Mahavira known as Vardhamāna, was the twenty-fourth tirthankara who revived Jainism. In the Jain tradition, it is believed that Mahavira was born in the early part of the 6th century BC into a royal Kshatriya family in present-day Bihar, India, he abandoned all worldly possessions at the age of 30 and left home in pursuit of spiritual awakening, becoming an ascetic. Mahavira practiced intense meditation and severe austerities for 12 years, after which he is believed to have attained Kevala Jnana, he preached for 30 years and is believed by Jains to have attained moksha in the 6th century BC, although the year varies by sect. Scholars such as Karl Potter consider his biography uncertain. Mahavira attained nirvana at the age of 72, his body was cremated. After attaining Kevala Jnana, Mahavira taught that observance of the vows of ahimsa, asteya and aparigraha is necessary for spiritual liberation, he taught the principles of Anekantavada: nayavada. Mahavira's teachings were compiled by Indrabhuti Gautama as the Jain Agamas.
The texts, transmitted orally by Jain monks, are believed to have been lost by about the 1st century. The surviving versions of the Agamas taught by Mahavira are some of Jainism's foundation texts. Mahavira is depicted in a sitting or standing meditative posture, with the symbol of a lion beneath him, his earliest iconography is from archaeological sites in the North Indian city of Mathura, is dated from the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD. His birth is celebrated as Mahavir Jayanti, his nirvana is observed by Jains as Diwali. Surviving early Jain and Buddhist literature uses several names for Mahavira, including Nayaputta, Samana, Niggantha and Bhagavan. In early Buddhist suttas, he is referred to as Veyavi, he is known as Sramana in the Kalpa Sūtra, "devoid of love and hate". According to Jain texts, Mahavira's childhood name was Vardhamāna because of the kingdom's prosperity at the time of his birth. According to the Kalpasutras, he was called Mahavira by the gods in the Kalpa Sūtra because he remained steadfast in the midst of dangers, fears and calamities.
He is known as a tirthankara. Although it is universally accepted by scholars of Jainism that Mahavira lived in ancient India, the details of his life and the year of his birth are subjects of debate. According to the Digambara Uttarapurana text, Mahavira was born in Kundpur in the Kingdom of the Videhas. Although it is thought to be the town of Basu Kund, about 60 kilometres north of Patna, his birthplace remains a subject of dispute. Mahavira renounced his material wealth and left home when he was twenty-eight, by some accounts, lived an ascetic life for twelve years and preached Jainism for thirty years. Where he preached has been a subject of disagreement between the two major traditions of Jainism: the Śvētāmbaras and the Digambaras; the Śvētāmbara tradition believes that Mahavira was born in 599 BC and died in 527 BC, the Digambara tradition believes that he died in 510 BC. The controversy arises from efforts to date the Buddha. All Indologists and historians, says Paul Dundas and others, date Mahavira's birth at about 497 BC and his death at about 425 BC.
However, the Vira Nirvana Samvat era began in 527 BC and is a firmly-established part of Jain tradition. The 12th-century Jain scholar Hemachandra placed Mahavira in the 5th century BC. Kailash Jain writes that Hemachandra performed an incorrect analysis, which along has been a source of confusion and controversy about Mahavira's nirvana. According to Jain, the traditional date of 527 BC is accurate; the place of his nirvana, Pavapuri in present-day Bihar, is a pilgrimage site for Jains. According to Jain cosmology, 24 Tirthankaras have appeared on earth. A Tirthankara signifies the founding of a tirtha, a passage across the sea of birth-and-death cycles. A member of the Kashyapa gotra, Mahavira was born into the royal kshatriya family of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala of the Ikshvaku dynasty; this is the dynasty in which Hindu epics place Rama and the Ramayana, Buddhist texts place the Buddha, the Jains attribute another twenty-one of their twenty-four tirthankaras. According to Digambara Jains, Mahavira was born in 540 BC.
His birthday falls on the thirteenth day of the rising moon in the month of Chaitra in the Vira Nirvana Samvat calendar era. It falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar, is celebrated by Jains as Mahavir Jayanti. Kundagrama is traditionally believed to be near Vaishali, an ancient town on the Indo-Gangetic Plain, its location in present-day Bihar is unclear because of migrations from ancient Bihar for economic and political reasons. According to the "Universal History" in Jain my
The Kalpa Sūtra is a Jain text containing the biographies of the Jain Tirthankaras, notably Parshvanatha and Mahavira. Traditionally ascribed to Bhadrabahu, which would place it in the 4th century BCE. it was put to writing only after 980 or 993 years after the Nirvana of Mahavira. Within the six sections of the Jain literary corpus belonging to the Svetambara school, it is classed as one of the Cheda Sūtras; this Sutra contains detailed life histories and, from the mid-15th century, was illustrated with miniature painting. The oldest surviving copies are written on paper in western India in the 14th century. Kalpasutra is ascribed to Bhadrabahu, traditionally said to have composed it some 150 years after the Nirvāṇa of Mahavira, it was compiled during the reign of Dhruvasena, 980 or 993 years after the Nirvana of Mahavira. The book is read and illustrated in an eight-day-long festival of Paryushan by Jain monks for general people. Only Monks can read this scriptures as in Jainism, this book has high spiritual values.
