Mahavira was the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara of Jainism. His teachings increased the popularity of Jainism, and thus, he is considered the founder of the religion. The main Teachings of Jainism are
Main Teachings of Jainism
Jainism rejected the authority of the Vedas. The Jains do not worship any God. Jainism preaches five vows.
The Five Vows
A Jain householder has to take the following five vows. These are
- Ahimsa meaning non-violence
- Asateya means not to steal
- Satya means to speak truth
- Aparigraha means not to possess property
- Brahmacharya means to practise chastity
Mahavira denounced any kind of violence. To him violence was of three kinds:
- Physical violence or killing
- Use of harsh language
- Mental violence or having ill feelings towards others
The nine truths have a central place in the philosophy of Jainism. These are
- Jiva (living beings),
- Ajiva (non-living beings),
- Punya (result of good deeds),
- Pap (sin),
- Ashrav (good deeds),
- Sanvar (obstacles in the path of karma),
- Bandha (bondage),
- Nirjara (destruction of karma)
- Moksh (salvation).
Doctrines of Jainism
Mahavira preached that salvation can be obtained by following triratnas or three jewels. These are right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct.
Jainism believed in good karma and the belief that one should be responsible for his own karma.
Mahavira preached equality and universal brotherhood. He stressed that all men and women are equal irrespective of their caste or creed. To him, compassion should be shown to even the smallest living creature.
He believed in the immortality of the soul.
The Jains believe in salvation, i.e. freedom from the cycle of birth and death.
Penance is considered a virtue in Jainism. It means to live a hard life and to die of starvation.