Place of Nirvana of Mahavira
There have been wide spread controversies regarding the exact location of the place where Mahavira attained his nirvana. Many scholars like Jacobi and others felt that Mahavira breathed his last in Pawapuri of Bihar while others are of the viewpoint that the place is situated somewhere else in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. According to them the place is Pava, with modern Fazilnagar in Deoria district, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Those who are of this view, appear to have relied upon the Jain and Buddhist sources, and the archaeological evidences to support their standpoint.
Gathering of Republican kings at Mahavira's death
According to the Kalpasutra, the eighteen confederate kings of Kashi and Kosala and eighteen kings belonging to the Malla and Lichchavi clan gathered on the of Mahavira's death. It is also written that these kings had observed fast and illuminated the place on the day of the new moon thinking that as the light of intelligence has gone, let there be illumination of material matters. As Mahavira attained nirvana early in the morning, the Jains worship him at that time and illuminate the earthen pots. On the night of his salvation, people celebrated the Festival of Lights, Diwali in his honor.
During those days, a custom prevailed among the kings and the general public to gather and commemorate the nirvana of that teacher whom they worshipped and regarded the most. As Pava was the capital of Mailas the presence of these republican kings on that occasion was ascertained. Similarly the Lichchavis were the relatives of Mahavira from the side of Trisala. Hence they too assembled in Pava. Besides, both the Mailas and the Lichchhavis were good neighbours and believed in the same pattern of administration. Thus all the eighteen ganarajas of Kashi and Kosala reached Pava to show their respect, and sympathy for the great prophet. Thus Lord Mahavir died and his purified soul left the body and achieved complete liberation. He became a Siddha, a liberated soul, living for ever in a state of complete bliss.
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