Vardhamana Mahavira

Vardhamana Mahavira

  • Jainism is one among the many religions, which arose from India. It preaches to overcome all temptations and evil emotions like greed, anger and self-esteem by detaching oneself with the material world and to live a disciplined and simple life. In Jainism, the ascetic monks are called Mahavratas and the lay Jains are called Anuvratas.

    First Tirthankara of Jainism is Rishabhanatha and he is identified by Bull.

23rd Tirthankara of Jainism

Twenty third Tirthankara of Jainism, Parshvanatha is the son of Asvasena (King of Kashi in 8th Century BC) and Rani Vamadevi. He belongs to Ikshvaku family. After he was disturbed by the death his parents, he became ascetic.

Nirgrantha (One who cuts off his worldly bonds) monastic tradition was started by him on the basis of 4 principles, namely Ahimsa, Satya, Aparigraha and Asteya.

For all the practical purposes, Parshvanatha is the founder of Jainism. But Jains believe that their religion has eternal origin and some Jains believe that Jainism was founded by the first Tirthankara, Rishabhanatha.

Mahavira – The Founder of Jainism

Mahavira original name was Vardhamana, Later called Mahavira, which means the great hero. He is also famous as Vardhamana Mahavira. Mahavira born in 599 B.C in Kundagrama, Vaishali, present in Bihar state. A memorial built at the believed site of Vardhamana born and also set up a center for the study of Jainism and nonviolence. His father belonged to a rich Kshatriya family. He married a prince named Yashoda, who bore him a daughter.

Mahavira Attain Enlightenment:

Gautama Buddha , a great thinker and had a strong desire to know salvation for the sorrows. According to the ancient custom, who got 30 years those left home and bondage with the family in the way of attaining enlightenment. According to the tradition, Mahavira also left his home, wife, and child and went to the forests at the age of 30 to attain enlightenment which means an understanding of ultimate truth. He leads a strong ascetic life and spent 12 years spending his time doing meditation and fasting. He did services to the monks to gain wisdom. Finally, in 13th year he attained enlightenment and became Jina, which means conquered all desires.

As a Preacher:

Then he became a teacher of religion and started preaching and religious concepts to the public. His followers believed that Mahavira is the 24th Tirthankara in a line of great teachers. The first Tirthankara is Rishabha. He mainly preached about non-violence and encouraged his followers to show kindness to all living creatures. He also forced his followers to become vegetarians, so that animals would not be killed for food. His followers came to be called Jinas or Jains. He traveled abruptly in Anga, Vidaha, and Magadha and preached the importance of Non-violence and influenced the devotees to conquest some desires. Rest of his life spent in preaching and enlighting the people to know the real purpose of the birth.

Who Founded Jainism

Mahavira gave his preaches in soft language, which understandable to the common people. So that he succeeded to send his message among the people. Anga, Videha and Magadha rulers patronaged him and followed his speeches. He set up a religious organization to look after the principles and doctrines of Jainism called Sangha. The sangha is the main organization to practice the principles of Jainism. He died in 527 B.C at the age of 72. At that time of his death, 14,000 followers following him. At first, all followed austere life and renunciation of wearing clothes. After his death, the Sangha divided into two groups as Digambaras and Svetambaras. Digambaras are the Orthodox followers of Mahavira and not wear the clothes. They follow the long fasts and lead an extremely austere life. Svetambaras wear the white clothes and kept fasts but they don’t believe in profound penance and austerity.


Vardhamana Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara of the Jain tradition. He was born at Kundagrama near Vaisali to Kshatriya parents Siddhartha and Trisala. He married Yasoda and gave birth to a daughter. At the age of thirty he became an ascetic and wandered for twelve years. In the 13th year of his penance, he attained the highest spiritual knowledge called Kevala Gnana. Thereafter, he was called Mahavira and Jina. His followers were called Jains and his religion Jainism. He preached his doctrines for 30 years and died at the age of 72 at Pava near Rajagriha.

