life of lord mahavira
lord mahavira was a prince whose childhood name was vardhaman. according to the digambar traditation, lord mahavira was born in the year 615 bc, but the swetambaras believe that he was born in 599 bc. both sects however agree that he was the son of siddhartha and trisala. it is said that mother trisala had sixteen auspicious dreams before the child was born (only 14 according to the swetambaras). astrologers interpreting these dreams, stated that the child would be either an emperor or a tirthankar.. as the son of a king, he had many worldly pleasures, comforts, and services at his command. in boyhood once while playing he brought under control a terrify serpent. consequently and symbolic of this feat of bravery, he got the title mahavir and vira-natha.
mahvira’s omniscience lord mahavira spent majority of the following twelve and one half years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires, feelings, and attachments, and to eradicate all four ghati karma. he carefully avoided harming other living beings including animals, birds, insects, and plants. he also went without food for long periods of time. he remained calm and peaceful against all unbearable hardships. during this period, his spiritual powers developed fully and he realized perfect perception, perfect knowledge, perfect conduct, unlimited energy, and unobstructed bliss. this realization is known as keval-jnän or the perfect enlightenment.
mahvira’s religious sermons after attaining omniscience, lord mahavira came to rajgriha (rajgir), the capital of magadha and took a worthy seat on the mount vipulacala. here he propounded to the audience the basic principles of jain dharma, the anu-vrata for the laity and mahavartas for the monks whereby the blissful ideal of life can be reached, lord mahavira spent the next thirty years traveling barefoot throughout india preaching the eternal truth he had realized. the ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of one’s self. this is also known as liberation, nirvän, absolute freedom, or moksha.
mahvira’s nirvana at the age of 72 (in 527 bc), lord mahavira attained nirvana and his purified soul left his body and achieved complete liberation. he became a siddha, a pure consciousness, a liberated soul, living forever in a state of complete bliss. on the evening of his nirvän, people spiritually celebrated the festival of lights (dipävali) in his honor. this is the last day of the jain calendar year.
mahavira’s organisation lord mahavira was the head of an excellent community of 14,000 monks, 36,000 nuns, 159,00o male lay votaries and 318,ooo female lay votaries. the four groups designated as monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen constitute the four fold order (tirtha) of jainism. of the eleven principle disciples (ganadharas) of lord mahavira, only two, viz., gautam swami and sudharma swami survived him. after twenty years of nirvän of lord mahavir, sudharma swami also attained emancipation. he was the last of the eleven gandharas to die. jambu swami, the last omniscient, was his pupil. he attained salvation after sixty four years of the nirvän of lord mahavira.
mahavira’s message lord mahavira’s message of nonviolence (ahimsä), truth (satya), non stealing (achaurya), celibacy (brahmacharya), and nonpossession (aparigraha) is full of universal compassion. lord mahavira made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate rituals. mahavira teaching reflect the internal beauty and harmony of the soul. lord mahavira taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of a positive attitude towards life.
lord mahavira said that, “a living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has infinite perception (anantdarshana), infinite knowledge (anantjnäna), infinite power (anantvirya), and infinite bliss (anantsukha). mahavira’s message reflects freedom and spiritual joy of the living being.
lord mahavira emphasized that all-living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, form, and how spiritually developed or undeveloped, are equal and we should love and respect them. in this way, he preached the universal love.
lord mahavira taught that the true nature of reality is timeless, with no beginning or end and rejected the concept of god as a creator, a protector, and a destroyer of the universe. he also taught that worshiping heavenly gods and goddesses, as a means of material gain and personal benefits is contrary to the path of liberation.
once lord mahavira was asked what is the religion from a realistic point of view. lord mahavira said, “ the realistic religion consists of four parts: 1) equality of all living ones, 2) every living soul has right to put self-effort to improve itself and should not to be stripped of that right, 3) no one should rule over other living beings, and 4) all situations should be viewed with equanimity – without like or dislike.” if one adopts only one of these four, other three will automatically be adopted
|03||Mother’s Name||trisala (priyakarini)|
|05||Birth Thithi||chitra sukla 13|
|06||Diksha Thithi||margshirsh ku 10|
|07||Kevalgyan Thithi||baishak ku 10|
|09||Shadak Jeevan||42 years|
|10||Age Lived||72 years|
|13||Neervan Thithi||kartik ku 15|