MAHAVIR WAS THE LAST OF THE
24 INDIVIDUALS (TIRTHANKARAS) WHO HAVE ATTAINED ENLIGHTENMENT AND EXPOUNDED THE
DOCTRINES OF JAINISM. LORD MAHAVIR, AT THE VERY YOUNG AGE OF 72, ATTAINED NIRVÄNA
BY FOLLOWING THE THREE-FOLD PATH OF “RIGHT FAITH”, “RIGHT BELIEF”, AND
“RIGHT CONDUCT”. HE ADDED THE FIFTH MAJOR CANON OF JAINISM – ANEKÄNTVÄD
(THE THEORY OF MULTIPLICITY OR MANY VIEWPOINTS).
The painting represents a
well-preserved ancient idol of Lord Mahavir. Born in the 6th Century B.C., he
revitalized Jainism and is the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara.. He was the
conqueror of four basic passions, which are anger (krodth), ego (män), deceit (mäyä),
and greed (lobh). He also explained the concepts of Ahinsä, Aparigraha and Anekäntväd.
One of the vows, chastity (Brahmacharya), was introduced by Lord Mahavir in
addition to the four existing vows: non-violence (Ahinsä), truthfulness (Satya),
non-stealing (Asetya), non-possession/non-attachment (Aparigraha). These are
collectively known as the five major canons of Jainism.