closely related to many dynasties. Therefore those dynasties would have greatly assisted them in their preaching. Swami ji, influenced by Satyavani and the simple way of life, hundreds of people started becoming his followers. The King-Maharaja, the Vaishya-merchant and other ordinary people started following his words. Thus his number of followers became quite large.

Jain literature shows that the King's the Chetak of the Lichchhavi kingdom, Pradyot of Avanti, Bimbisara and Ajatashatru of Magadha, Dadhvahana of Champa and Udyan of Sindhu-Sauvir etc. had the highest reverence for Mahavira. And they became his followers. According to Buddhist texts, Bimbisara and Pradyot were followers of Mahatma Buddha. Thus we come to know that the Hindu rulers of that era were very liberal and reverent in religious terms. They used to show respect to knowledgeable men.

Finally, Mahavir Swami attained salvation at Pavapuri (Patna) at the age of 72 around 527 BC (467 BC according to some scholars). Even after his death, his religion flourished a lot and it exists today.

The principles of Mahavir Swami and Parshvanath did not differ much. Parshvanath had emphasized the need for four fasts, Mahavir Swami ji added another fast named "Brahmacharya" and insisted on five fasts. The playback had given permission to his followers to wear clothes, but Mahavir Swami asked the Jain monks to remain naked.

Panch Mahavrat


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Devendra Kumar


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