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What are the basics of the path, or Dharma, that Mahavira advocated for Jains?

What are the basics of the path, or Dharma, that Mahavira advocated for Jains?

Jains or Jainism believe that non-injury is the highest religion.

Jains aim to live in such a way that their jiva (soul) doesn’t get any more karma, and so that the karma it already has is either eliminated or helped to decay. They do this by following a disciplined life path.

The path or Dharma (truth, teaching) that Mahavira advocated was one of strict asceticism, renunciation and moral cultivation. He instructed his followers to cultivate the three jewels of:

  • Right belief
  • Right knowledge
  • Right conduct
Emerging from these three jewels and relating to right conduct are the five abstinences, which are the vows of:
  • Ahimsa (non-violence)
  • Satya (truthfulness)
  • Asteya (not stealing)
  • Aparigraha (non-acquisition)
  • Brahmacarya (chaste living)
There are two forms of the five vows:
  • Mahavrata: The 5 great vows followed by Jain monks and nuns
  • Anuvrata: The lesser vows followed by Jain lay people. These are less strict version of the great vows
Mahavir Jayanti is one of the most significant festivals of Jainism. It is observed to commemorate the birth of Lord Mahavira, the twenty fourth and last tirthankara of Jainism. The festival is also called “Mahavir Janma Kalyanak” and is usually celebrated in the Gregorian months of March or April. The celebration lacks much pomp and show and is mainly observed with reverence to Lord Mahavir, with anointment of his statues, prayers and meditation.

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