Bhagwan Mahavir –An apostle of Peace & Non-violence

Dr. M. C.Jain 
Rashtriya Digamber Jain Parishad (Regd)

Bhagwan Mahavir was born in 599 B.C. in a family of the Kshatriya . His father, Siddhartha, was a prince and his mother, Trishala, was also from a noble family. His birth place is known as Vaishali , near the modern city Patna in Bihar in north-eastern India. Mahavir is also known and called Vardhman. At the age of thiry, after the death of his parents, he decided to renounce a worldly life. He gave up all his possessions, even his clothes, and lived for the next twelve years, a life of great hardship, trained himself to endure the pains and discomforts of the body until he became indifferent to all worldly attachments. Mahavira , now started giving religious ‘fourfold’ teachings to the masses which were mainly on dharma, abstention from violence, theft, untruth and acquisitiveness. During one period of meditation by the side of river, he came to a comprehension of the whole nature and meaning of universe. It was a result of years of austerity and meditation. This was the fourth of the five great events of Mahavira’s life which are celebrated by jains today- his conception, birth, renunciation, and now enlightenment. The fifth great even, nirvana or moksha came to him thirty years later. 

Bhagwan Mahavir’s Teachings and its relevance 
Mahavira taught the people and spread his message in the regional language of that time –Prakrit. Hearing his message and doctrines , some of his followers got inspired and gave up all his possessions and became monks and nuns where as others followed his teaching without giving up their homes and families. Mahavira preached a scientific and meaningful explanation of the nature and the life. He also guided his disciples how to draw the real happiness from the worldly attachments. He declared the three jewels or ratnatraya of Jainism—RIGHT FAITH-we must believe in truth ,RIGHT KNOWLEDGE—we must study to understand what life is all about and RIGHT CONDUCT—the conduct which we understand correct.

Teachings of Bhagwan Mahavira has a great impact on the Samaj. His teachings have enlightened the entire society and its living creatures. Secondly his teachings have a greater impact on human life and one may improve his or her own inner feelings and characters as well. His domain is full of Ahimsa or non –violence where we are taught to be truthful and honest, to create both individuals and a better society in which lies and theft, and insecurity have no place .Lies and theft are the result of our passions and possessiveness. True peace and harmony in society and in the individual is possible only if we can restrain our passions and desires. Therefore, Bhagwan Mahavira gave a message to the world to reduce our longings for the things of the world, for material possessions and for sexual activities and have the real peace. In all, Mahavira taught five rules of conduct , non-violence, truthfulness, no stealing , non-acquisition and control of sexual desires. He taught his message for thirty years until his life on earth ended and he passed on to that state of complete freedom and bliss and peace which we usually call moksha. The most important principle which runs through the whole of Mahavira’ attitude of life is ahimsa or non-violence that is kindness to all living things. This is the first and fundamental rule which we should try to follow, to get rid of violence in all our actions and even in our thoughts

Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi , in his autobiography ,”My Experiment with Truth” has clearly indicated that he has a great impact of Jainism and the teachings of Bhagwan Mahavira on him. He also followed the principles of Non-violence and Truth which are the essence of Mahavira’s teachings. By spreading the teachings of Bhagwan Mahavira we can built a good society free from all ill –feelings , corruptions and violence .