Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lord Mahavir ~ Philosophy

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.
Mahavira preached that from eternity, every living being (soul) is in bondage to karmic atoms accumulated by good or bad deeds. In a state of karmic delusion, the individual seeks temporary and illusory pleasure in material possessions, which are the root causes of self-centered violent thoughts and deeds as well as anger, hatred, greed, and other vices. These result in further accumulation of karma.
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:
These vows cannot be fully implemented without accepting the philosophy of non-absolutism (Anekantvada) and the theory of relativity (Syādvāda, also translated "qualified prediction"). Monks and nuns adhere strictly to these vows, while the laypeople observe them as best they can.
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.

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