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Life of Lord Mahavir

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Published on Apr 27, 2008

Life of Lord Mahavir Written & Edited by Minal Dagli. Lord Mahavira was born roughly around 599 B.C. His father was King Siddhartha and his mother was Queen Trishala. It is said that when the queen conceived Lord Mahavira, she had fourteen auspicious dreams that were a premonition of the greatness of the child that was to be born. The prosperity of the King grew day by day. The king attributed his success to his new born child and named him Vardhamana, which means "ever increasing". Vardhamana had a lavish childhood and lived like a proper prince. He did many great things in his childhood like saving his friend from a poisonous snake, fighting a monster, etc. that proved that he was no ordinary child. This earned him the name "Mahavira". He was born with all worldly pleasures and luxuries but somehow he was never attracted by them. He left all his worldly possessions including clothing and went into seclusion to become a monk. For twelve years, he deeply meditated in order to overcome his desires and cravings. He succeeded in going without food for days together, avoided clothes and never harmed another living creature even if it was an insect. Once while meditating, he was bitten by a deadly snake. Still he did not develop any kind of hatred for the snake and kept meditating. After twelve years, he attained divine knowledge and self-realization. His perception about everything was crystal clear and he paved the way for spiritual pursuit for future monks. The attainment of this spiritual knowledge was known as keval-jnana. Once he realized this knowledge, he traveled to the remotest places in India preaching whatever he had learnt. All through his wandering, he was barefoot and refrained from eating too often. His simple living and high morals attracted believers from all walks of life, which included kings, paupers, priests and untouchables. His teachings were based on the concept of self-realization for ultimate attainment of Moksha. He taught people how to gain freedom from misery, pain and the cycle of birth and death. On Diwali Lord Mahavira, the last of the jain Tirthankaras, achieved nirvana at Pavapuri. As per Jain custom, the principal follower of Mahavira, Ganadhar Gautam Swami, as well achieved absolute wisdom on this same day. Lord Mahavira was known to be omniscient, which means he knew everything about past and future.

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