Parshvanatha Neminatha Dundas, The Jains, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-26605-X Jain, Kailash Chand, Lord Mahāvīra and His Times, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0805-8 "The Kalpa Sûtra" translated in English by Hermann Jacobi is published by Motilal Banarsidass Publishers in Delhi in " The Sacred Books of the East" ISBN 81-208-0123-7 TranslationsKalpa Sutra text The Kalpa sutra, Nava tatva
In Jainism, a tīrtha is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the sangha. A tirtha provides the inspiration to enable one to cross over from worldly engagement to the side of moksha. Jain tirthas are located throughout India. A tirtha has a number of temples as well as residences for the pilgrims and wandering monks and scholars. Tirtha sites include: Siddhakshetras or site of moksha liberation of an arihant or Tirthankaras like Ashtapada Hill, Girnar, Palitana, Mangi-Tungi and Champapuri Atishayakshetras where divine events have occurred like Mahavirji, Kundalpur, Aharji etc. Puranakshetras associated with lives of great men like Ayodhya, Vidisha and Rajgir Gyanakshetra: associated with famous acharyas or centers of learning like Mohankheda and Ladnu Geographically, the tirthas are divided into six quarters: North India: Hastinapur and Ashtapada South India: Shravanabelagola, Moodabidri, Anantnath Swami Temple, Gummileru Eastern India: Shikharji, Champapuri, Pundravardhana Western India: Palitana, Mount Abu, Shankheshwar, Mahudi Central India: Vidisha, Sonagiri, Muktagiri Overseas: Siddhachalam, Nava Ashtapada, Siddhayatan Jain temple Vividha Tirtha Kalpa Tirtha jainuniversity.org, Jain Tirtha all over India http://www.jainteerth.com http://tirth.jinvani.com http://www.jainpilgrimages.com http://www.jaintirths.com http://www.siddhayatan.org First Hindu-Jain Tirth in North America http://www.jainheritagecentres.com Shri Nageshwar Parshwanath Jain Tirth Darshan on jainreligion.in
Paryushana is the most important annual holy events for Jains and is celebrated in August or September in Hindi calendar Bhadrapad Month's Shukla Paksha. It lasts 10 days for Digambara sect of Jains. Jains increase their level of spiritual intensity using fasting and prayer/meditation to help; the five main vows are emphasized during this time. There are no set rules, followers are encouraged to practice according to their ability and desires. Digambaras refer it as Das Lakshana Dharma while Śvētāmbaras refer to it as Paryushana; the duration of Paryushana is for eight days for Śvētāmbara Jains and ten days for Jains belonging to the Digambara sect. The festival ends with the celebration of Kshamavani. Paryushana means "abiding and coming together", it is a time when the Jains take on vows of fasting. The Digambara Jains recite the ten chapters of the sacred Jain text, Tattvartha Sutra on ten days of fasting. Digambaras celebrate Ananta Chaturdashi. Many towns have a procession leading to the main Jain temple.
Ananta Chaturdashi marks the day. At the conclusion of the festival, followers request forgiveness from others for any offenses committed during the last year. Forgiveness is asked by saying Micchami Dukkadam to others, which means, "If I have offended you in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or action I seek your forgiveness." During the eight-day festival, the Śvētāmbara Murtipujakas recite the Kalpa Sūtra, which includes a recitation of the section on birth of Mahavira on the fifth day. Some Śvētāmbara Sthānakavāsīs recite the Antagada Sutra, which details the life of great men and women who attained moksha during the eras of Neminatha and Mahavira. During Paryushana, Jains observe a fast; the span of the fast can last from a day to 30 days or more. In Digambara Jainism, śrāvakas do not take food and/or water more than once in a day when observing fasts, while Śvētāmbaras observing a fast survive on boiled water, consumed only between sunrise and sunset. At the conclusion of the festival, śrāvakas request each other for forgiveness for all offenses committed during the last year.
