• According to Jain tradition 24 “Tirthankaras” or” Saint” preached Jainism.
  • Rishavanath was the first and Mahavira was the last thirthankar of Jainism.
  • Parsvanath the historical personage was the real founder of Jainism. He was a prince of Benaras.
  • He preached the four- fold ideals of Truthfulness, Non injury, Abstention from stealing and Non- attachment.
Rishavanath/ AdinathBull or Ox

Vardhmana Mahavira

  • The most widely accepted view is that Mahavira was born on 540 B.C. in the village of Kundagarama near Vaishali in Bihar.
  • His Father Name was Siddarth and he was the head of a famous Kshatriya Jantrika clan.
  • His mother Trisala was a Kshatriya Lady related to the ruling families of Videha and Magadha.
  • His wife name is Yasoda and his daughter name was Anojja.
  • At he age of 30 he became an Ascetic.
  • He kept wondering for 12 years from place to place and finally attained Kaivalya ( Supreme Knowledge) at jhimbitikagrama on the bank of river Rijupalika under a sal tree and came to be known as Jina ( Conqueror) and his followers came to be known as Jain from his name jina.
  • He died at Pava in South Bihar at the age of Seventy two i.e in 468 B.C.

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Teaching of Mahavira

  • Jaininsm was based upon the Pancha Mahabrata or the great five vows i.e 1-Truthfulness, 2- Non-Injury, 3- Non- Stealing, 4- Non Attachement, 5- Brahmacharya.
  • The Main purpose of Mahavira’s teaching is the attainment of of salvation by freeing the soul from earth bondage.
  • There are three Jewels of in Jainism called Triratna i.e Right Faith, right Knowledge, and Right Action.
  • The followers of Mahavira came to be known as Nirgranthas.
  • Asceticism and Penance were the two Pre-requisite for freeing oneself from the cycle of birth and Re -birth.
  • Monastic Existance was a necessary condition of salvation.
  • Ahimsa means cause no harm to the living beings.
  • Satya means speak always truth.
  • Asteya means not to posses anything which is not willingly offered.
  • Brahmacharya means to exercise control over one sense.
  • Aparigraha means to observe detachmen
  • t from people, places and things.

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About Jainism

  • They did not believe in the existence of God, believed in Karma and the transmigration of the Soul.
  • There are three gems of Jainism. 1) Right Faith. 2) Right Knowledge. 3) Right Conduct.
  • There are five categories of siddha.
TrithankaraOne who has attained salvation
ArhantOne who is about to attain Nirvana
AcharyaThe Head of the Ascetic group
UpadhyayaThe teacher or the Saint
SadhuIncluding the rest
  • Mahavira jain founded the Jain church.
  • He had eleven ardent disciples called the Ganddharas ten of them died during mahavira lifetime only one named Arya Sudharaman lived and become the first pontiff/Pope.
  • Ujjain was a great Jaina centre where saints like Kalkacharya and Gardhilla lived.
  • Bhadrabahu the great exponent of Jainism composed Kalpasutra.
  • Chandragupta Maurya was also the followers of jainism. He left pataliputra and reached Sravanbelgola at karnataka where in chandra hill performed his fast upto death.
  • The followers of Bhadrabahu were known as Digambara as they believed in nudity.
  • The followers of Sthulbhadra were known as Shvetambara as they wore white cloths only.
  • There are twelve Angas in Jainism.
  • The first Council of jaina was held in Patliputra around 300 BC.
  • The second council of jaina was held at Vallabhi Gujrat in 512 AD.
  • Fasting by the Jain members on fool moon day or new moon day is known as Pasodha.
  • Five principle observed by jain monks is known as Mahavrata.
  • The jain scholar Hemchandra composed the longest poem known as Trisastisalaka Purushacharita.
  • The religious text of jainism were opted in Prakrit Language.
  • Hathigumpha cave of Kharvela and the Khandagiri and Udaigiri caves of orissa contain early jains relics.
  • During Kushan period Mathura was the great centre of Jaininsm.
  • The gigantic statue of Bahubali known as Gomateswar at Shravanbelgola and Karrkala are the wonderful architects of Jains.
  • Dilwara temple of Mount Abu in Rajesthan and Jaina Tower of Chittorgarh are the best specimen of architectural engineering.

What is the Symbol of Tirthankar Mahavira?

Ans- Lion

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