Mahavir Jayanti marks the occasion of the birth of Vardhamana Mahavir. Mahavir was born on the thirteenth day of the Hindu month of Chaitra in 599 BC and his birthday is celebrated as the most important holiday of the followers of Jainism or simply, Jains.
Vardhamana Mahavir was born in the Bihar region, which was previously known as Vaishali, Siddhartha and Trishala, the king and queen of the Ikshvaku dynasty.
He married Yashodha and had a daughter named Priyadarshana. He was popularly known as the 24 and last Jain Thirthankara and achieved enlightenment at the age of 72.
The story of Vardhamana Mahavir becoming a saint is very interesting because he left his palace when he was only thirty years old. He left home to find answers to the various questions that filled his mind and occupied him.
He looked for answers to his questions that were about truths and observances of the world and in the search for answers, he traveled all over the world.
He meditated for almost twelve years and spent his life in penance. After about twelve years, when he found answers to his questions through meditation, he had become an enlightened soul.
He spent the rest of his life spreading the messages he had been informed and the answers he had found through his penance.
Siddhartha and Trishala were great followers of Parshwanath, the divine lord of Jainism and when Queen Trishala carried her son Mahavir in the stomach, one day she had a strange dream.
In his dream, he was told that he would give birth to a son who would make a significant contribution to the world and become a divine masterpiece, which everyone would admire.
King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala raised their son with much love, care and affection like all parents and gave him all real needs and comfort. He was trained to be a brave prince and followed the words of his parents.
Although he was a brave prince, he was much less exposed to the ugly sufferings and truths of the world. He only knew the bright side of the world and the bad and sad part of the world was unknown to him in the comfort of the palace.
So he lived in a different world and grew up in the midst of luxury. When his parents died when he was only 28 years old, he began to feel lonely and it was exactly when he saw the true colors of the world around him.
He began to see and experience all the faces of the world and in some bitter encounters; He decided to find answers to what he had experienced. He decided to give up the comforts and pleasures of the world and seek answers to his questions.
His older brother advised him not to do it and, instead, asked him to take care of the kingdom and the dependent family he had with him. But nothing could change Mahavir’s decision.
His determination took him out of the palace doors at a very young age of thirty and gave up all the pleasures of the world and happiness in search of truth. Thus he became a monk.
He observed meditation, silence and penance for almost twelve and a half years after leaving his comfort and the experiences he experienced in this part of his life made him an enlightened soul. Mahavir began to practice silence and only slept three hours a day.
He abandoned basic necessities like food and clothing, and wrapped himself in a small piece of cloth. At first he gave up the pleasures of the world, then even abandoned the basic needs of a man and spent most of his time meditating.
He managed to win his mind by controlling various emotions such as laughter, anger, happiness, sadness, etc. slowly he began to feel a detachment from all kinds of attachments and began to experience a higher level of inner satisfaction.
In this higher state, it would have reached a state of enlightenment. After attaining enlightenment, Mahavir experienced strange events in his dreams, almost ten different types of dreams that were carefully discussed and described in the Jain scriptures.
He traveled a lot during his mediation days and spent most of his time in the north and east of the territory of ancient India.
Spread the word
After reaching a state of enlightenment, Mahavir spent the next thirty years of his life trying to spread his words and teachings to ordinary people. The first people who were very influenced and attached to his preaching were eleven Brahmins.
These Brahmins, having understood their influences and their preaching, converted to Jainism and followed their doctrines after them.