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Vardhaman Mahaveer: The Founder of Jainism



  Apr 26, 2024

Vardhaman Mahaveer: The Founder of Jainism



1. Was Vardhaman Mahaveer the founder of Jainism?

No, Mahaveer was not the founder of Jainism but a reformer of the existing Jain teachings that were earlier propagated by Parshwanath, the 23rd Tirthankara. He played a crucial role in revitalizing and reshaping the religion into what it is known today.

2. What are the core teachings of Vardhaman Mahaveer?

Mahaveer’s teachings revolve around the Three Jewels of Jainism: Right Knowledge, Right Faith, and Right Conduct. His doctrine strongly advocates for Ahimsa (non-violence), Anekantavada (the doctrine of multiple aspects), truthfulness, non-stealing, non-possession, and celibacy.

3. How did Mahaveer’s upbringing influence his teachings?

Mahaveer was born into a royal family, which gave him a profound educational foundation in diverse fields and access to influential circles. However, his royal ties did not tether his thoughts to worldly aspirations. Instead, his upbringing facilitated his deep philosophical inquiries and later enabled him to spread his teachings across various strata of society.

4. What is Anekantavada and why is it significant?

Anekantavada, or the principle of pluralism, is one of Mahaveer’s key teachings. It posits that truth and reality are perceived differently from various perspectives, and no single perspective can represent the entire truth. This teaching fosters tolerance and understanding among differing viewpoints in philosophical and everyday contexts.

5. How did Mahaveer attain enlightenment?

Mahaveer attained enlightenment after twelve years of intense ascetic practices, which included meditation, fasting, and enduring hardships. At the age of 42, he achieved Kevala Jnana (omniscience or perfect knowledge), which marked his enlightenment and the final shedding of all karmic bonds.

6. What impact did Mahaveer have on the social fabric of his time?

Mahaveer’s teachings challenged the established social order by rejecting caste distinctions and emphasizing moral virtues as the basis of societal status. His philosophy promoted equality and was accessible to everyone, including those marginalized by the prevailing social system.

7. How is Mahaveer’s Nirvana commemorated?

Mahaveer’s Nirvana is commemorated as Diwali in the Jain tradition, marking the day he achieved complete liberation from the cycle of birth and death. This event is celebrated with lights and festivities, symbolizing the light of knowledge and the joy of liberation.

These FAQs aim to encapsulate the essence of Vardhaman Mahaveer’s life and teachings, reflecting his enduring influence on spiritual and ethical practices.



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