Life of Lord Mahavira
Lord Mahavir, also referred to Vardhamana, was born in Kundalagrama, Bihar, as a son to king Siddartha and Queen Trishala. He
gave up all his possessions, even his clothes, and lived for the next twelve years a life of great hardship, training himself to
endure the pains and discomforts of the body until he became indifferent to them.
The wandering ascetic, seeking knowledge alone in the wilder places, or in company with fellow seekers for truth,
was an accepted figure on the edge of Indian society. Mahavira persevered with this austere lifestyle, marked by
long spells of fasting and other penances, and by deep meditation.
At last, during one period of meditation by the side of a
river, he came to a comprehension of the whole nature and meaning of the universe.and the total knowledge, omni science, kevala
jnana. This total knowledge does not come easily: for Mahavira, as we have seen, it was the result of years of austerity and meditation.
This was the fourth of the five great events of Mahavira's life which are celebrated by Jains today: his conception, birth, renunciation, and now
enlightenment. The fifth great event, nirvana or moksa came thirty years later.
During these thirty years Mahavira, strengthened by his knowledge, spread his message among the people. He spoke in the
language of the region, Ardha Magadhi not in the classical Sanskrit of the scholars, and the oldest Jain scriptures are preserved in that language. Some people,
men and women, were inspired to give up all possessions and become monks and nuns. Others were unable to go that far but followed
Mahavira's teachings without giving up their homes and families and work
Teaching of Lord Mahavira
Mahavira taught a scientific explanation of the nature and meaning of life
and a guide as to how we should behave to draw this real nature and meaning into our own life. We must start with three things. First,
we must have RIGHT FAITH , we must believe in truth. Second, we must have the RIGHT KNOWLEDGE, we must study to
understand what life is all about. Third, we must follow RIGHT CONDUCT, the conduct which our faith and knowledge show us to be
correct. These are the 'three jewels', ratna- traya of. Jainism.
There are the five rules of conduct which Mahavira taught, non-violence, truthfulness, no stealing, non-acquisition and control
of sexual desires. It is a hard program and not everybody can follow it all at once. So Mahavira set up a society in which some people,
monks and nuns, try to follow his program as far as is humanly possible. Others, ordinary lay people, men and women, do not give up
their homes and jobs and families, but they try as far as possible in the circumstances of daily life to follow the five rules of
conduct. While the monk or nun can take precautions to avoid harm even to the tiniest living
creature, the rule of non-violence must mean something less for ordinary people caught up in the ordinary business of our lives. A
monk or nun can give up all possessions and seek no more: for most of us non-acquisition must mean trying to reduce our craving for
possessions and the pleasures of the world. Monks and nuns can go very much further than married men and
women in subduing their attachment to sex