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Being Mahaveer

Mahaveer Swami’s childhood name was Vardhaman and he was a Royal Prince. From Vardhaman, a Royal Prince, to Mahaveer Swami, a Tirthankar, this transformation didn’t happen overnight. The Royal Prince has to walk a long way on the path of self-realization, leaving behind all the royal pleasures, before turning into a Tirthankar, which means a spiritual teacher of the Dharma (Righteous Path) [Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirthankara%5D.

On this auspicious day of Mahaveer Jayanti, celebrated every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahaveer Swami, the 24th, and the last Jain Tirthankar, let’s talk about Being Mahaveer. Is Mahaveer a Person or a Persona? Does Mahaveer Swami only relate to the person who follows the Jain religion? Could anyone who walks on the path of self-realization be a Mahaveer? How relevant is the path shown by Mahaveer Swami in today’s world? What are the teachings of Mahaveer Swami? In this write-up, I have tried to find out the answer to all these interesting questions.

Is Mahaveer a Person or a Persona? – Mahaveer Swami didn’t just preach the teachings scripted in the Holy Scriptures, as it is. On the contrary, he himself made a conscious choice to first walk on the tough path of the self-realization, after giving up all the worldly pleasures, in order to experience the ultimate state of bliss. Based on his personal experience, he then started teaching others with the sole motive of human welfare and nothing to gain in return. Persons like this that attains the state of Moksha or Nirvana are definitely more than a normal person. Likewise, Mahaveer is not a Person; it’s a Persona to follow.

Does Mahaveer Swami only relate to the person who follows the Jain religion? – The teachings of Mahaveer Swami are not community, religion or lineage, specific. There is no compulsion to be a follower of the Jain religion or for that matter to convert into a Jain before one can learn and follow the path shown by Mahaveer Swami. This path is just a means to achieve the ultimate bliss and liberate oneself from the cycle of life and birth. Thus, the follower of any religion can walk on this path but only if s/he finds it worth exploring, without any compulsion.

Could anyone who walks on the path of self-realization be a Mahaveer? – Yes, as mentioned above Mahaveer is not a Person but a Persona, so anyone who diligently walks on the path shown by the Sacred Guru can actually be a Mahaveer. Well, I know it’s easier said than done. However, still it’s not an impossible task to achieve and one can definitely experience the state of ultimate bliss and thereby attain Nirvana after following the teachings.

How relevant is the path shown by Mahaveer Swami in today’s world? – If we look around, we will witness sufferings, sorrow and pain existing everywhere in the world. It seems as if Peace of Mind is an unachievable illusionary thing. However, the fact is that the remedy to get over all these feelings and be in a state of ultimate bliss is available in the teachings of Mahaveer Swami. Thus, it could be rightly said that the path shown by Mahaveer Swami finds its relevance in all the times whether it’s the past, present or the future.

What are the teachings of Mahaveer Swami? – Although, there is enough material available on the teachings of Mahaveer Swami, however, I would just like to mention the five important vows laid down by Mahaveer Swami –

  • Nonviolence (Ahinsa) – Never indulge in any kind of violence against any living being.
  • Truthfulness (Satya) – Always speak truth.
  • Non-Stealing (Asetya) – Don’t steal anything.
  • Chastity (Brahmacharya) – Don’t indulge in any kind of sensual pleasures.
  • Non-Attachment (Aparigraha) – Complete detachment from each and everything.

Now, I would like to end this blog by quoting the following lines extracted from my other blog “Kshamavani (Forgiveness) Day – A day to seek forgiveness and forgive” – Lord Mahaveera never forced anyone to follow the path or the preaching of Jainism. Do remember that Jainism is all about Non-Violence and Forgiveness. Jainism is not about forcing one’s thoughts on others. Jainism is more than a religion, it’s a thought that evoked and developed over time through introspection and learning.

I wish you all a very Happy Mahaveer Jayanti. Let us try to imbibe the teachings of Mahaveer Swami in our respective lives and move a step further on the path of Being Mahaveer.

God Bless!

Stay in touch.

Peyush Jain

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