This occurs on the Paryusha day for Śvētāmbaras and on the Prathama of the month of Ashvin Krashna for Digambaras. Forgiveness is asked by saying Micchami Uttam Kshama to each other, it means "If I have caused you offence in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought word or deed I seek your forgiveness". Das-Dharma are mentioned in Tattvartha Sutra; these are: Uttam Kshama - उत्तम क्षमा Uttam Mardava - उत्तम मार्दव Uttam Aarjava - उत्तम आर्जव Uttam Satya - उत्तम सत्य Uttam Soch - उत्तम सोच Uttam Sanyam - उत्तम संयम Uttam Tap - उत्तम तप Uttam Tyaga - उत्तम त्याग Uttam Aakinchanya and - उत्तम अकिंचन्य Uttam Brahmcharya - उत्तम बह्मचर्यIn the full form, it is a 10-day vrata that comes every year. It may be undertaken during Shukla Panchami to Chaturdashi of Magh or Chaitra months; however it is common to do it during Bhadrapada. The Das-dharmas are all prefixed by the word ‘Uttam’ to signify that they are practiced at the highest level by the Jain monks; the householder practises them to a lesser extent.
It lasts over a period of ten days, each day being dedicated to one of the ten Dharmas. In the sections below a) stands for the temporary point of view of modes and modification b) stands for the permanent point of view of underlying substance. A) We forgive those who have wronged us and seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. Forgiveness is sought not just from human colleagues, but from all living beings ranging from one sensed to five sensed. If we do not forgive or seek forgiveness but instead harbor resentment, we bring misery and unhappiness on ourselves and in the process shatter our peace of mind and make enemies. Forgiving and seeking forgiveness oils the wheel of life allowing us to live in harmony with our fellow beings, it attracts meritorious karma. B) Forgiveness here is directed to oneself; the soul, in a state of mistaken identity or false belief, assumes that it consists of the body, the karmas and the emotions – likes, anger, pride etc. As a result of this incorrect belief, it inflicts pain upon itself and is thus the cause of its own misery.
Nischay Kshama Dharma teaches the soul to identify itself by encouraging it to contemplate in its true nature and hence achieve the state of right Belief. It is only by achieving Samyak Darshan that the soul ceases to inflict pain on itself and attains supreme happiness. A) Wealth, good looks, reputable family or intelligence lead to pride. Pride means to believe one to look down on others. By being proud you are measuring your worth by temporary material objects; these objects will either leave you or you will be forced to leave them when you die. These eventualities will cause you unhappiness as a result of the ‘dent’ caused to your self-worth. Being humble will prevent this. Pride leads to the influx of the bad karmas. B) All the souls are equal, none being superior or inferior to another; the Nischay view encourages one to understand their true nature. All souls have the potential to be liberated souls; the only difference between the liberated souls and those in bondage is that the former have attained liberation as a result of their ‘effort’.
With effort the latter can achieve liberation. A) The action of a deceitful pe
Mahaveer Janma Kalyanak, is one of the most important religious festivals for Jains. It celebrates the birth of Mahaveer, the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara of Avasarpiṇī; as per the Gregorian calendar, the holiday occurs either in April. Most modern historians consider Kundagram as Mahaveer's birthplace. According to Jain texts, Mahaveer was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra in the year 599 BCE. Mahaveer was born in a democratic kingdom, where the king was chosen by votes. Vaishali was its capital. Mahaveer was named'Vardhamana', which means "One who grows", because of the increased prosperity in the kingdom at the time of his birth. In Vasokund, Mahaveer is much revered by the villagers. A place called Ahalya bhumi has not been ploughed for hundreds of years by the family that owns it, as it is considered to be the birthplace of Mahaveer. Mahaveer was born into Ikshvaku dynasty as the son of King Siddhartha of Kundagrama and Queen Trishala. During her pregnancy, Trishala was believed to have had a number of auspicious dreams, all signifying the coming of a great soul.
Digambara sect of Jainism holds that the mother saw sixteen dreams which were interpreted by the King Siddhartha. According to the Svetambara sect, the total number of auspicious dreams is fourteen, it is said that when Queen Trishala gave birth to Mahaveer, the head of heavenly beings performed a ritual called abhisheka on Sumeru Parvat, this being the second of five auspicious events, said to occur in the life of all Tirthankaras. The idol of Mahaveer is carried out in a procession called rath yatra. On the way stavans are recited. Statues of Mahaveer are given a ceremonial anointment called the abhisheka. During the day, most members of the Jain community engage in some sort of charitable act, prayers and vratas. Many devotees visit temples dedicated to Mahaveer to offer prayers. Lectures by monks and nuns are held in temples to preach the path of virtue. Donations are collected in order to promote charitable missions like saving cows from slaughter or helping to feed poor people. Ancient Jain temples across India see an high volume of practitioners come to pay their respects and join in the celebrations.