மகாவீரரின் போதனைகள்

Teachings of Mahavira The three principles of Jainism, also known as Triratnas (three gems), are:

Right faith is the belief in the teachings and wisdom of Mahavira. Right Knowledge is the acceptance of the theory that there is no God and that the world has been existing without a creator and that all objects possess a soul. Right conduct refers to the observance of the five great vows :

Both the clergy and laymen had to strictly follow the doctrine of ahimsa. Mahavira regarded all objects, both animate and inanimate, have souls and various degrees of consciousness. They possess life and feel pain when they are injured. Mahavira rejected the authority of the Vedas and objected to the Vedic rituals. He advocated a very holy and ethical code of life. Even the practice of agriculture was considered sinful as it causes injury to the earth, worms and animals. Similarly the doctrine of asceticism and renunciation was also carried to extreme lengths by the practice of starvation, nudity and other forms of self-torture.

Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian religion. Followers of Jainism religion are called “Jains”, a word derived from the Prakrit word Jina, meaning “victor”.

founded in India in the 6th century BC by the Jina Vardhamana Mahavira as a reaction against the teachings of orthodox Brahmanism, and still practiced there. The Jain religion teaches salvation by perfection through successive lives, and noninjury to living creatures, and is noted for its ascetics.

Jainism religion history:

In spite of its obscure origin, Jainism is the oldest religion in the world, or truly it is not a religion but more like a way of life.
It is founded in ancient India. Jains trace their history through twenty-four Tirthankara and revere Rishabhanatha as the first Tirthankara (in the present time-cycle).

Jainism is somewhat similar to Buddhism, of which it was an important rival in India. It was founded by Vardhamana Jnatiputra or Nataputta Mahavira (599-527 BC), in the Ganges basin of eastern India, called Jina (Spiritual Conqueror), a contemporary of Buddha.

Jainism religion beliefs:

Jainism is a religion of self-help. There are no gods or spiritual beings that will help human beings. The three guiding principles of Jainism, the ‘three jewels’, are the right belief, right knowledge, and right conduct. The supreme principle of Jain living is non-violence (ahimsa).

Both Arihants and Siddhas are considered Gods of Jain religion. Arihats are perfect human beings and preach the Jain religion to the people during their remaining life. After death they become Siddhas. All Siddhas have perfected souls, living forever in a blissful state in Moksha.

Jainism practices:

Two practices that help Jains purify themselves of karma are ahimsa, a path of strict non-violence, and asceticism, self-denial, and discipline. The non-violence of ahimsa dictates everything in Jain’s interaction with the world, including a very strict vegan diet.

The Jain cuisine is completely vegetarian and also excludes underground vegetables such as potato, garlic, onion, etc, to prevent injuring small insects and microorganisms and also to prevent the entire plant getting uprooted and killed. It is practiced by Jain ascetics and lay Jains.

Jainism religion facts:

Interesting Jainism Facts: In Jainism, all life has a soul, from bacteria to plants, to animals, and to humans. Because they all have souls they all have the ability to reach nirvana. Jains do not worship a god or saint, and instead, work to attain nirvana as they believe other liberated souls have attained.

Test Answers 2021

ADVERTISEMENTS: Mahavira Vardhamana to whom Jainism owes its establishment as a religion probably lived from 540 to 468, B.C. According to Jaina tradition there were altogether twenty-four Tirthankaras that is, ford-makers or prophets, Mahavira being the twenty-fourth. The religious sect which came to be known as Jainism after the name of Mahavira Jina seems to […]

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  • Jains are encouraged to follow the Five Practices:
    1. non-violence (ahimsa)
    2. truthfulness
    3. non-stealing
    4. celibacy
    5. non-possession
  • Jains think ahimsa is the most intelligent and most noble path to liberation and can be seen in many aspects of everyday Jain life
  • This involves a commitment to all life forms on earth.
  • Ahimsa has influenced many individuals and social justice movements (Ghandi, M.L.K. jr., the social justice movement)
  • Jains believe in karma (every action has a consequesnce)
  • Jains believe in reincarnation (an individuals eternal soul, or jiva, is reborn into different bodies over many lifetimes)
  • Jains believe the goal of one’s life is to achieve moksha which is the salvation from the cycle of rebirth. This is achieved through meditation
  • Jains believe that everything, including atoms, have a jiva (soul) – this connects everything on the planet and connects the physical and spiritual worlds.
  • Jains believe that all truths depend on perspective and therefore there is nothing that is absolute

The five vows are common to both the monks and lay followers. The monks were to observe the vows more rigorously than the lay followers. As Jainism placed great emphasis on non-violence, strict observers of the faith wear a muslin cloth around their mouth and nose so that they would not inhale small insects even by mistake. To avoid trampling on ants and other insects, Jain monks used feathers to sweep the path before walking. Jains could not practice agriculture or other crafts that involve killing or injury to living organisms. Hence they took to trading and money-lending and excelled in it. As a result, they were closely associated with urbanisation.

