Bhagavan Parshvanath preceded lord mahavira by 25o years. he was the son of king asvasena and queen vama
of varanasi. at the age of thirty he renounced the world and became an ascetic. he practiced austerities
for eighty three days. on the eighty fourth day he obtained omniscience. lord parshvanath preached his
doctrines for seventy years. at the age of one hundred he attained liberation on the summit of mount
sammed shikaji or sammeta (parsnath hills).
the four vows preached by lord parshvanath are: not to kill, not to lie, not to steal, and not to own property. the vow of chastity was without a doubt, implicitly included in the last vow, but in the two hundred and fifty years that elapsed between the nirvän of parshvanath and the preaching of lord mahavir, considering the situation of that time, included the fifth vow of chastity explicitly to the existing four vows. thus, the number of vows preached by lord mahavir was five instead of four. there were followers of lord parshvanath headed by keshi kumar at the time lord mahavir. it is a historical fact that kesi kumar and gandhar gautam, chief disciple of lord mahavir met and discussed the differences. after satisfactory explanation by gandhar gautam, keshi kumar and monks and nuns of lord parshvanath tradition accepted the leadership of lord mahavira and they were reinitiated.