Lord Mahavira, the Courageous One
Over 2500 years ago, circa 599 BC, Queen Trishla gave birth to a divine child. He was named Vardhaman, which means ever-growing, because from the time of His conception, the wealth, power, prosperity and glory of the royal family and the kingdom grew in leaps and bounds. The young Prince’s exemplary courage and fearlessness earned Him the title of Mahavira – the courageous one. Not only had this young boy won over poisonous snakes and wild elephants, but more importantly, he had conquered inner beasts such as venomous anger and unstoppable//raging desires. And thus, for the world, this young boy redefined courage as the ability to recognize and win over inner enemies, and choosing forgiveness and love each time.
Prince Vardhaman embraced monkhood, leaving behind the material luxuries of the palace for a higher spiritual wealth. For about 12 years, He peacefully observed penances, demonstrating astounding inner strength and resilience. He attained omniscience and became a Tirthankara, one who establishes and expounds the path to moksha (liberation) Thus, He propounded the eternal religion of the Jinas, the spiritual victors who have conquered all inner enemies.
The teachings of the Jinas are collectively called ‘Jainism’ and one follows these teachings is a ‘Jain’. The fundamental principle of Jainism is ahimsa, or non-violence,of mind, speech and body; which is propounded as the paramount responsibility for Jains. The birth of Lord Mahavir is celebrated as per the lunar calendar. This year, on April 20th, Jains all over the world will remember and celebrate the birth of this Great Being, the 24th Tirthankar, who exemplified true courage and elucidated the path of non-violence.
Join in the celebrations: Think about this:
What are your inner enemies?
How can you demonstrate true valor like Lord Mahavir, the courageous one?
What is Ahimsa (nonviolence) to you?