Jainism is an egalitarian religion. It does not sanction any inequality based on birth. It is one’s deeds that determine one’s status in society and not birth. Jainism believes that “by one’s action one becomes a Brahmin, a Kshatriya, or a Vaishya, or a Sudra.” Pride based on birth is considered a sin. Women were admitted into the monastic order. However, as a woman one cannot attain salvation. By accumulating merit by good deeds, a woman could be reborn as a man and then strive to attain salvation.

Mahavir Jayanti 2021: Know history and significance of this Jain festival

Mahavir Jayanti is one of the most auspicious festivals in the Jain community. This year, it is being celebrated on April 25, 2021. The Jains offer prayers, carry out rath yatras and visit temples, to commemorate Mahavir Jayanti. However, this year, Jains will celebrate the festival at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mahavir Jayanti is also is known as Mahaveer Janma Kalyanak, or the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira. According to the Hindu Calendar, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated on the 13th day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra.

This festival marks the birth of Vardhamana Mahavira, who was the 24th and the last Tirthankara, spiritual teacher in Jainism.

History and Significance of Mahavir Jayanti

According to several historians, Lord Mahavira was born in a place called Ahalya bhumi. The land has not been ploughed for hundreds of years by the family that owns it.

Mahavira, or Vardhaman as he was initially known, was born to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala of the Ikshvaku dynasty, in 599 BC at Kshatriyakund in Bihar.

He took over his father's kingdom at an early age and ruled it for over 30 years. Later, he gave up all worldly possessions and decided to seek enlightenment in life.

Five-fold way of life

All his life, he preached ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (chastity) and aparigraha (non-attachment) to his disciples and his teachings were called Jain Agamas.

Attainment of Moksha

After having preached the gospel of universal love, wherein he said that all living beings are equal, and thus needs to be loved and respected, he attained moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death) at the age of 72 in 527 B.C.

Since, Mahavira devoted his life to teach spiritual freedom, the followers of Jainism across the world celebrate this day to honour his philosophy.

How is Mahavir Jayanti celebrated across India

Mahavir Jayanti holds a major significance for the Jain community and is celebrated with spiritual fervour and festive spirit in India and across the world. Charity work by devotees, recitation of stavans, procession of the Lord in a chariot and spiritual lectures by Jain munis and sadhvis are the special attraction on this occasion.

A procession is carried out with the idol of Lord Mahavira called the Rath Yatra. Devotees recite stavans or bhajans. Right before the procession, statue of the Lord Mahavira is given a ceremonial bath called 'Abhishek'.

People visit temples that are dedicated to their Lord and conduct mass prayer sessions.

Mahavir Jayanti special food

Food, too, plays an important role in the festival of Mahavir Jayanti as all devotees strictly adhere to satvik diet. Satvik diet restrains from onions and garlic, following the key idea of consuming fresh meals with minimum harm to the living creatures.

Vardhamana Mahavira - History

According to Jaina traditions, twenty four Tirthankaras were responsible for the origin and development of Jaina religion and philosophy. Of these, the fust twenty two are of doubtful historicity. In the case of the last two, Parsvanatha and Mahavira, Buddhist works also confirm their historicity.

According to Jaina tradition the twenty-third Tirthankara, Parsvanatha was the son of King Asvasena of Varanasi and his Queen Vama. He abandoned the throne at the age of thirty and became an ascetic. He received enlightenment after 84 days of penance. He died at the age of 100 years, nearly 250 years before Mahavira. Parsvanatha believed in the eternity of 'matter'. He left behind him a good number of followers. The followers of Parsvanatha wore a white garment. Thus it is cbar that even before Mahavira some kind of Jaina faith existed.

