Believes and Teachings of Lord Mahavir


Lord Mahavir was the twenty fourth and last Tirthankara of the Jain religion of this era. According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were human beings but they have attained a state of excellence or explanation through meditation and self-realization. They are the Gods of Jains. The concept of God as a creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe does not live in Jainism. Also the idea of God's re-embodiment as a human being to destroy the demons is not established in Jainism.

Lord Mahavir was born on the thirteenth day of rising moon of Chaitra month, 599 B.C. in the state of Bihar, India. This day falls in the month of April as per English calendar. His birthday is celebrated as Mahavir Jayanti day. Mahavir was a prince and was given the name Vardhaman by his parents. Being son of a king, he had many worldly pleasures, comforts, and services at his command. But at the age of thirty, he left his family and royal household, gave up his worldly possessions, and become a monk in search of a solution to eliminate pain, sorrow, and sufferings. Mahavir exhausted the next twelve and half years in deep silence and meditation to overcome his desires, feelings, and attachments. He carefully avoided harming or maddening other living beings including animals, birds, and plants. He also went without food for long periods. He was calm and passive against all unbearable hardships that he was given the name Mahavir, meaning very brave and brave. During this period, his spiritual powers fully developed and at the end he realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. This realization is known as keval jnana or the perfect enlightenment.

The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain 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.

Mahavir preached that right faith (samyak darshana), right knowledge (samyak jnana), and right conduct (samyak charitra) together is the real path to attain the liberation from karmic matter of one's self. At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:

Nonviolence (Ahimsa)

not to cause harm to any living beings

Truthfulness (Satya)

to speak the harmless truth only

Non-stealing (Asetya)

not to take anything not properly given

Chastity (Brahmacharya)

not to indulge in sensual pleasure

Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha)

complete detachment from people, places, and material things