Mahvira was the 24th and last Tirthankara, known as Vira or Viraprabhu, Sanmati, Ativira,and Gnatputra in many texts and Arugan or Arugadevan in Tamil texts. He is known as Nigantha Nātaputta in Buddhist Pali Canon. Historial dates assigned to Mahavira are 599-527 BC and he was born in to King Siddartha and Queen Trishala on the 13th day under the rising moon of Chaitra, which is celebrated as Mahavir Jayanti and falls in March or Early April.

His name was Vardhamana and he despite of being a prince, had exhibited a virtuous nature.

He started engaging in meditation and immersed himself in self-contemplation. At the age of 30 he renounced his kingdom and family, gave up his worldly possessions, and spent twelve years as an ascetic. During these twelve years he spent most of his time meditating. He attained the Kevalya Gyan (Omniscience) and devoted the rest of his life to preaching the eternal truth of spiritual freedom to people around India. At the age of 72 years and 4.5 months, he attained Nirvana in the area known as Pawapuri on the last day of the Indian and Jain calendars, Dipavali.

  • Kundagrama where Mahavira was born is located in Muzaffarpur Bihar.
  • Father of Vardhamana, Siddarth was head of Gyatrika Kshtriyas.
  • His Mother Trishla was a Licchhavi princess and sister of ruler Chetak.
  • Chetaka’s daughter later married powerful King of Magadha , Bimbisara.
  • Mahavira’s Gotra was Kashyapa.
  • Family of Mahavira was called in Sanskrit Jnatri and in Prakrit Naata. The male members of the family were called Jnatriputras or Naataputtas.
  • The most notable text about Mahavira is Kalpasutra by Acharya Bhadrabahu I.
  • The first Sanskrit biography of Mahavira was Vardhamacharitra by Asaga

Mahavira was married to Yasoda. A daughter was born to Mahavira and Yasoda whose name was Anojja or Priyadarsana.
Priyadarsana later married to a nobleman Jamali and became mother of a daughter Sesvati. Now here it is a controversy. The digambar Jain tradition is of the view that Mahavira had never married. He lived a life of an ascetic even as a boy and his parents were alive when he became a monk. The author has placed both the views and has no intention to hurt any Jainism follower.


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