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Wednesday, 08 January 2014 07:32

Mahavir Jayanti

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This day is celebrated in honor of the birthday of Lord Mahavira, who spread the Jainism religion and philosophy in India in the 6th century B.C. 

Mahavira was the last of the 24 Tirthankars, or "ford makers," whose teachings form the basis of

 

Jain Dharma, the teachings of Jainism. 

Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it influences both Hindusim and Buddhism. Jainism teaches self-control, non-violence, ascetic living, and the the divine potential in every soul.

Jainists have always been highly literate and their vast libraries date back to antiquity.  The basis of Jainism is that God is an amalgamation of the pure and divine qualities within every soul.  Mahavira means "Great Hero." 

Maharvira was the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala in the kingdom of ancient Vaishali, today's Northeast India.  His name, Prince Varhaman, means "increasing", which was quite appropriate because of everything in nature flourishing prior to his birth. At age 30 the wealthy, priveleged Prince renounced his family, his inheritance, and all his worldly possessions to live an ascetic life and to devote his life to the spiritual and achieving enlightenment. 

For the rest of his life he traveled across India, with no possessions, often without even footwear or clothing, and preached the principles of Jainism to the people of India.  His teaching formed the basis of Jainism for over 2500 years.

He died at the age of 72, the last of the Jain prophets.

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