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Mahavir Vaani :: Lord Mahavira Quotes

The greatest mistake of a soul is non-recognition of its real self and can only be corrected by recognizing the self

Every soul is independent, none depends on another.

It is better to win over the self than to win over a million enemies.

There is no separate existence of God. Everybody can attain god-hood by making supreme efforts in the right direction.

All unenlightened persons produce sufferings. Having become deluded, they produce and reproduce sufferings, in this endless world.

A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has perfect perception (Anant-darshana), perfect knowledge (Anant-jnana), perfect power (Anant-virya), and perfect bliss (Anant-sukha).

Just as a threaded (sasutra) needle is secure from being lost, in the same way a person given to self-study (sasutra) cannot be lost.

Every soul is in itself absolutely omniscient and blissful. The bliss does not come from outside.

The soul comes alone and goes alone, no one companies it and no one becomes its mate.

Only that science is a great and the best of all sciences, the study of which frees man from all kinds of miseries.

That with the help of which we can know the truth, control the restless mind, and purify the soul is called knowledge in the Jaina doctrine.

"Can you hold a red-hot iron rod in your hand merely because some one wants you to do so? Then, will it be right on your part to ask others to do the same thing just to satisfy your desires? If you cannot tolerate infliction of pain on your body or mind by others' words and actions, what right have you to do the same to others through your words and deeds?"



That which subdues passions, leads to beatitude and fosters friendliness is called knowledge in the Jaina doctrine.

The unenlightened takes millions of lives to extirpate the effects of karma whereas a man possessing spiritual knowledge and discipline obliterates them in a single moment.

The nights that have departed will never return. They have been wasted by those given to unrighteousness.

Those who are ignorant of the supreme purpose of life will never be able to attain nirvana (liberation) in spite of their observance of the vratas (vows) and niymas (rules) of religious conduct and practice of sila (celibacy) and tapas (penance).

My soul characterised by knowledge and faith is alone eternal. All other phases of my existence to which I am attached are external occurrences that are transitory.

Righteousness consists in complete self-absorption and in giving up all kinds of passions including attachment. It is the only means of transcending the mundane existence. The Jinas have said so.

Don't kill any living beings. Don't try to rule them.

The essence of all knowledge consists in not committing violence. The doctrine of ahimsa is nothing but the observance of equality i.e. the realization that just as I do not like misery, others also do not like it. Knowing this, one should not kill anybody.

Just as you do not like misery, in the same way others also do not like it. Knowing this, you should do unto them what you want them to do unto you.

To kill any living being amounts to killing one self. Compassion to others is compassion to one's own self. Therefore one should avoid violence like poison and thorn (that cause pain).

Don't be proud if you gain. Nor be sorry if you lose.

One who cultivates an attitude of equality towards all living beings, mobile and stationary, can attain equanimity. Thus do the kevalis say.

Only the one who has transcended fear can experience equanimity.

(One should reflect thus:) Let me treat all living beings with equanimity and none with enmity. Let me attain samadhi (tranquillity) by becoming free from expectations.

Let me renounce the bondage of attachment and hatred, pride and meekness, curiosity, fear, sorrow, indulgence and abhorrence (in order to accomplish equanimity).

Let me give up attachment through unattachment. My soul will be my only support (in this practice of unattachment). (Hence) let me give up everything else.

Just as I do not like misery, so do others. Knowing this, one neither kills, nor gets killed. A sramana is so called because he behaves equanimously.

One who remains equanimously in the midst of pleasures and pains is a sramana , being in the state of pure consciousness.

A sramana devoid of the knowledge of Agama does neither know himself, nor others.

Other beings perceive through their senses whereas the sramana perceives through the Agama.

One devoted whole-heartedly to knowledge, faith and right conduct equally accomplishes in full the task of the sramana.

O Self! Practise Truth, and nothing but Truth.

Enlightened by the light of Truth, the wise transcends death.

Truth alone is the essence in the world.

The ascetic who never thinks of telling a lie out of attachment, aversion or delusion is indeed the practiser of the second vrata of truthfulness.

A truthful man is treated as reliable as the mother, as venerable as the guru (preceptor) and as beloved as the one who commands knowledge.

Truthfulness indeed is tapa (penance). In truthfulness do reside self-restraint and all other virtues. Just as the fish can live only in the sea, so can all other virtues reside in truthfulness alone.

One may have a tuft or matted hair on the head or a shaven head, remain naked or wear a rag. But if he tells a lie, all this is futile and fruitless.

One can bear all kinds of unbearable pain caused by spikes in expectation of wealth etc. But he alone who tolerates without any motive of worldly gain, harsh words spoken to him is venerable.

One should not speak unless asked to do so. He should not disturb others in conversation.

He should not backbite and indulge in fraudulent untruth.

One should not utter displeasing words that arouse ill feelings in others. One should not indulge in speech conducive to the evil.

Discipline of speech consists in refraining from telling lies and in observing silence.

The sadhaka (one who practises spiritual discipline) speaks words that are measured and beneficial to all living beings.

The bhiksu (ascetic) should not be angry with one who abuses him. Otherwise he would be like the ignoramus. He should not therefore lose his temper.

If somebody were to beat a disciplined and restrained ascetic, the latter should not think of avenging himself considering the soul to be imperishable.

As gold does not cease to be gold even if it is heated in the fire; an enlightened man does not cease to be enlightened on being tortured by the effect of karma.

A thief feels neither pity nor shame, nor does he posses discipline and faith. There is no evil that he cannot do for wealth.

On the aggravation of one's greed, a person fails to distinguish between what should be done and what should not be done. He is a daredevil, who cannot commit any offence even at the cost of his own life.

