The twenty fourth and the last Tirthankara of the Jain religion- Lord Mahavir was born as Prince Vardhamana in Bihar to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala of the Ikshvaku Dynasty in 599 B.C. on the thirteenth day of the rising moon during the month of Chaitra. Though born as a human being, he attained the state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self realization.
Prince Vardhamana’s parents passed away when he was 28 and at the age of 30 he finally abandoned his home and embraced the ascetic life of a monk by putting on a single piece of cloth leaving all his worldly attachments behind. He spent the next twelve years in deep silence and meditation without food for long periods and travelling bare feet around India preaching people from all sections of the society. He carefully avoided any conflicts and harming any living beings only to attain Keval-Jnana – A state of complete bliss and knowledge.
During his hard penance, he is said to have experienced a series of 10 strange dreams which has their explanation of significance in the Jain Scripts as follows :
- Defeating a Lion – signifies destruction of ‘moha’ or worldly attachment.
- A bird with white feathers following him – signifies attainment of purity of mind.
- A bird with multicolored feathers – signifies attainment and propagation of multifaceted knowledge.
- Two gem strings appear in front – symbolizes preaching a dual religion, an amalgamation of principles from a monk’s life and duties of a common man.
- A herd of white cows – symbolizes a group of devoted followers who will serve.
- A pond with open lotuses – symbolizes presence of celestial spirits who will propagate the cause.
- Crossed a waxy ocean swimming – symbolizes freedom from the cycles of death and rebirths.
- Sun rays spreading in all directions – symbolizes attainment of Keval-Jnana.
- Encircling the mountain with your bluish intestines – symbolizes the universe will be privy to the knowledge.
- Sitting on a throne placed on summit of the Mount Meru – symbolizes people revering the knowledge being taught and placing Mahavir in a place of respect
Every Jain is said to have these five sacred vows in their hearts which epitomizes the significance of Lord Mahavir’s principles in the hectic lives of people today from all sections of the society and not just Jain –
- Nonviolence (Ahimsa) – not to cause harm to any living beings
- Truthfulness (Satya) – to speak the harmless truth only
- Non-stealing (Asteya) – not to take anything not properly given
- Chastity (Brahmacharya) – not to indulge in sensual pleasure
- Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha) – complete detachment from people, places, and material things
The message by the liberated soul, living forever in a state of complete bliss is indeed a treasured piece of wisdom which we can live up with in order to live a peaceful hustle-bustle free life .
We at Reincarnating Raipur pay our greetings on this auspicious occasion of Mahavir Jayanti.