ADS: Though Mahavira Jaina was the creator of the historic
Jainism, the jaina traditions preserved that there were 23 Tirthankars or prophets of that faith before the birth of Mahavira.Mahavira therefore is considered as the twenty-fourth Tirthankara of the Jainas. It is stated that the first of those prophets was Rishabha, and the last Tirthankara before Mahavira was Parsvanath.The lives of the earlier Tirthankaras are unknown to history. Parsvanath, nevertheless, lived nearer to historic times and there-more, some accounts of him are available to history. However he, too, is stated to have passed away 250 years before Mahavira, after living a complete life of hundred years.
Image Source: images.speakingtree.iimg.in/ files/02 -2014/ 97593/225ab6cdf797eae79495ff584a46dfd2 _ 1392976285.jpg ADVERTISEMENTS: Parsvanath was
the child of Asvasena, a Kshatriya king of Banaras. At the age of 30, he abandoned home in search of truth, and got his knowledge after difficult penance. He gathered a great deal of disciples to whom he preached his doctrines. The followers of his faith were asked to take four terrific vows, specifically, to give up violence or injury to life, to be ever genuine, not to take residential or commercial property of others, and not to have property of one’s own.His successor to the faith, Mahavira, included the 5th vow, specifically, to preserve celebacy, or Brahmacharya. Parsva thought in the eternity of all matter. Mahavira” also thought in that. This leads some historians to recommend that Parsvanath was the genuine founder of the Jaina faith. Mahavira Jina, nevertheless, gave that faith its real and historical type, and made it a great faith. He was the last Tirthankara or ‘the Ford-maker throughout the stream of existence’.
Mahavira Jaina: His Life:
The original name of Mahavira was Vardhamana. He was born in a town named Kundagrama near the ancient city of Vaisali. His daddy Siddhartha was the chief of a Kshatriya clan, popular as Jnatrikas. His mother was princess Trishala, sister of the ruler of Vaisali, Chetaka. She was likewise related to some other royal households of that time. This shows that Vardhamana was born in an extremely aristocratic household of fame and wealth.ADVERTISEMENTS: The date of the birth of Vardhamana Mahavira is controversial. According to one estimation, he was born in 618 B.C. and passed away in 546 B.C. after a life of 72 years. According to another estimation, he was born in 540 B.C. and died in 468 B.C. Though some other dates are also recommended, the date of Mahavira’s death in 468 B.C. is accepted as a more possible date.It is based on a custom recorded by the well-known Jaina monk Hemachandra that Chandragupta Maurya came to the throne after 155 years of Mahavira’s death. However, this computation also produces troubles when associated with other historic events. The dates of Mahavira thus remain yet doubtful.It is enough to know, that Mahavira came from sixth century B.C., was a contemporary of Buddha, and according to Buddhist sources, he died before Buddha. Vardhamana began his life like others. In his youth he wed Yoshoda. A daughter was born to him. But the worldly destinations did not make him worldly-minded. At the age of 30, after the death of his moms and dads, he renounced the world and became a monk.He took to a life of severe penance and a roaming monk. Looking for reality he had a hard time for long twelve years.
He subjected his body to all kinds of discomfort while moving from place to location. According to a description in a Jaina text:”He roamed naked and homeless. People struck him and buffooned at him. Unconcerned, he continued in his meditations. In Ladha, the inhabitants maltreated him and set pet dogs on him.ADVERTISEMENTS: They beat him with sticks and with their feet, and threw fruits, clods of earth and potsherds on him.
They interrupted him in his meditations by all sorts of torments. But like a hero in the forefront of the fight, Mahavira endured everything. Whether he was wounded or not, he never ever looked for medical aid. He took no type of remedies; he never washed, did not shower and never cleaned his teeth. In winter season, he practiced meditation in the shade; in the heat of the summer season he seated himself in the scorching sun. Typically he consumed no water for months. Often he took only every 6th, eighth, tenth or twelfth meal and pursued his meditations without yearning”. Such was the life of challenge that Vardhamana went through. Finally, in the thirteenth year of his penance, he got knowledge
or the supreme understanding or the Kevala Jnana. With that he ended up being the Jaina or the Conqueror, Mahavira or the Excellent Hero and Kevalin or the All Knowing. After gaining the supreme understanding Mahavira Jina preached his faith for long thirty years. He travelled everywhere and went to such places as Mithila, Sravasti, Champa, Vaisali and Rajagriha. Kings and commoners heard his doctrines with dedication. Amongst the rulers, kings Bimbisara and Ajatasatru paid him their respects.It is known from the Jaina sources that he came as far as Kalinga and preached his teachings from the Kumari Hill(the Udayagiri Hill near Bhubaneswar)to individuals of Orissa. All over, the typical people in addition to the kings listened to him. He was venerated as an excellent prophet. While wandering and preaching his gospels tirelessly, Mahavira Jaina died at the age of 72 at a location called Pava near the city of Rajagriha. His amazing life was an example of austerity, purity and morality. To an India of spiritual hunger, Mahavira provided terrific doctrines to awaken males’s mind to a higher religious level. Jain Doctrines: The jain canons may broadly be divided into two parts, the philosophical and the useful. The philosophical part includes ontology(a part of metaphysics handling the essence of things
at the abstract level), metaphysics and psychology. The useful aspect relates to principles and asceticism, monasticism and the life to be led by the laity.Parsvanatha, who preached prior to Mahavira, had provided four concepts for a pure life. Those were, non-violence, truth, non-stealing, and non-possession. Mahavira Jaina included another principle namely Bramacharya or celibacy.