The twenty-fourth Tirthankara was Vardhamana Mahavira. He was born in Kundagrama (Basukunda), a suburb of Vaisali (Muzzaffarpur district, Bihar) in 540 B.C. His father, Siddhartha was the head of Jnatrikas, a Kshatriya clan. His mother was Trishala, a Lichchhavi princess. Vardhamana was given a good education and was married to Yashoda.He had a daughter by her.

At the age of thirty, Vardhamana left his home and became an ascetic. At first he wore a single garment which he abandoned after 13 months and began to wander as a 'naked monk'. For twelve years he lived the life of an ascetic following severe austerities. In the 13th year of his asceticism, at the age of 42, he attained the 'supreme knowledge'. He was later known as 'Mahavir' (the supreme hero), or 'Jina' (the conqueror). He was also hailed as 'Nugrantha' (free from fetters).

For the next thirty years he moved from place to place and preached his doctrines in Kosala,

Magadha and further east. He wandered for eight months in a year and spent the four months of the rainy season in some famous town of eastern India. He often visited the courts of Bimbisara and Ajatasatru. He died at Pawa (near Rajagriha) in Patna district at the age of 72 (468 B.C.).


Mahavira accepted most of the religious doctrines laid down by Parsvanatha. However, he made some alterations and additions to them.

Parsvanatha advocated the following four principles:

d) not to receive anything which was not voluntarily given. To this Mahavira added celibacy (brahmacharya).

Mahavira believed that soul (jiva) and matter (ajiva) are the two basic existing elements. By means of continued efforts the soul can be relieved of bondage. This is Buddhism, Jainism and the final liberation (moksha) of the soul. The liberated soul then becomes 'the pure soul'.

According to Jainism, man is the creator of his own destiny and he could attain 'moksha' by pursuing a life of purity, virtue and renunciation. Moksha (nirvana) can be attained by observing the following three principles (ratnatraya):

He advocated a life of severe asceticism and extreme penance for the attainment of 'nirvana' or the highest spiritual state. He believed that the world was not created by any supreme creator. The world functions according to an eternal law of decay and development. He thought that all objects, animate and inanimate had a soul. He believed that they feel pain or the influence of injury.

He rejected the authority of Vedas and objected to Vedic rituals and the supremacy of the Brahmanas.

A code of conduct was prescribed both for householders and for monks. For the purpose of avoiding evil karmas, a householder had to observe the following five vows:

iv) speaking the truth, and

It was also prescribed that a householder should feed cooked food to the needy every day. He preached that lay worshippers should not take to agriculture, since this involved the destruction of plants and insects.

A monk had to observe certain strict rules. He had to abandon all worldly possessions. He had to root out every hair of his head by his own hands. He could walk only during the day, taking care that he did not kill or injure any being. He had to train himself so as not to be affected by objects of the senses.

Jainism believed that the monastic life was essential to attain salvation and a householder could not attain it.

According to tradition the original doctrines taught by Mahavira were contained in 14 old texts known as 'purvas'. In the first Council at Pataliputra, Sthulabhadra divided the Jaina canon into 12 'angas' or sections. This was accepted by Svetambaras. However, the Digambaras refused to accept this claiming that all the old scriptures were lost. At the second Council held at Vallabhi new additions were made in the fom of 'Upangas' or minor sections.

Among the 12 angas the Acharanga sutta and Bhagavati sutta are the most important. While the former deals with the code of conduct which a Jaina monk is required to follow, the later expounds the Jaina doctrines in a comprehensive manner.


Teachings of Mahavira became very popular among the masses and different sections of the society were attracted to it. Like Buddhism in Jainism also with the change of time a lot of changes came in.

Mahavira had eleven disciples known as Ganadharas or heads of schools. Arya Sudharma was the only Ganadhara who survived Mahavira and became the first 'Thera' (chief preceptor) of the Jaina order. He died 20 years after Mahavira's death. The Jain order in the days of the late Nanda King was administered by two Theras:

The sixth Thera was Bhadrabahu, a contemporary of the Maurya King Chandragupta Maurya.

