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Idol of Lord Mahavir Vardhamāna Mahāvīra (599–527 BCE) is the name most commonly used to refer to one of the tirthankara of Jainism. Mahavira who was one of the major propagators of Jainism . According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last tirthankara . [ 1 ]
Jainism (pronounced [dʒɛːnɪzəm] [ citation needed ] ), traditionally known as Jaina dharma , is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. It is one of the oldest religions of the world finding its roots in ancient India. [ 1 ] Tradition says that this belief has been preached by a succession of twenty-four propagators of faith known as tirthankara .
Mahavira was born in Kundapura near Vaishali. He was born as a prince, in Bihar. The traditional Jaina date for Mahavira's birth is 599 BC. Lord Mahavir was the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara of the Jain religion. He was a reformer. He propagated Jainism, as taught by his predecessors.
"Thou who hath large eyes and feet red and tender as is a lotus, who possesseth the ultimate knowledge as his intuitive vision, who redeemeth all from the bonds of attachment, temptations and hatred by his detached yet alluring words, O Ye, Lord Mahavira, I bow to thee in reverence and worship so as to be able to achieve the good and the virtuous," said the first century Jain monk Kundakundacharya, one of the earliest known teachers and annotators of the Jain dogma. The statement reveals three aspects of Lord Mahavira : his form; width of intuitive vision; and, power to redeem from the cycle of life and death. The Mutual Obligation to Protect Life (Parasparopagraha Jeevanam)
Parshvantha, 12th century, Chakravarti Paloja V&A Museum no. 931(IS) This sculpture depicts one of the 24 Tithankar, or 'liberated souls' of the Jain religion, the 23rd Jina Parshvanatha. Jina images are represented either seated in meditation or, as here, standing in a posture of abandoning the body, an act of severe penance undertaken on the path of spiritual liberation.
Lord Mahavir was the twenty fourth and last Tirthankara of the Jain religion of this era. According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were human beings but they attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self-realization. The Jains thus consider these “perfect supreme beings” as God. The concept of God as a creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe does not exist in Jainism. Also the idea of God's reincarnation as a human being to destroy the demons is not accepted in Jainism. Lord Mahavir was born on the thirteenth day of rising moon of Chaitra month, in 599 B.C. in the state of Bihar, India.
The Main schism of the Jain Church was the one between the Svetambaras and the Digambaras. The Svetambaras believe that even before this schism, there had been seven other schisms. These schisms had started when certain important leaders of the Church had disagreed with the views of the Main Church on some points of philosophy or ritual. These leaders had then taken away their followers and established what one might call separate sects. However, these schisms had little permanent effects, for the newly formed sects had either disappeared or had joined the main Church again on the death of their leaders. The seven schisms have been all described together in Avashyaka Niryukti, VIII, 56-100.