Lord Mahavir was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra in the year 599 BCE (Chaitra Sud 13). Mahavir was named 'Vardhaman', meaning "One who grows", because of the increased prosperity in the kingdom at the time of his birth.
Mahavir abandoned all worldly possessions at the age of about 30 and left home in pursuit of spiritual awakening, becoming an ascetic. Mahavira practiced intense meditation and severe austerities for twelve and a half years, after which he attained Kevala Jnana (omniscience). He preached for 30 years and attained Moksha (liberation) in the 6th century BCE, although the year varies by sect.
Mahavir was the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. He was the spiritual successor of 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanatha. He was an older contemporary of Gautama Buddha.
He is usually depicted in a sitting or standing meditative posture, with the symbol of a lion beneath him.
Mahavira taught that observance of the vows of ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (chastity), and aparigraha (non-attachment) are necessary for spiritual liberation. He taught the principles of Anekantavada (many-sided reality): syadvada and nayavada. Mahavira's teachings were compiled by Indrabhuti Gautama (his chief disciple) as the Jain Agamas.
With Best Wishes,
Dr T P Singh
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