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Home > Society > Indian Religion > Types of Religion in India > Jainism > Jain Tirthankaras > Lord Mahavira
Lord Mahavira, Jain Tirthankara
Lord Mahavira was the twenty-fourth or the last great Jain Tirthankara born in 599 B.C. He is known to have established the central tenets of Jainism.
 
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 Lord Mahavira, Jain TirthankaraLord Mahavira was the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara of Jain religion. He was born in Kundagrama, i.e., Basukund of today in 599 B.C. Till his age of 30, he led an aristocratic life. He married Yashoda and had a daughter from her called Anojja. He was a powerful thinker who had taken a keen interest in all the problems of his times and he knew answers to the questions with which he had become familiar. At the age of 30, he left his family and royal household, gave up his worldly possessions, including clothing and become a monk.

Life of Mahavira
Mahavira was born to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. He lived as a prince and belonged to the Kasyapagotra of Kshatriya clan. At the age of thirty Mahavira renounced his kingdom and family, gave up his worldly possessions. When Mahavira left his house he fasted for two and half days under an Ashoka tree put on the garments of a monk and pulled out his hair in five tufts. After experiencing and seeing many things, he attained omniscience, the perfect clear knowledge about the nature of Sarhsara and the path leading from it to bliss and to salvation. Mahavira attained supreme enlightenment at the age of forty-two, in the thirteenth year of his renunciation. After attaining Kevalgyana the last thirty years he wandered to different places preaching people about the eternal truth. He taught about his religious system, organising order of ascetics, preaching his doctrines and making converts. During his life Mahavira organised a systematic religion and philosophy. He laid down a social order for his large group of followers. He revived the religious order consisting of monks, nuns, Shravaks and Shravikas. The Four Orders of Jainism is also known as Jain Sangh. Nirvana of Lord Mahavira took place at the age of seventy one years and six and a half months. He died in the chancellery of King Hastipala of Pawapuri.

Enlightenment of Lord MahaviraTeachings of Lord Mahavira
The objective of Lord Mahavira was to elevate the quality of life. He taught the necessity of right faith. He organized his followers, into a four-fold order, namely monk, nun, layman, and laywoman. They came to be known as Jains later on. 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 Moksha. He explained that from eternity, every living 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. This results in accumulating more karma. He taught that men and women are spiritual equals and both may renounce the world in search of ultimate happiness. He could look down upon the activity in the Samsara with a royal gesture from the summit of his knowledge and show and indicate the way to all who longed for salvation. He had himself given up a lift which was full of joys and enjoyments to dedicate his whole personality to a loftier goal; he had mortified his flesh to the extreme. Lord Mahavira preached that right faith, right knowledge and right conduct together will help attain the liberation of one`s self.

(Last Updated on : 04/06/2012)
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