The followers of Mahavira slowly spread over the whole country. In many regions royal patronage was bestowed upon Jainism. According to Jain tradition, Udayin, the successor of Ajatsatru was a devoted Jain. Jain monks were seen on the banks of the river Indus, when Alexander invaded India. Chiindragupta Maurya was a follower of Jainism and he migrated with Bhadrabahu to the South and spread Jainism. During 'the early centuries of the

Christian era Mathura and Ujjain became great centres of Jainism.

The success of Jainism was more remarkable than Buddhism. One of the important causes for the success was the popular dialect (Prakrit) Religious literature was also written in (Ardhamagadhi) used in place of Sanskrit by Mahavira and his followers. The simple and homely morals prescribed to the masses attracted the people. The patronage extended by Kings helped Jainism to gain a place in the minds of the people.

Towards the close of Chandragupta Maurya's rule a terrible famine broke out in South Bihar. It lasted for about 12 years. Bhadrabahu and his disciples migrated to Sravanabelgola in Karnataka. Other Jains remained in Magadha with Sthulabhadra as their leader. They summoned a council at Pataliputra at about 300 B.C. In that council the sacred teachings of Mahavira were divided into twelve angas.

The second Jain Council was held at Vallabhi (Gujarat) in 5 12 A.D. and was presided over by Devardhi Kshemasarmana. The purpose of this Council was to collect the Sacred texts and write them down systematically. However this time the 12th anga drawn at the first Council was lost. All the remaining angas were written in Ardhamagadhi.

The split in the Jaina order is widest from the third century B.C. The difference over wearing a garment was apparent even during the times of Mahavira. The followers of Bhadrabahu, after their return from Sravanabelgola to Magadha refused to acknowledge the canon holding that all the 14 purvas were lost. Moreover a wide gulf had developed between those who emigrated and those who stayed in Magadha. The latter had become accustomed to wearing white garments and made a departure from Mahavira's teachings, while the former still continued going naked and strictly followed his teachings. Hence, the first split in the Jaina order was between the Digambaras (sky clad or naked) and

Svetambaras (clad in white).

During the later years further splits took place among both the sections, the most important of them being one that renounced idol worship altogether and devoted itself to the worship of the scriptures. They were called the Terapanthis among the Svetambaras and the Samaiyas among the Digambaras. (This sect came into existence about the sixth century A.D.)


Many non-vedic ideas were prevalent in this period. They later developed into small sects. Among them the Ajivika sect had a considerable number of followers with a recognized organisation.

The Ajivikas are said to be sudra sanyasins. The sect was said to be established by Nanda Vachcha, who was followed by Kisa Sankichcha. The third religious chief was Makkali Gosala, who popularised this sect. He denied the theory of 'karma' and argued that man is subject to the laws of nature. The Ajivikas believed that the thought and deed of an individual were predetermined (decided before birth). They did not believe that there was any special cause for either the misery of human beings or for their deliverance. They did not believe in human effort and held that all creatures were helpless against destiny. Gosala maintained that all creatures had to face misery and it would end after the completion of fixed cycles. No human effort would reduce or lengthen the period. Gosala's followers centred round Sravasti, the capital of Kosala where Gos.ala preached and died sixteen years before Mahavira.

The Charvakas believed in complete materialism. They held that an individual's body is formed of matter and finally would end in matter. Therefore, the aim of human life should be to enjoy all the material pleasures of life.

Purana Kassapa preached the doctrine of Akriya or non-action. He was a Brahman teacher whose main doctrine was that action did not lead to either merit or demerit. According to him, even if a man killed all the creatures on earth he would not incur any sin. Similarly, he would not e m any merit through a good deed or even by standing on the bank of Ganges. Similarly self-control, gifts and truthfulness would not e m him any credit.

Ajita Kesakambalin preached that everything ended with death and there is no further life after death. -He did no1 believe in the fruits of good or bad acts or persons possessing higher or supernatural powers. According to this sect there is nothing wrong in enjoying the pleasures of the world, and there is no sin in killing. Pakudha Kachchayna preached the doctrine of Asasvatavada. According to it, there are seven elements, which are immutable and do not in any way contribute to pleasure or pain. The body is ultimately dissolved into these seven elements.


