Lord Mahavir was the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara of the Jain religion. According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were born as human beings but they have attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self realization. They are the Gods of Jains. Tirthankaras are also known as Arihants or Jinas.
Tirthankara - One who establishes the four fold order (Monk, Nun, Layman, and Laywoman) of religion. Arihant - One who destroys his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion, ego, etc. Jina - One who conquers his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion, ego, etc. The followers of Jina are known as Jains.
He explained that from eternity, every living being (soul) is in bondage of karmic atoms, that are accumulated by its own good or bad deeds. Under the influence of karma, the soul is habituated to seek pleasures in materialistic belongings and possessions. Which are the deep rooted causes of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, greed, and such other vices. These result in accumulating more karma.
He preached that right faith (samyak-darshana), right knowledge (samyak-jnana), and right conduct (samyak-charitra) together will help attain the liberation of one's self.
1. At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:
2. Nonviolence (Ahimsa) - not to cause harm to any living beings
3. Truthfulness (Satya) - to speak the harmless truth only
4. Non-stealing (Asteya) - not to take anything not properly given
5. Chastity (Brahmacharya) - not to indulge in sensual pleasure
6. Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha) - complete detachment from people, places, and material things.
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