Ahimsa rallies preaching the Mahaveer's message of Ahiṃsā are taken out on this day. Jain, Kailash Chand, Lord Mahāvīra and His Times, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0805-8 Jain, Uttarapurāṇa of Āchārya Guṇabhadra, Bhartiya Jnanpith, ISBN 978-81-263-1738-7 Jalaj, Dr. Jaykumar, The Basic Thought of Bhagavan Mahavir, Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, ISBN 978-81-88769-41-4 History of Jainism Lord Mahavira Sayings The Significance of Mahavir Jayanti
Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient, non-theistic, Indian religion. Followers of Jainism are called "Jains", a word derived from the Sanskrit word jina and connoting the path of victory in crossing over life's stream of rebirths through an ethical and spiritual life. Jains trace their history through a succession of 24 victorious saviours and teachers known as tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha, who according to Jain tradition lived millions of years ago, twenty-third being Parshvanatha in 8th century BC and twenty-fourth being the Mahāvīra around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology; the main religious premises of Jainism are anekāntavāda, aparigraha and asceticism. Devout Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā, asteya and aparigraha; these principles have impacted Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle that avoids harm to animals and their life cycles.
Parasparopagraho Jīvānām is the motto of Jainism. Ṇamōkāra mantra is the most basic prayer in Jainism. Jainism has Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras; the Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras have different views on ascetic practices and which Jain texts can be considered canonical. Jain mendicants are found in all Jain sub-traditions except Kanji Panth sub-tradition, with laypersons supporting the mendicants' spiritual pursuits with resources. Jainism has between five million followers, with most Jains residing in India. Outside India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Suriname and the United States. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Jayanti, Diwali; the principle of ahimsa is a fundamental tenet of Jainism. It believes that one must abandon all violent activity, without such a commitment to non-violence all religious behavior is worthless. In Jain theology, it does not matter how correct or defensible the violence may be, one must not kill any being, "non-violence is one's highest religious duty".
Jain texts such as Acaranga Sūtra and Tattvarthasūtra state that one must renounce all killing of living beings, whether tiny or large, movable or immovable. Its theology teaches that one must neither kill another living being, nor cause another to kill, nor consent to any killing directly or indirectly. Furthermore, Jainism emphasizes non-violence against all beings not only in action but in speech and in thought, it states that instead of hate or violence against anyone, "all living creatures must help each other". Violence negatively affects and destroys one's soul when the violence is done with intent, hate or carelessness, or when one indirectly causes or consents to the killing of a human or non-human living being; the idea of reverence for non-violence is founded in Hindu and Buddhist canonical texts, it may have origins in more ancient Brahmanical Vedic thoughts. However, no other Indian religion has developed the non-violence doctrine and its implications on everyday life as has Jainism.
The theological basis of non-violence as the highest religious duty has been interpreted by some Jain scholars not to "be driven by merit from giving or compassion to other creatures, nor a duty to rescue all creatures", but resulting from "continual self-discipline", a cleansing of the soul that leads to one's own spiritual development which affects one's salvation and release from rebirths. Causing injury to any being in any form creates bad karma which affects one's rebirth, future well being and suffering. Late medieval Jain scholars re-examined the Ahiṃsā doctrine when one is faced with external threat or violence. For example, they justified violence by monks to protect nuns. According to Dundas, the Jain scholar Jinadatta Suri wrote during a time of Muslim destruction of temples and persecution that "anybody engaged in a religious activity, forced to fight and kill somebody would not lose any spiritual merit but instead attain deliverance". However, such examples in Jain texts that condone fighting and killing under certain circumstances are rare.
The second main principle of Jainism is anekāntavāda or anekantatva, a word derived from anekānta and vada. The anekāntavāda doctrine states that reality is complex and always has multiple aspects. Reality can be experienced, but it is not possible to express it with language. Human attempts to communicate is Naya, explained as "partial expression of the truth". Language is not Truth. From Truth, according to Mahāvīra, language returns and not the other way round. One can experience the truth of a taste, but cannot express that taste through language. Any attempts to express the experience is syāt, or valid "in some respect" but it remains a "perhaps, just one perspective, incomplete". In the same way, spiritual truths are complex, they have multiple aspects, language cannot express their plurality, yet through effort and appropriate karma they can be experienced. Since reality is many-sided the great error, according to Jainism, is ekānta where some relative truth is treated as an absolute truth to the exclusion of others.
