The one who is brave and kills is called a Veer.
But the one who is brave, can kill, yet forgives is Mahaveer.
I wish all my readers a very Happy Mahaveer Jayanti.
– an apostle of Non Violence (Ahimsa)
– an apostle of Non attachment (Aparigraha)
– an apostle of Non stealing (Asteya)
– a proponent of Truthfulness (Satya)
– a proponent of Chastity (Brahmacharya)
A great soul born to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishaladevi of the Ikshvaku dynasty. He was called Vardhamaan, as his birth brought lots of wealth and name to his father’s kingdom.
He lived a prince’s life. He married Yashodhara and had a daughter from her, Priyadrashana.
He renounced life at an early age of around 30 and left all the attachments, even clothes. It is said that he took just a piece of cloth on renunciation and that too during the journey through the woods tore of and was entangled in the thorny bushes. He became “Digambara” (one whose clothes are the directions of the sky).
He performed severe penance for 12 years and attained Keval Gnan (blissful knowledge) before he gave his first Deshna. In total it is said that he gave total 55 pravachans in his life as an ascetic and He travelled the breadth and width of India. His final teachings (sermons given on the last 6 days of his life) are still studied by the munis of the Jain order.
There is a story that He was bit by, Chandkaushik, the serpent. But instead of bleeding blood, he bled milk. Let us understand this with a historical perspective. Mahaveer was moving through a jungle, which the people living around, asked Him not to enter as it was inhabited with the people who poisoned people who entered their home. They called themselves the ‘Nag’ people. Chandkaushik was their head. When he saw Mahaveer entering the jungle, he followed Him and at an appropriate time he tried to poison Mahaveer. But the poison had no effect on Mahaveer. Bhagwaan Mahaveer then reached out to these people and gave them love and warmth. And they took refuge in Him.
There is an another incident where it is said that a person hammered nails into Mahaveer’s ears as a part of the fruits of the Karma, Mahaveer had done in his lives before. Now I dont doubt this incident at all. But the youth today is a little sceptic about it. It is very simple, the person must have abused Mahaveer in a very bad way and the words must have felt as iron nails being pierced into His ears.
At the age of 72, he attained Nirvana (liberation of the soul from the law of karma and life after death). A Jal Mandir exists even today in Pawapuri, in Bihar where he attained Nirvana. It is a very revered place of pilgrimage for Jains.
Let us also understand that Mahaveer did not start the Jain Dharma. He just carry forward the legacy of the 23 Teerthankara’s before him, from Adinath also known as Rishabhdev to Parshvanath. But it seems that He reached out to the masses and Jain thought came to be established as a Dharma.
Mahaveer’ s legacy was carried forward by the word of mouth by his 11 disciples called the Gandhara’s. They spread His thought far and wide. Many of His works are lost and a few which remain are a part of the Jain Agamas, which were compiled later.
Bhagwaan Mahaveer has shown us a path to live in harmony with nature. He is also one of the persons whom we can emulate in our lives, in these trying times. His way of thinking, living are an ideal to not only the people who follow Him, but also to the people who do not know Him. This blog is just a small introduction to a great life, which lived on earth centuries before.
Jainam Jayati Shashanam!