The philosophies of Lord Mahavira are based on the sole purpose of improving the quality of life. The basic idea is to attain spiritual excellence by maintaining ethical behavior and following proper code of conduct. Mahavira philosophy primarily consists of metaphysics and ethics.
The metaphysics comprise of three main principles, namely, Anekantavada, Syadvada and Karma. The five ethical principles underlying the philosophy of Lord Mahavira are Satya, Ahimsa, Brahmacharya, Asteya, and Aparigraha.
Lord Mahavira had a strong faith in the theory of Karma and he always said that, it is the karma that decides your destiny. Karma means the deeds that you do, which includes both, good as well as bad. The philosophies and teachings of Lord Mahavira are universal truths that are applicable even in the modern world that is plagued by corruption and violence.
He was of the opinion that, in retaliation to anti social elements, if you start behaving aggressive; you will never be able to find any solution. So, it is always better to come to an amicable solution by following the path of non violence. Ultimately, it is Ahimsa that paves way for maintaining harmony. So, if you wish to live your life in a peaceful manner and if tranquility is what you are searching for, then adopt the philosophy of the great personality Lord Mahavira.
Mahavir Swami's teachings
- Always speak the truth
- Control over oneself is very important
- There is no point accumulating loads of wealth that you can't even spend.
- Be honest to all.
- Follow the path of non violence.
- Be compassionate towards living beings.
To liberate one's self, Mahavira taught the necessity of right faith (samyak-darshana), right knowledge (samyak-gyana), and right conduct (samyak-charitra'). At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:
- Nonviolence (Ahimsa) - to cause no harm to any living being;
- Truthfulness (Satya) - to speak the harmless truth only;
- Non-stealing (Asteya) - to take nothing not properly given;
- Chastity (Brahmacharya) - to indulge in no sensual pleasure;
- Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha) - to detach completely from people, places, and material things.
Mahavira taught that men and women are spiritual equals and that both may renounce the world in search of moksh or ultimate happiness.
Jainism existed before Mahavir, and his teachings were based on those of his predecessors. Thus Mahavira was a reformer and propagator of an existing religion, rather than the founder of a new faith. He followed the well established creed of his predecessor Tirthankar Parshvanath. However, Mahavira did reorganize the philosophical tenets of Jainism to correspond to his times.
Every day Jains bow their heads and say their universal prayer, the Navkar-mantra. All good work and events start with this prayer of salutation and worship.