By practising celibacy one can fulfil all other vows - chastity, tapas (penance), vinaya (humility), samyama (self restraint), forgiveness, self-protection and detachment.

Knowing that pleasing sound, beauty, fragrance, pleasant taste and soothing touch are transitory transformations of matter, the celibate should not be enamoured of them.

The soul is the Brahman. Brahmacarya is therefore nothing but spiritual conduct of the ascetic concerning the soul, who has snapped out of relationship with alien body.

An amorous person, failing to achieve his desired objects, becomes frantic and even ready to commit suicide by any means.

The sun scorches only during the day, but cupid scorches in the day as well as in the night. One can protect oneself from the sun, but cannot from cupid.

The more you get, the more you want. The greed increases with the gain. What could be accomplished by two masas (grams) of gold could not be done by ten millions.

Knowing that the earth with its crops of rice and barley, with its gold and cattle, and all this put together will not satisfy one single man, one should practise penance.

Just as fire is not quenched by the fuel and the ocean by thousands of rivers, similarly no living being is satisfied even with all the wealth of all the three worlds.

Non-possessiveness controls the senses in the same way as a hook controls the elephant. As a ditch is useful for the protection of a town, so is non-attachment for the control of the senses.

Greed even for a piece of straw, not to speak of precious things, produces sin. A greedless person, even if he wears a crown, cannot commit sin.

One who, being swayed by wishful thinking becomes a victim of passions at every step, and does not ward off the desires, cannot practise asceticism.

External renunciation is meaningless if the soul remains fettered by internal shackles.
Living beings have desires. Desires consist in pleasure and pain.

One who is constantly careful in his deportment is like the lily in the pond, untarnished by mud.

Objects of the senses pollute knowledge if it is not protected by discipline.

Discipline is the means of achieving liberation.

Even the noble becomes mean in the company of the wicked, as precious necklace on the neck of a dead body.

The ignoramus is always benighted. The enlightened is always wide awake.

The five senses of the awakened always remain inactive. The five senses of the slumber always remain active. By means of the active five one acquires bondage while by means of the inactive five the bondage is severed.

Just as everybody keeps away from a burning fire, so do the evils remain away from an enlightened person.

Keep yourself always awake. One who keeps awake in creases his wisdom. He who falls asleep is wretched. Blessed is he who keeps awake.

He who lies idle like a python simply wastes the ambrosia of wisdom. With the loss of his wisdom, he is no better than a bull.

The yogi who is indifferent to worldly affairs remains spiritually alert to his own duty, namely, his duty towards his soul. On the other hand, one who indulges in worldly affairs is not dutiful to his soul.

Birth is attended by death, youth by decay and fortune by misfortune. Thus everything in this world is momentary.

The courageous as well as the cowardly must die. When death is inevitable for both, why should not one welcome death smilingly and with fortitude?

Both the righteous and unrighteous must die. When death is inevitable for both, why should not one embrace death while maintaining good conduct?

There is nothing as fearful as death, and there is no suffering as great as birth. Be free from the fear of both birth and death, by doing away with attachment to the body.

Do not be in dread of the dreadful, the illness, the dis ease, the old age, and even the death or any other object of fear.

The non vigilant has fear from all directions. The vigilant has none from any.

One who entertains fear finds himself lonely (and helpless).

The valiant does not tolerate indulgence, nor does he tolerate abhorrence. As he is pleased with his own self, he is not attached to anything.

As a tortoise withdraws his limbs within his own body, even so does the valiant withdraw his mind within himself from all sins.

The enlightened should contemplate that his soul is endowed with boundless energy.

Only that man can take a right decision, whose soul is not tormented by the afflictions of attachment and aversion.

One who knows the spiritual (self) knows the external (world) too. He who knows the external world, knows the self also.

The Life of Lord Mahavir

Considered the 24th Tirthankara of the Jain religion, Lord Mahavir is said to be the last among his kind for this era. The Jain philosophy believes that Tirthankaras are human beings and attain their state of enlightenment or perfection through self - realization and meditation. They are thought to be God in the human form and are perfect supreme beings! The concept about god being the creator, the preserver and the destroyer is not part of the beliefs in Jainism and so is the idea that god reincarnates to a human form to destroy demons.

He was born to this world during the rising moon of Chaitra on its thirteenth day in 599 B.C. which falls on April based on the Gregorian calendar and is celebrated every year. This event is called the Mahavir Jayanti. His birthplace in India is on the state of Bihar. Vardhaman was the name given to him by his parents. He was also a king's son and even though he had many material comforts within his reach, he gave them all up when he was thirty years old. He became a monk instead who searched for the solution in getting rid of sufferings, sorrow and pain.

He spent more than 12 years in meditation and silence to overcome his attachments, feelings and desires. Lord Mahavir consciously avoided annoying and harming those around him like plants and animals aside from other men. He also went without any food for a stretch of time and was always peaceful and calm even in the face of insufferable adversity. This is where he got his name "Mahavir" which literally means courageous and brave.

It was during this time that all his spiritual powers developed and he was able to reach the stage on the supreme understanding of self. This is known as the Keval Jnana which means perfect enlightenment. He spent thirty years in travelling barefoot across India and taught people what he have realized about eternal truth. His main goal was teach them how to conquer death, misery and pain in order to gain a permanent state of happiness. This is known as Moksha, nirvana, absolute freedom or liberation.

Lord Mahavir said that samyak darshana together with samyak jnana and samyak charitra will lead to Moksha. This means that the right faith, knowledge and conduct will lead the path in freeing the human soul from the shackles of karma.

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