The anekāntavāda premise of the Jains is ancient, as evidenced by its mention in Buddhist texts such as the Samaññapha
Parshvanatha known as Parshva and Paras, was the 23rd of 24 tirthankaras of Jainism. He is the earliest tirthankara, acknowledged as a historical figure. Parshvanatha's biography is uncertain, with Jain sources placing him between the 9th and 8th centuries BC and historians saying that he lived in the 8th or 7th century BC. Parshvanatha was born 350 years before Mahavira. With Mahavira and Neminatha, Parshvanatha is one of the four tirthankaras most worshiped by Jains, he is popularly seen as a ford-maker, who can save. Parshvanatha died on Mount Sammeta in an important Jain pilgrimage site, his iconography is notable for the serpent hood over his head, his worship includes Dharanendra and Padmavati. According to Jain texts, Parshvanatha was born in India. Renouncing worldly life, he founded an ascetic community. Texts of the two major Jain sects differ on the teachings of Parshvanatha and Mahavira, this is a foundation of the dispute between the two sects; the Digambaras believe that there was no difference between the teachings of Parshvanatha and Mahavira.
According to the Śvētāmbaras, Mahavira expanded Parshvanatha's first four restraints with his ideas on ahimsa and added the fifth monastic vow. Parshvanatha did not require celibacy, allowed monks to wear simple outer garments. Digambaras disagree with Śvētāmbara interpretations. Śvētāmbara texts, such as section 2.15 of the Acharanga Sutra, say that Mahavira's parents were followers of Parshvanatha. Parshvanatha is the earliest Jain tirthankara, acknowledged as a historical figure. According to Paul Dundas, Jain texts such as section 31 of Isibhasiyam provide circumstantial evidence that he lived in ancient India. Historians such as Hermann Jacobi have accepted him as a historical figure because his Chaturyama Dharma is mentioned in Buddhist texts. Despite the accepted historicity, some historical claims have led to different scholarly conclusions, he is claimed in Jain texts to have been 13.5 feet tall. Parshvanatha's biography is legendary, with Jain texts saying that he preceded Mahavira by about 250 years and that he lived 78 years.
Mahavira is dated to c. 599 – c. 527 BC in the Jain tradition, Parshvanatha is dated to c. 850 – c. 772 BC. According to Dundas, historians outside the Jain tradition date Mahavira as contemporaneous with the Buddha in the 5th century BC and, based on the 250-year gap, date Parshvanatha to the 8th or 7th century BC. Doubts about Parshvanatha's historicity are supported by the oldest Jain texts, which present Mahavira with sporadic mentions of ancient ascetics and teachers without specific names; the earliest layer of Jain literature on cosmology and universal history pivots around two jinas: the Adinatha and Mahavira. Stories of Parshvanatha and Neminatha appear in Jain texts, with the Kalpa Sūtra the first known text. However, these texts present the tirthankaras with non-human physical dimensions, their bodies are celestial, like deva. The Kalpa Sūtra is the most ancient known Jain text with the 24 tirthankaras, but it lists 20. Early archaeological finds, such as the statues and reliefs near Mathura, lack iconography such as lions or serpents.
Parshvanatha was the 23rd of 24 tirthankaras in Jain tradition. He was born on the tenth day of the dark half of the Hindu month of Pausha to King Ashwasena and Queen Vamadevi of Benares. Parshvanatha belonged to the Ikshvaku dynasty. Before his birth, Jain texts state that he ruled as the god Indra in the 13th heaven of Jain cosmology. While Parshvanatha was in his mother's womb, gods performed the garbha-kalyana, his mother dreamt fourteen auspicious dreams, an indicator in Jain tradition that a tirthankara was about to be born. According to the Jain texts, the thrones of the Indras shook when he was born and the Indras came down to earth to celebrate his janma-kalyanaka. Parshvanatha was born with blue-black skin. A strong, handsome boy, he played with the gods of water and trees. At age eight, Parshvanatha began practicing the twelve basic duties of the adult Jain householder, he lived as a soldier in Benaras. According to the Digambara school, Parshvanatha never married. Heinrich Zimmer translated a Jain text that sixteen-year-old Parshvanatha refused to marry when his father told him to do so.
At age 30, on the 11th day of the moon's waxing in the month of Pausha, Parshvanatha renounced the world to become a monk. He removed his clothes and hair, began fasting strictly. Parshvanatha meditated for 84 days before he attained omniscience under a dhaataki tree near Benares, his meditation period included strict vows. Parshvanatha's practices included careful movement, measured speech, guarded desires, mental restraint and physical activity, essential in Jain tradition to renounce the eg