|| Shree 1008 Mahavir Swami or Vardhaman Bhagwan ||
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Place of Nirvan :~
Pava Puri
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Conception :~
Ashadh Shukla 6
Birth :~
Chaitra Shukla 13
Tap :~
Margshirsh Krishna 10
Keval Gyan :~
Vaisakh Shukla 10
Salvation :~
Kartik Krishna 15
Life of Shree 1008 Mahavir Swami Bhagwan

        Bhagavan Mahavir was the last and the twenty fourth Tirthankar of this era in the Jain tradition.

Lord Mahavira was a prince whose childhood name was Vardhaman. According to the Digambar traditation, Lord Mahavira was born in the year 615 BC, but the Swetambaras believe that he was born in 599 BC. Both sects however agree that he was the son of Siddhartha and Trisala. It is said that mother Trisala had Sixteen auspicious dreams before the child was born (only 14 according to the Swetambaras). Astrologers interpreting these dreams, stated that the child would be either an emperor or a Tirthankar.. As the son of a king, he had many worldly pleasures, comforts, and services at his command. In boyhood once while playing he brought under control a terrify serpent. consequently and symbolic of this feat of bravery, he got the title Mahavir and Vira-natha.

However at the age of thirty he left his family and the royal household, gave up his worldly possessions, and became a monk in search of a solution to eliminate pain, sorrow, and suffering from life of all beings. Mahavira left home, retired to the park, Jnatrkhanda-vana, close to Kundapura and relinquished his ornaments and cloths. He pulled out his hair by his hands, observed fast for three days, and then plunged himself into meditation. After some time, he started touring various parts of the country. He strictly followed Ahimsa, not to deprive others of even a blade of grass belonging to them, not to speak lie, not to entertain any sex appetite, even in mind, and not to have any possession of worldly goods. Along with the practice of his five great voes he got himself habituated to endure with peace and patience all such physical and mental tortures like hunger, thirst, cold, heat, insect bites etc. known as parisaha.

After attaining omniscience, Lord Mahavira came to Rajgriha (Rajgir), the capital of Magadha and took a worthy seat on the mount Vipulacala. Here he propounded to the audience the basic principles of Jain dharma, the anu-vrata for the laity and mahavartas for the monks whereby the blissful ideal of life can be reached, Lord Mahavira spent the next thirty years traveling barefoot throughout India preaching the eternal truth he had realized. The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of one's self. This is also known as liberation, Nirvän, absolute freedom, or Moksha.

Lord Mahavira's message of nonviolence (Ahimsä), truth (Satya), non stealing (Achaurya), celibacy (Brahmacharya), and nonpossession (Aparigraha) is full of universal compassion. Lord Mahavira made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate rituals. Mahavira Teaching reflect the internal beauty and harmony of the soul. Lord Mahavira taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of a positive attitude towards life. Lord Mahavira said that, "A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has infinite perception (Anantdarshana), infinite knowledge (Anantjnäna), infinite power (Anantvirya), and infinite bliss (Anantsukha). Mahavira's message reflects freedom and spiritual joy of the living being. Lord Mahavira emphasized that all-living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, form, and how spiritually developed or undeveloped, are equal and we should love and respect them. In this way, he preached the universal love.

Lord Mahavira taught that the true nature of reality is timeless, with no beginning or end and rejected the concept of God as a creator, a protector, and a destroyer of the universe. He also taught that worshiping heavenly gods and goddesses, as a means of material gain and personal benefits is contrary to the path of liberation.

Once Lord Mahavira was asked what is the religion from a realistic point of view. Lord Mahavira said, “ the realistic religion consists of four parts: 1) equality of all living ones, 2) every living soul has right to put self-effort to improve itself and should not to be stripped of that right, 3) no one should rule over other living beings, and 4) all situations should be viewed with equanimity - without like or dislike." If one adopts only one of these four, other three will automatically be adopted.

The Teachings of Lord Mahavira

• Every soul is independent. None depends on another.

• All souls are alike. None is superior or inferior.

• Every soul is in itself absolutely omniscient and blissful. The bliss does not come from outside.

• All human beings are miserable due to their own faults, and they themselves can be happy by correcting these faults.

• The greatest mistake of a soul is non recognition of its real self and can only be corrected by recognizing itself.

• There is no separate existence of God. Everybody can attain Godhood by making supreme efforts in the right direction.

• Know thyself, recognize thyself, be immersed by thyself you will attain Godhood.

• God is neither the creator nor the destructor of the universe. He is merely a silent observer and omniscient.

• One who, even after knowing the whole universe, can remain unaffected and unattached is God.

• Fight with yourself, why fight with external foes? He who conquers himself through himself, will obtain happiness.

• All beings hate pain, therefore one should not hurt kill them. Ahimsa (non-violence) is the highest religion.

• A man is seated on top of a tree in the midst of a burning forest. He sees all living beings perish. But he doesn't realize that the same fate is soon to overtake him also. That man is fool.

Mahavira's Message

Lord Mahavir was born in Bihar in 599 B.C... His father’s name was King Siddharth and mother’s name was Queen Trishla. His mother had 14 auspicious dreams during her pregnancy. When he born, his father’s wealth increased, that’s why they decided to name the new born child Vardhaman, which means ever increased. As time spent and Vardhaman became young and handsome prince. Due to his brave nature he also became known as Mahavir, means, fearless.