The rise and development ofthe new religious ideas had brought some significant changes in the contemporary social life. Following are some of the important changes.

i) The idea of social equality was popularised in this period. The Buddhists and Jains did not give any importance to the caste system. They accepted members of different castes in their religious order. This was a great threat to the age long domination of the Brahmanas in the society. Acceptance of women in the Buddhist order also had an important impact in the society because this gave women equal status with men in the society.

ii) Brahmanical texts had assigned an inferior position to traders. Sea voyages were also condemned. But as Buddhists and Jains did not give any importance to caste and did not look down upon sea voyages so the trading community was very much encouraged by these new religious ideas. Moreover the emphasis on 'karma' by this new religious ideas for future life also indirectly favoured the activities of the trading community.

iii) The new religions gave importance to languages like Prakrit, Pali and Ardha Magadhi.

Buddhist and Jaina philosophies were discussed in these languages and later, canons were written in the local language. This paved the way for the development of vernacular literature. Thus the Jains, tor the first time, gave a literary shape to the mixed dialect, Ardha Magadhi, by writing their canons in this dialect.


சமண சமயத்தை உலகிற்கு அறிமுகப்படுத்திய மாபெரும் ஜைன மதத்துறவி மகாவீரர் ஆவார். மூன்று ரத்தினங்கள் என அழைக்கப்படும் ‘நன்னம்பிக்கை, நல்லறிவு, நற்செயல்’ என்ற போதனையை போதித்தவர். ஜீனர் (வென்றவர்), மாமனிதர், ஞானப்புத்திரர், அதிவீரர் எனப் பல பெயர்களால் அழைக்கப்படுகிறார். அவருடைய போதனைகளும், தத்துவங்களும் இன்றும் உலகமுழுவதும் அனைத்துத் தரப்பு மக்களாலும் ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளப்பட்ட ஒன்றாகப் போற்றப்படுகிறது. தன்னுடைய 32 வயதிலேயே மனித வாழ்க்கையின் உனையை உலகத்திற்கு எடுத்துரைத்த ‘வர்த்தமானரை’ நினைவு கூறும் வகையில், உலகெங்கும் உள்ள ஜைனர்கள் அவருடைய பிறந்த நாளான ஏப்ரல் 2 ஆம் தேதியை, ஒவ்வொரு வருடமும் ‘மகாவீரர் ஜெயந்தியாக’ கொண்டாடுகின்றனர். சிறுவயதிலேயே ஆன்மீகத்தில் ஈடுபாடுகொண்டு இல்லறவாழ்வினைத் துறந்து, துறவறம் மேற்கொண்ட மகாவீரரின் வாழ்க்கை வரலாறு மற்றும் போதனைகளை விரிவாகக் காண்போம்.

பிறப்பு: கி.மு. 599

இடம்: குண்டா, வைசாலி, பீகார் மாநிலம், இந்தியா

பணி: மத குரு

இறப்பு: கி. மு. 527

நாட்டுரிமை: இந்தியன்

‘வர்த்தமானர்’ என்ற இயற்பெயர்கொண்ட “மகாவீரர்” கி.மு. 599 வருடம், இந்தியாவின் பீகார் மாநிலம் வைசாலிக்கு அருகிலுள்ள “குண்டா” என்ற இடத்தில் சித்தாத்தர் என்பவருக்கும், திரிசாலாவுக்கும் மகனாக ஒரு அரசக் குடும்பத்தில் பிறந்தார். இவருக்குப் பெற்றோர்கள் இட்டப் பெயர் “வர்த்தமானர்” ஆகும்.

ஆரம்ப வாழ்க்கை

அரசக் குடும்பத்தில் பிறந்ததால், மிகவும் செல்வாக்காக வளர்க்கப்பட்டார். இருப்பினும் அச்சிறுவயதிலே ஆன்மீகநாட்டம் கொண்டவராகவும், தியானத்திலும், தன்னறிவதிலும் அதிக ஈடுபாடு கொண்டவராக விளங்கினார். பின்னர் யசோதரை என்ற பெண்ணைத் திருமணம் செய்துகொண்டு, இல்லறவாழ்க்கையை நடத்தி வந்தார். சமணத்தில் அதிக ஈடுபாடு கொண்டவராக விளங்கிய அவர், பிறகு இல்லற வாழ்விலிருந்து விலகி, தன்னுடைய முப்பதாவது வயதில் அரச வாழ்க்கை மற்றும் குடும்ப வாழ்க்கையைத் துறந்து துறவறம் மேற்கொண்டார்.

