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Happy Mahavir Jayanti

posted Apr 23, 2013, 7:46 AM by Tristatecsi CSI   [ updated Apr 23, 2013, 9:02 AM ]

 
Jain Religion and Lord Mahavir:

Jain religion is the 4th most practiced religion in India. There are about 10 million jains in India. Lord Mahavir was the 24th and last Tirthankar(prophet) .His birth anniversary falls on 24Th April this year According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankars were born as human beings but they have attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self realization. Tirthankars are also known as Arihants or Jinas.

Mahavir was born in 599 B.C. as a prince in Bihar, India. At the age of 30, he left his family and royal household, gave up his worldly possessions and became a monk. He spent the next twelve years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires and feelings. His spiritual pursuit lasted for twelve years. At the end he realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. This realization is known as keval-jnana.

He spent the next thirty years travelling around India preaching to the people, the eternal truth he realized. He organized his followers, into a four fold order, namely monk (Sadhu), nun (Sadhvi), layman (Shravak), and laywoman (Shravika). Later on they are known as Jains.

The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain the total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of one's self. This is also known as liberation, nirvana, absolute freedom, or Moksha.

He explained that from eternity, every living being (soul) is in bondage of karmic atoms, those 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. These are the deep rooted causes of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, greed, and such other vices. 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.

At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:

    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 material things.

Jains hold these vows at the center of their lives. The monks and nuns follow these vows strictly and totally, while the common people try to follow the vows as far as their life styles will permit.

At the age of 72 (527 B.C.), Lord Mahavir died and his purified soul left the body and achieved complete liberation. He became a Siddha, a pure consciousness, a liberated soul, living for ever in a state of complete bliss. On the night of his salvation, people celebrated the Festival of Lights (Dipavali) in his honor.

He taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of the positive attitude of life. Lord Mahavir also preached the gospel of universal love, emphasizing that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, and form how spiritually developed or under-developed, are equal and we should love and respect them.

Prayer of Jain religion:

Every day Jains bow their heads and say their universal prayer, the Navkar-mantra. All good work and events start with this prayer of salutation and worship.

    Namo Arihantanam: - I bow to the enlightened souls
    Namo Siddhanam: - I bow to the liberated souls
    Namo Ayariyanam: - I bow to religious leaders
    Namo Uvajjayanam: - I bow to religious teachers
    Namo Loe Savva Sahunam: - I bow to all monks of the world
    Eso Panch Namukkaro: - These five salutations are capable of
    Savva Pava Panasano: destroying all the sins and this is
    Mangalancha Savvesin the first happiness among all forms
    Padhamam Havai Mangalam: of happiness.

Article submitted by,
Harak Maru