24th Tirthankara of Jainism teachings and essence
Mahavira: 24th Tirthankara
of Jainism vardhamana Mahavira
Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara
was the last of the series of 24th Tirthankars in Jainism Dharma.
Jainism as we understand today is primarily focused on the teachings and essence
of Bhagwan Mahavira. Why?
Right from the times of the first Tirthankara
Rishabdeva (aka Adinatha) nothing and up till the 23rd Tirthankara... the tenets
and the teachings
of Jainism did not exist in the society as in the times of Mahavira.
It was only in the times of Mahavira that Jainism took its roots.
precipitation of all the teachings right from the first Tirthankara Rishabdeva
(aka Adinatha) and up till the 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanath occurred only when
Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara arrived on the scene.
If we are to mix
hydrogen and oxygen gas to make drinking water then most of us would be least
concerned with the process itself. It is only when the two gases meet and the
water is formed... we recognize the process. It was not the process but the end
result we are after!
life it is the goal and not the journey which matters most. Once we have a goal
in sight... to traverse the journey would not be difficult! What use is of the
journey where there is no goal?
about 1000 years after the advent of Lord
Krishna who gave to the humanity the teachings
of the Bhagavad Gita. If Bhagavad
Gita comprises of 18 fundamentals of life then... Jainism
as propounded by Mahavira may contain only 15 fundamentals.
In the times of Mahavira even these 15 fundamentals were difficult
to assimilate. The society had started degenerating from the times
of Lord Krishna.
In present times one can often find people quoting that it is difficult
to reach the level of Swami
Vivekananda... what to talk of becoming
Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa or reaching the stage of Bhagwan
As the society loses its value... people tend to become more and
more materialistic. Mahavira gave to the society the fundamentals
of Ahimsa and the doctrine of Anekantavada. These two realities
of life imbibed in the general masses a feeling of compassion and
also Vairagya (Asceticism).
It is Mahavira and Mahavira alone who taught us the real meaning
of unity in diversity. It was Mahavira who taught us that even Lions
and the buffaloes can live together in harmony. Whether we believe
in the teachings of Mahavira or not... it is a confirmed fact of
life that without the practice of Ahimsa in real life... the life
itself loses its meaning!
Mahavira also taught us that the total humanity including the various
other forms of life can always live-in harmony. It was the fundamentals
of Anekantavada which made it possible for mankind to live a harmonious
life. Now, what is Anekantavada?
If I were standing on the first floor of the house and someone in
the house on the ground floor called for me then, what would one
say "call him down from above". Now a person standing
on the second floor of the house would call for me as "call
How is it possible that both the narrations are correct? As per
Mahavira it is the fundamental of Anekantavada which confirms that
both the statements are correct. The perspectives may be different
but the doctrine of Anekantavada by Mahavira relies upon the principle
of logistical conclusions.
In the present society where religions are numerous... as per the
doctrine of Anekantavada preached by Mahavira... all can live-in
harmony for it is only the viewpoint that may be different but the
goals of all the religions is always the same. All man
Gods like Mahavira, Gautama
Christ and Prophet
Mohammed preached the same.
Mahavira was instrumental in precipitating what we know as Jainism.
Mahavira was the one who bared it all in the end. Mahavira was able
to prove to the society that every human being reaches the ultimate
goal of life... become an enlightened
Mahavira contrary to Jesus Christ never stated that normal human
beings can not reach the level of Jesus Christ himself.
Mahavira always stated that it is within the means of every human
being to become Mahavira in one's lifetime.
According to Mahavira, the essence
of Jainism is one who has won himself... one who transcends
all the barriers of the physical mundane life and crosses over to
the spiritual end of life! The word Jainism is derived from the
root word "Jina"... meaning one who has realized his real
self and merges his identity with the bigger whole, God
Jainism is not a religion and followers of Mahavira and Jainism
beliefs are never referred to as following Mahavirism. Jainism has
always been preached and considered as "a
way of life". It is a Dharma
following which one can become enlightened
like Mahavira in one's lifetime.
It is only Jainism which believes in the fact that the body of a
human being is a garb for the soul
Atman within. The Tirthankars in Jainism wore no clothes as they
had realized that before reaching the state of enlightenment
it was necessary for one to discard the physical manifestations
Jainism as preached by Mahavira is a Dharma which believes and practices
true renunciation... getting free of all the attachments
and the karma
in the physical mode of life. Mahavira made it absolutely clear
that before one can hope to reach the highest pedestal of spiritual
life... we need to free ourselves of all the attachments and bondages
of physical life.
Teachings essence Becoming a mahavira must be the cosmic goal of every human being!
In present times... compared to Buddhism
the teachings of Mahavira do not find many takers. While talking to a publisher
friend of mine... the gory fact was put together... it was in the ratio of 1:10
that the Jainism literature was being published. The reason... it was very difficult
to follow the doctrine of Mahavira In present times.
As it was easier to follow Buddhism... we have massive literature on Buddhism
available today. No denying the fact that following the dictates of Mahavira in
present times is a really difficult task but not unachievable for the ultimate
goal of life of every human being is becoming a Mahavira in the end.
Becoming a Mahavira is the cosmic goal of every Jiva (living being)! Whether we
follow the teachings of Mahavira and become a Mahavira in present life or in next
manifestation is totally dependent upon our karma
in present life.
Kumar "Atma Jnani"
Kumar... The Man who Realized God in 1993 explains the phenomenon
the world knows as Mahavira. For more details on vardhamana mahavira
visit - mahavira.
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