மகாவீரரின் ஆன்மீகப் பயணம்

மனித வாழ்க்கையின் அர்த்தம் தேடி, சுமார் பனிரெண்டு ஆண்டுகள் தியானம் மற்றும் ஆன்மீகத் தேடலில் ஈடுபட்ட மகாவீரர் அவர்கள், “சாலா” என்னும் மரத்தடியில் ஞானம் பெற்றார். அதிலிருந்து அவர் “மகாவீரர்” என அழைக்கப்பட்டார். மகாவீரர் என்றால், ‘பெரும்வீரர்’ என்று பொருள் ஆகும். தான் கண்ட உண்மைகளை உலகத்திற்கு எடுத்துரைக்க விரும்பிய மகாவீரர், இந்தியா முழுவதும் ஆன்மீகப் பயணம் மேற்கொண்டு, தாம் அறிந்த உண்மைகளை மக்களுக்கு போதித்தார். வெறும் கால்களில், துணிகள் ஏதும் இன்றி, அவர் போதித்த போதனைகளைக் கேட்க அனைத்துத்தரப்பு மக்களும் திரண்டது மட்டுமல்லாமல், சமண சமயம் இந்தியாவெங்கும் தீவிரமாக பரவத்தொடங்கியது. இதனால், சமண மத குருமார்கள் வரிசையில் மகாவீரர் இருபத்தி நான்காவது தீர்த்தங்கரராகப் போற்றப்பட்டார். இவரே சமண சமயத்தில் தோன்றிய கடைசி தீர்த்தங்கரும் ஆவார்.

மகாவீரரின் போதனைகள்

இருபத்திநான்கு தீர்த்தங்கரர்களில் கடைசி தீர்த்தங்கரர் என சமணர்களால் போற்றப்படும் மகாவீரரின் போதனைகள், அன்பையும், மனிதநேயத்தையும், அகிம்சையையும் போதிக்கும் உன்னத கோட்பாடுகளாக விளங்கியது. மகாவீரர், ‘ஒவ்வொரு உயிரினத்திற்கும் ஓர் ஆத்மா உண்டென்றும், அது, தனது நல்ல அல்லது கெடுதல் செயல்களின் விளைவாக “கர்மா” என்னும் வினைப் பயன்களை அடைய நேரிடும்’ என போதித்தார். இதிலிருந்து விடுபட, மூன்று ரத்தினங்கள் என அழைக்கப்படும் ‘நன்னம்பிக்கை, நல்லறிவு, நற்செயல்’ போன்றவற்றை கடைப்பிடித்தால், ‘சித்த நிலையை அடையலாம்’ எனவும் போதித்தார். மேலும், ‘எந்த உயிரினத்திற்கும் தீங்கு விளைவிக்காமல் இருத்தல், உண்மையை மட்டும் பேசுதல், திருடாமை, பாலுணர்வு இன்பம் துய்காதிருத்தல், பணம் பொருள் சொத்துகள் மீது ஆசை கொள்ளாமல் இருத்தல்’ என ஐந்து பண்புகளும் ஜைன மதத்தின் உறுதிமொழிகளாக விளங்கின. உண்மையை சொல்லப்போனால் மகாவீரர் அகிம்சையை தன்னுடைய கொள்கையாக போதித்த மாபெரும் சீர்த்திருத்தவாதியாக போற்றப்படுகிறார்.

அனைத்து உயிர்களிடத்திலும் அன்புகாட்ட வேண்டும், பிற உயிர்களுக்கு தீங்கு செய்யாமையும், கொல்லாமையுமே அறநெறி எனக் காட்டி அகிம்சை வழியையும், அன்பு வழியையும் மக்களுக்கு உணர்த்தி, சமண சமயத்தின் திருவுருவமாகவே வாழ்ந்த மகாவீரர் கி. மு. 527ல் பீகாரிலுள்ள “பாவா” என்னும் இடத்தில் தன்னுடைய 72வது வயதில் காலமானார்.