Lord Mahavira’s message of nonviolence (Ahimsä), truth (Satya), non stealing (Achaurya), celibacy (Brahmacharya), and nonpossession (Aparigraha) is full of universal compassion. Lord Mahavira made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate rituals. Mahavira Teaching reflect the internal beauty and harmony of the soul. Lord Mahavira taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of a positive attitude towards life.
The Teachings of Lord Mahavira
- Every soul is independent. None depends on another.
- All souls are alike. None is superior or inferior.
- Every soul is in itself absolutely omniscient and blissful. The bliss does not come from outside.
- All human beings are miserable due to their own faults, and they themselves can be happy by correcting these faults.
- The greatest mistake of a soul is non‑recognition of its real self and can only be corrected by recognizing itself.
- There is no separate existence of God. Everybody can attain Godhood by making supreme efforts in the right direction.
- Know thyself, recognize thyself, be immersed by thyself you will attain Godhood.
- God is neither the creator nor the destructor of the universe. He is merely a silent observer and omniscient.
- One who, even after knowing the whole universe, can remain unaffected and unattached is God.
- Fight with yourself, why fight with external foes? He who conquers himself through himself, will obtain happiness.
- All beings hate pain, therefore one should not hurt kill them. Ahimsa (non-violence) is the highest religion.
- A man is seated on top of a tree in the midst of a burning forest. He sees all living beings perish. But he doesn’t realize that the same fate is soon to overtake him also. That man is fool.
Lord Mahavira said that, “A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has infinite perception (Anantdarshana), infinite knowledge (Anantjnäna), infinite power (Anantvirya), and infinite bliss (Anantsukha). Mahavira’s message reflects freedom and spiritual joy of the living being.
Lord Mahavira emphasized that all-living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, form, and how spiritually developed or undeveloped, are equal and we should love and respect them. In this way, he preached the universal love.
Lord Mahavira taught that the true nature of reality is timeless, with no beginning or end and rejected the concept of God as a creator, a protector, and a destroyer of the universe. He also taught that worshiping heavenly gods and goddesses, as a means of material gain and personal benefits is contrary to the path of liberation.
Once Lord Mahavira was asked what is the religion from a realistic point of view. Lord Mahavira said, “ the realistic religion consists of four parts: 1) equality of all living ones, 2) every living soul has right to put self-effort to improve itself and should not to be stripped of that right, 3) no one should rule over other living beings, and 4) all situations should be viewed with equanimity – without like or dislike.” If one adopts only one of these four, other three will automatically be adopted.
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