Mahavira and Jainism

Mahavira, also known as Vardhamāna, founded Jainism. He was the twenty-fourth Tirthankara(spiritual teacher) according to Jain texts. Mahavira was born in the early part of the 6th-century BC into a royal family. At the age of 30, he left his home in pursuit of spiritual awakening and abandoned all worldly possessions. For the next twelve-and-a-half years, Mahavira practiced intense meditation and severe austerities, after which he is believed to have attained Kevala Jnana (Nirvana/enlightenment/Moksha). After he gained Kevala Jnana, Mahavira taught that the observance of the vows ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (chastity) and aparigraha (non-attachment) is necessary to spiritual liberation – the foundational vows of Jainism today. 

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