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Mahavira, also known as Vardhamāna, is the twenty-fourth tirthankara, who revived Jainism. He exposes the spiritual, philosophical and ethical teachings of previous tirathankaras from a distant Vedic era. In the Jain tradition, Mahavira is considered born at the beginning of the 6th century BC. in the native Kshatriya family in present-day Bihar, India. He left all earthly possessions at the age of 30 and left his home in search of spiritual awakening, becoming an ascetic.
Full name: Vardhamana
Height: 1.82 m
Other name: Vīr, Ativīr, Vardhamāna, Sanmati
Parents: Trishla, Siddharth
Mahavira has been practising intense meditation and heavy asceticism for 12 years and is believed to have achieved Kevala Jnana (omniscience). He preached for 30 years, and, according to Jains, he reached Moksha in the 6th century BC, although the year varies depending on the sect. Scientists like Carl Potter consider his biography uncertain; some suggest that he lived in the 5th century BC with the Buddha. Mahavira reached nirvana at the age of 72, and his body was cremated.
Mahavira is usually depicted in a meditative posture sitting or standing, with the lion symbol beneath him. His earliest iconography from an archaeological site in the northern Indian city of Mathura dates from the 1st century BC. His birth is celebrated as Mahavir Jayanti, and his nirvana is observed by Jains as Diwali.
Mahavir Jayanti is one of the largest Jain festivals in India and is widely spread all over the world where the Jain community is present. Mahavira Jayanti is celebrated with the birth of Vardhaman Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. On this day, there are great cradle procession and a festive celebration of the auspicious day. Mahavira Jayanti is largely devoted to prayer and solitude. It is celebrated on the 13th day of the month of Chaitra from the Hindu calendar.