He was married with Yashodhara and he had a daughter named Priyadarshana. When he was 28 years old, his parents passed away. However during this time, Vardhaman became detached from mundane pleasures and he decided to renounce the worldly pleasures in search of enlightenment. He went to his elder brother, Nandivardhan to take permission. His brother was worried about handling the palace and state by single hand. He told Vardhaman to stay in the palace for two more years. Vardhaman accepted this and stayed at his palace for two more years. During this time he distributed his wealth to the needy and poor people. He practiced meditation and fasting. Finally at age of 30, the day of renunciation approached. Vardhaman came out of his palace. Thousands of eyes were watching at him. He was looking great in the shining dress and ornaments. Gradually, he removed all the clothes and ornaments attached with his body; he plucked out his long hairs by his five handfuls. He put a single cloth on his shoulder, and uttered “Namo Siddhanam” as he left the place. He didn’t even look back at his palace. There was great joy and happiness on his face.

Now began the long journey of 12 and half years for shraman Mahavir. During these 12 and half years he bore many obstacles and calamities peacefully and silently. During these years he was tested by hevenly beings like Sangham, he was bitten by the snake, tortured by undomesticated peoples, and at last his ears were plugged with grass sticks. But he tolerated all the pain silently and happily. He forgave all the people. During these 12 and half years he had taken meal only equal to 1 year and he had taken sleep only for 48 minutes!!! Once he observed fast lasting for 5.5 months without even drinking water. He remained in deep silence and deep meditation. Mostly he used to stand in “Kayotsarg” or motion less posture, like a rock. His heart was always felt with compassion toward every form of living beings. He always kept his eyes on the ground while walking so he could not step on small insects.

Observing the details of Bhagavan Mahavir's twelve-year period of spiritual practices it becomes evident that his practices combined four qualities-1. Deep and undisturbed meditation, 2. Rigorous penance, 3. Extreme tolerance of pain, and 4. Ultimate equanimity.

Finally after 12 long years of spiritual pursuit he came to the village and sat in meditation in a “cow-milking posture”. It was the evening time. His mind was absorbed in the highest type of meditation. He was observing fast for two days without even drinking water. The sun was setting in west and the sun of omniscience was rising within his soul. Soon Lord Mahavir attained full enlightenment and awakening, visualizing everything in the entire universe, knowing the feelings of all living beings of the Universe. Mahavir had become Bhagavan (God), Jina (Victor), Sarvajna (all knowing), and Sarvadarshi (all perceiving).

After attaining omniscience, Lord Mahavir gave his first sermon. He converted 11 learned Brahmins and explained them the real nature of soul within body. Other 500 people took renunciation under Lord Mahavir’s order. 11 Brahmins became his disciples. Indrabhuti Gautam was chief disciple of Lord Mahavir. Indrabhuti was the first person to listen Lord’s words for the first time after omniscience. Then the number of people increased and once there were 50000 ascetics in Lord Mahavir’s order. All the 50000 had attained omniscience. The king Shrenik was strong devotee and listener of Lord Mahavir. Indrabhuti Gautam attained omniscience on the same night when Lord Mahavir attained Nirvana at the age 72. The last omniscient was Jambu Swami, after that nobody has attained omniscience in this part of the universe (Bharat Area). The next Tirthankar will born after 81,500 years.

Lord Mahavir was the last and 24th Tirthankar of the present era of time. He was last in the series of 24 Tirthankars. Lord Parshva was the 23rd who attained Nirvana 250 years before Lord Mahavir’s Nirvana. Lord Parshva and Lord Mahavir are historically accepted. The first Tirthankar was Lord Rishabhdev who lived billions of years ago. Lord Rishabhdev is also mentioned in the Hindu scriptures as an avatar of Lord Vishnu. In the present time, Lord Simandhar Swami is a living Tirthankar but he is in other part of the Universe called Maha Videha Area. Liberation is possible if we born there.

Omniscience and Nirvana

Lord Mahavira spent majority of the following twelve and one half years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires, feelings, and attachments, and to eradicate all four Ghati Karma. He carefully avoided harming other living beings including animals, birds, insects, and plants. He also went without food for long periods of time. He remained calm and peaceful against all unbearable hardships. During this period, his spiritual powers developed fully and he realized perfect perception, perfect knowledge, perfect conduct, unlimited energy, and unobstructed bliss. This realization is known as Keval-jnän or the perfect enlightenment.

Lord Mahavira was the head of an excellent community of 14,000 monks, 36,000 nuns, 159,00O male lay votaries and 318,OOO female lay votaries. The four groups designated as monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen constitute the four fold order (tirtha) of Jainism. Of the eleven principle disciples (ganadharas) of Lord Mahavira, only two, viz., Gautam Swami and Sudharma Swami survived him. After twenty years of Nirvän of Lord Mahavir, Sudharma Swami also attained emancipation. He was the last of the eleven gandharas to die. Jambu Swami, the last omniscient, was his pupil. He attained salvation after sixty four years of the Nirvän of Lord Mahavira.

At the age of 72 (in 527 BC), Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana and his purified soul left his body and achieved complete liberation. He became a Siddha, a pure consciousness, a liberated soul, living forever in a state of complete bliss. On the evening of his Nirvän, people spiritually celebrated the Festival of Lights (Dipävali) in his honor. This is the last day of the Jain calendar year.

Shree 1008 Mahavir Swami Bhagwan Temples

Shree 1008 Mahaveer Swami Bhagwan Tonk, Sammed Shikherji Siddha Kshetra

Shri Mahaveer Digamber Jain Atishaya Kshetra Thair

Shri Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra Mahaveerji

Shri Kundalpur Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra, Bihar