MAHAVIRA – AN APOSTLE OF NON-VIOLENCE

MAHAVIRA – AN APOSTLE OF NON-VIOLENCE

LORD MAHAVIRA

(HAPPY MAHAVIR JYANTI ON 17th APRIL 19

Mahavira also known as Vardhamana

Was the 24th Tirthankara

Meaning a  savior and a Spiritual Preacher

Who made stellar efforts in reviving Jainism

With his spiritual and ethical teachings of tirthankaras

The base of which was laid in Pre-Vedic era

Born in the early part of 5th century BC

Into a family of Kshtriya

In present day Bihar

It is said he was born on 599 BC & died in 510 BC

Kalpa Sutra mentions his birth (1375 – 1400 CE)

Vira Nirvana Samvat era began in 527 BC

With Nirvana of Mahavira at Pavapuri in Bihar

Which is considered a holi place of Jains

Opinion may differ

But his preaching are second to none

He left his home while he was 30 years old or thereabouts

And became ascetic

Followed severest Bhakti Marga

For his spiritual awakening

Due which he attained Omniscience – Kevala Jnana

Finally attained Nirvana or Moksha

At the age of seventy two.

His teaching included non-violence – ahemsa

Truth, what is right and what is wrong – satya & Astya

Then the importance of non-attachment – Aparigraha

Taught about chastity – Brahmacharya

Thence numerous realities – Anekantavda

All his teachings are codified – Jain Agamas

His earliest known historical signs at Mathura

His birth is celebrated at Mahavir Jayanti

And his Nirvana is observed by Jains as Diwali

Mahavira is known variously

Such as Samana, Nayaputta, Brahmham, Bhagwan and Muni

Mahavira’s childhood name was Vardhamana

As per text Digambara Uttarapuranna

Mahavira was born in Kundgrama

In the Kingdom of the Videhas

The one who grows in stature and worth

And helps others too to grow all around.

In the Kalpasutras in Bihar

Lived as severest ascetic life for 12 years

Then preached Jain philosophy for 30 years

He is termed as the great hero – Mahavira

He faced all the ups and downs of his life with unmatched stamina

In the traditions of Svetambara

In the early Budhist Suttas

He is called as worthy one – Araha

In Vedas he is known as devoid of love and hate Sramana

But truth stands out that he preached Jainism philosophy

Tirthankara means savior or spiritual preacher

Svetambara texts mention his birth on 13th Day of 599 BC

At Kundagrama as his place of birth

In the month of Chaitra

In the Vira Nirvana Samvat calendar era

Which falls in the month of March-April

Lets adopt his noble teachings in our life

For making it sublime and purposeful

With love flowing for everybody

And hate none

With non-use of force

While living a life suffusing with truthfulness

Not overly attached to the worldly possessions

Or not stealing what is not ours.

The five vows (Vrtas) which Mahavira Preached are enumerated as under:-

Ahimsa (Non-violence). Mahavira preached to maintain sanctity and dignity of all in the spirit of Ahimsa – without force or intimidation. It should be in action, speech and thought.

Satya (Truthfulness). He stressed about being truthful in thoughts and actions.

Asteya (Non-stealing). Nobody should steal what is not ours.

Brahmacharya (Chastity).He taught abstinence from sex and sensual pleasures for monks and faithfulness to one’s partner for householders.

Aparigaha (Non-attachment). An attitude of non-attachment to property or worldly possessions should not be given much credence by the mendicants.

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Harbans

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