According to him, these five qualities were necessary for leading a life towards excellence and to cross the stream of presence. Mahavira quit all attachments towards wordly things. He even quit the use of clothes. Teaching of Mahavir Jaina: Tri-Ratna-Mahavira laid the greatest focus on a truly great life of the people. According to him, the three absolute conditions for excellent life were the Right Faith, the Right Knowledge,
and the Right Action. Theseprinciples of life were referred to as the Tri-Ratna or the 3 jewels.For such an excellent life, male was needed to discover his own soul which was’The highest, the noblest and the max manifestation of all the powers’. But this stayed hidden in the soul of man. The discovery of that power was the genuine purpose of life. The worship of God or gods, the use of Mantras or prayers, the sacrifices of animals or performance of lots of routines were unneeded for understanding the soul.
It was by virtuous living and moral conduct that man could serve his soul’s purpose. Purification of soul was the supreme goal of life.Mahavira did not bring God into his religious faith. While the universe was eternal, he did not find a developer behind it. Nor did he discover the function of a creator to control and manage deep space. According to him, all manifestations of power lay in the creation itself. The later Jainas concerned think that God might be just a’spiritual perfect’which male could discover in his own cleansed Atma.When Mahavira did not provide any significance to God, his religious beliefs kept no location for the priests to work between God and guy. Therefore came an opposition to the Brahminical supremacy in the spheres of faith. As the praise of Gods, offering of prayers, worth of mantras, and the need of priestly class were denied, the Vedas and the Upanishads were also not offered importance in the Jain thought. Karma and Rebirth: In Jainism, the faith in the theory of karma and renewal was outright. Male has to work in order to live. His soul for that reason, is engaged in different work. Mahavira provided the optimal tension on Karma. He divided all existing things into 2 classifications, the living and the non-living. All the living beings were described as the Jivas. Each Jiva in the body was the
Atma.Since the Jiva existed in physical or material form, it got bound to action or Karma. Guy was thus bound to exist with psychological, spoken and exercises. Naturally, for that reason, his Atma became based on his Karma. It was this Karma which decided the future of the Atma. If guy did not do the proper Karma through his mind, speech and body, he was bound to suffer the results of
his karma.The Karma was thus the eternal law. Bad or excellent karma would go by bad or excellent results. And, there was no escape from it. Male was bound to suffer punishment for sins through birth and renewal. The unending cycle of renewal would continue as long as man did not perfect his ideas, words and deeds to get launched from rebirths.In this Karmic Law, there was no place for any God either to work as the saviour of man or as a provider of penalty
. No quantity of prayer or praise might save male from his Karma. God’s favour or forgiveness had no place in the Jaina believed. Responsibility was entirely with male for his own future, great or bad. The Jaina thought gave a blow to the belief that man might escape his wrong works by pleasing or calming the Gods by prayers or praise
, or by compromising animals, with the aid of the priests.Mahavira laid terrific focus on the right conduct of man. He desired male to conquer two weak points, particularly, attachment and hostility. Attachment led to selfishness and greed, while hostility led to hatred and anger. The highest standard of conduct indicated the freedom from both. Ahimsa: Absolute faith in Ahimsa or the non-violence got the greatest location in Jainism. The life of every living being was considered as spiritual. The smallest of the small animals also had life as did the humans.
It was for that reason a supreme sin that man need to ruin the life of other animals. As man himself does not want to be hurt or killed, so likewise no creature wants to be injured or eliminated. According to Jainism, it was the duty of man to protect and protect the life of every living animal. To Mahavira Jaina
, the practice of Ahimsa resembled the greatest duty of every man.Jainism brought non-violence to its severe degree. The Jainas did not cook food after evening in fear that even the smallest of insects may fall into fire. No other faith paid so much regard to the living beings as did Jainism. Compassion towards all kind of life was cardinal function of Jainism.Mahavira gave the highest place to Ahimsa or non violence in human behaviour. As every living being wanted to enjoy and no living being wished to be eliminated or hurt, the greatest goal of life must be to respect the life in others, nevertheless small or irrelevant be the creature.
