8 February 2015

History - Jainism and Buddhism

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History - Jainism and Buddhism

The parents of Mahavira were Siddhartha, a Janatrika chief of Kunda­pura, and Trishala, a Ksha­triya lady related to the rul­ing families of Vaishali and Magadha. 

Mahavira married a princess named Yashoda. 

Mahavira forsook the world at the age of thirty and roamed as a naked ascetic in several parts of eastern India and practiced severe penance for 12 years. Half of this time was spent with a mendicant (beggar) friar (brother) named Goshala who subse­quently left him and became the leader of the Ajivika sect. 

In the 13th year of penance, Mahavira attained the highest spiritual knowl­edge called Kevala-jnana, on the northern bank of river Rijupalika, outside Jrimb­hikagrama, a little known locality in eastern India. He was now known as a Kevalin (omniscient), a Jina (conqueror) and Mahavira (the great hero). 

Mahavira became the head of a sect called Nigranthas (free from Fret­ters), known in later times as Jains or followers of Jina (conqueror). 

Mahavira died at Pava in south Bihar, after wandering for 35 years as a religious teacher, at the age of 72. 

The Jains believe that Mahavira was not the founder of a new religious sys­tem, but the last of a long succession of 24 Tirthankars or “ford-makers across the stream of...

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