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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