“This is a concept of significant implications “, says a found out scholar on Jainism, A.N. Upadhayay. “Every living being has as much right to live happily as a guy has. There are gradations in the series of the animate world; and they need to be understood, appreciated and safeguarded in the light
of the total application of this Law.This Ahimsa or non-injury is the basic law of civilised life and reasonable living. It is the basis of all moral directions in Jainism “. The principle of non-violence in its extreme type was indeed the most significant part of Mahavira’s teaching. This led a famous Western historian, Albert Schweitzer to state:” The setting of the rule not to kill and not to damage is among the greatest occasions in the spiritual history of mankind… So far as we understand, this is for the very first time clearly revealed in Jainism”. Reformism: Jainism rose as a brand-new religious beliefs. Side by side, it challenged many existing evils of
the Brahmanic faith. Mahavira Jaina was among the best reformers of ancient India. He raised his voice against many social and spiritual systems of his time. In an age when faith mainly meant worship of many deities, practice of useless ceremonies, and sacrifice of animals, Jaina drew the attention of man towards greater spiritual goals. According to him, sins of life can not be gotten rid of by worship or prayers. Male can avoid sins by a virtuous conduct.By denying praises and prayers, Jaina offered a blow to the supremacy of the priestly class.
The Jainas did not believe in the Vedas. They denounced blind beliefs and superstitious notions. While preaching the worth of non-violence, they condemned the practice of animal sacrifice.Jainism thought in human equality. As such, the Jainas, criticised the caste system.The increase and spread of Jainism, resulted in a brand-new socio-religious consciousness among the people. Its effect on the Indian society and culture became deep and large. Aparigraha: Jaina laid fantastic stress on the virtue of Aparigraha. It implies serious restraint on male’s instinct of acquisitiveness. Man’s desire for sexual enjoyments and for accumulation of wealth is like an endless game of life. The ideal of Aparigraha was meant to put an end to individual enthusiasms and desires. What was true of a person was also real of a society or a group or a race. To quit belongings and home was a spiritual exercise of the highest order.
Indirectly, it likewise could cause an enlightened society of human equality. Kaivalya: Mahavira Jaina asked his disciples to try to realise the supreme Truth. The measures he recommended for that realisation were rather too difficult. Apart from leading a life of austerity, morality, purity and virtue, they were asked not to have
, not to get, not to desire, and not to do any injury or damage to any animal or even to anything.Side by side, he taught to put one’s body to discomforts to understand its nothinglessness and to reveal no attachment of the Atma for this physical kind. Even, voluntary death by starvation was prescribed. A life of celibacy was recommended, and the disciples were asked to quit clothes and live naked.The purpose of such extreme suffering was to prepare for the supreme understanding or the Kevalin, and thereby to get away the uncomfortable cycle of birth and rebirth. The destruction of the Karma was required to get away the results of
the Karma.The mentor of
Mahavira in this regard is explained in the list below method:” Whatever a private experiences, whether it more than happy or agonizing or neutral sensation, all have actually been brought on by previous actions. And therefore from the cancelling of old actions by tapas, and by abstaining from doing brand-new actions, there is no influx into future life; by this non-influx, Karma is destroyed, and so ill is damaged, therefore feeling is destroyed, and so all pain will become used away”. The liberated soul from the Karma and the renewal was to reach the everlasting home of bliss, the Siddha Silu, from where there was no return. Spread of Jainism: The teachings of Mahavira Jaina produced excellent impact on the mind of modern guys. Jainism as a religious beliefs initially began to spread out in Kosala, Magadha, Anga and Videha. Gradually it spread out in western India, Rajasthan and in some parts of south India
. Kings like Ajatasatru showed favour to that brand-new faith. The Lichchhavi people accepted the faith with terrific dedication. Later on, Jainism discovered effective royal clients like Emperor Kharavela of Kalinga.The mentors of Mahavira were very first maintained in kind of sacred texts called Purvas. Sometime after, those texts were compiled fit of twelve Angas.Because of its hard guidelines, Jainism could not end up being a religion of the masses. Its followers also got divided into 2 branches in course of time. Those who followed Mahavira’s doctrines faithfully and gave up wearing clothes, became popular as the Digambaras. Those who put on clothing came to be called the Swetambaras.Though Jainism