Bishwa Nath Singh:
How many of us are aware that the twenty fourth and last Trithankara who spread and propogated Jainism was born to King Siddartha and Queen Trishala on the thirteenth day under the rising moon of Chaitra in 599 BC a place call Kundalagrama near Vaishali close to Patna in Bihar State of India and at the age of seventy two years and four and a half months whose teachings are even very relevant today who had attained Nirvana ( left his humanly body)in Pavapuri in the State of Bihar in India in 527BC on the last day of the Indian and Jain calendars, Deepawali. Jains celebrate this as the day he attained liberation who had lived from 599-527 BC.? He was non else than Lord Mahavira.
( Picture of twentyfourth & last Trithankara of Jainism Lord Mahavira)
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Bishwa Nath Singh
Lord Mahavira was the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara of the Jain religion. As per Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were born as human beings but they have attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self ...realization. They are the Gods of Jains. Tirthankaras are also known as Arihants or Jinas. Jainism comes from the Sanskrit word “ji” which means to conquer. Jains are followers of “Jinas” which means conqueror. This title of Jina is given to 24 teachers called Tirthankars, who are the religious gurus of the Jains. These Tirthankars guided the evolution of Jainism by first achieving and then teaching the Jain path of purity and peace, which leads to the highest spiritual liberation. Rishabadev was the first Tirthankar and is considered the original founder of Jainism, Truly speaking, not much is known of the first twenty two Tirthankars. The twenty third Tirthankar was Parshva, who died in the 8th century B.C. The twenty fourth and last Tirthankar was Lord Vardhaman Mahavir who lived 599-527 B.C He was born in 599 BC at Kundalagrama near Vaishali close to Patna in Bihar State of India. His father, King Siddhartha, and his mother, Queen Trishla, were very religious people and followers of Lord Parshwanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar. When Queen Trishla was expecting the baby she had fourteen beautiful dreams (some believe sixteen dreams). When the learned scholars were asked about the dreams they said she was going to have an extraordinary child., one who will show the path to true happiness to humanity. Queen Trishla gave birth to Lord Mahavir in March/April on Mahavir Jayanti day in 599BC. They named him Vardhaman which means 'one who brings prosperity'. It is said that fifty six maidens from Indralok (heavenly abode)performed holy rituals and danced to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Attending this ceremony, along with the other gods, was Indra who carried Vardhaman to Mount Meru, where everyone sang the infant's glory. Many stories are cited of Mahavir's boyhood. They illustrate that from early childhood, Mahavir believed in practicing non-violence. He did not use force to control even wild and dangerous animals. He knew that all living beings understand the language of love. Mahavir was not scared of an angry elephant. The elephant eventually became calm and docile. At seven when Vardhaman was playing with friends an evil demi-god took the form of a cobra and tried to frighten the kids. Brave Vardhaman boldly grabbed the snake and flung it far away. On another occasion, the demi-god joined the children in the disguise of a child. According to the rules of the game, Vardhaman had a chance to ride on the child's back. As Vardhaman climbed onto his back the child transferred himself into a demon. Vardhaman controlled him with his mighty fists. The demon appeared in his true form and praised Vardhaman for his bravery and called him 'Mahavir' meaning very brave. Though Mahavir was born with worldly comforts and luxuries, they never attracted him. He lived a simple life. When his parents died, he decided to become a monk. He asked for his brother's permission. His brother was still mourning for the loss of their parents. He therefore requested Mahavir to wait for a couple of years before leaving. Mahavir waited for two years, during which he led a totally detached life. After realizing this, his brother gave him permission to become a monk. Mahavir was thirty years old when he gave up his worldly life and all worldly activities. He spent of his time in austerity and meditation. He learned to survive on small amounts of food and reduced his physical needs. He had no anger, pride or desires. He practiced non-violence, truth and celibacy. He did not take anything including food and water unless it was offered to him. He spent the next twelve years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires and feelings. He went without food for long periods. He carefully avoided harming or annoying other living beings including animals, birds, and plants. His ways of meditation, days of austerities, and mode of behavior furnish a beautiful example for monks and nuns in religious life. His spiritual pursuit lasted for twelve years. At the end he realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. This realization is known as pure knowledge (Keval Gyan ).The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain the 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, nirvana, absolute freedom, or salvation.He explained that from eternity, every living being (soul) is in bondage of karmic atoms, that are accumulated by its own good or bad deeds. Under the influence of karma, the soul is habituated to seek pleasures in materialistic belongings and possessions. Which are the deep rooted causes of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, greed, and such other vices. These result in accumulating more karma. Lord Mahavira (Great Hero) lived at the same as the Buddha and like him, rejected the concept of the caste system. He was born into Kshatriya (warriors) family and was born a prince. Being the son of a king, he had all the pleasures, comforts and services that he wanted and were at his command. However, he left his home at the age of 30, giving up his worldly possessions, becoming a monk in find out how to do away with the pain and sufferings from life. For the next twelve and half years, he spent his life in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires, feelings, and attachments. He was careful to avoid harming, and even annoying, other living beings such animals, plants, and insects. He was calm and peaceful against all hardships. By the age of fortytwo, he fully developed his spiritual powers and reached the state perfect enlightenment or the next thirty years, Lord Mahavira had traveled bare foot around India preaching the eternal truth that he realized. He was trying to teach how one can attain total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death as well as how to achieve the permanent blissful state within one's self. This is known is MOKSHA (absolute freedom). At age seventy two, Lord Mahavia attained Moksha and his soul, now purified, left his body, achieving complete liberation. He is now a liberated soul, living in state of complete bliss forever. He explained that from eternity, every soul of all living-being is in bondage of their performance that are accumulated by its own good or bad deeds. Under the influence of karma, the soul is habituated to seek pleasures in materialistic belongings and possessions. Which are the deep rooted causes of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, greed, and such other vices. These result in accumulating more karma.At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:(!) Nonviolence (Ahimsa) - not to cause harm to any living beings, (2)Truthfulness (Satya) - to speak the harmless truth only (3)Non-stealing (Asteya) - not to take anything not properly given ,(4)Chastity (Brahmacharya) - not to indulge in sensual pleasure and (5)Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha) – complete detachment from people, places, and material things.At the age of Seventy two in 527 B.C., Lord Mahavir died at Pavapuri in the state of Bihar in India and his purified soul left the body and achieved complete liberation. He became a Siddha, a pure consciousness, a liberated soul, living for ever in a state of complete bliss. On the night of his salvation, people celebrated the Festival of Lights (Dipavali) in his honor.Let us join to pay our respectful homage to Lord Mahavira and pay our humble obeisance’s to his lotus feet who is widely adored as an incarnation of God by over several millions of people living far and wide!
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Anirudha Mohanta :
the lives and teacings of Mahavir have a great effects on the people of India and the religions that are born in India
If we follow His teachings .....it will be real homage. May God bless us.