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The last of the Jaina Tirthankara, Bhagavan Mahavira was born in Kundapura near Vaishali. The traditional Jaina date for Mahavira's birth is 599 BC. At the time of his Nirvana  his age was  72 . The father of Mahavira was King Sidartha who was ruling Kundapura. King Sidharta and mother Trishala (Priyakarini) were both pious and  followers of Parshva. Queen Trishala (Priyakarini) was the eldest daughter of the Chethaka Maharaja. The Atchutendra Deva after the end of his Deva life was to be born as a son to this Sidharta Maharaja. Six months prior to this happy event, the Devas celebrated the future event by showering a rain of gold over the royal household. The various Deva ladies attended to the divine mother. One night, the queen had a dream consisting of sixteen happy events. Early morning, she narrated her dream to the king Sidharta Maharaja. He interpreted her dream and told her that the Deva Athutendra, the future Lord, entered into her womb. After hearing this, the queen was filled with joy. Various divine ladies who attended on her served the queen.

  Thus after the lapse of nine months in the month of Chitra on the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight the divine child was born. The divine child was at the time of birth equipped with three kinds of knowledge and ten kinds of congenital miraculous qualities. The Devas celebrated the birth ceremony of the Lord. He was given the name Sri Vardhamana and also Veeraswami This occurred 250 years after the Nirvana of Parswa. The life period of the newborn divine baby would be a little less then 72 years. The child was growing happily attended to by the various Devas.  
   As a youth, he went to a park with a number of friends in order to play. While the royal youths were engaged in sport in the park, the Deva king Soudaramendra was seated in the valiant hall and was discussing with his ministers about the persons with extraordinary strength and heroism. There it was mentioned that Veeraswamy was a great and courageous hero. A Deva by name Sanganne  came down to the world to verify this statement. He took the form of a great serpent. It twisted its body round a tree where the children were playing. The divine youth climbed up the same tree and reached the top where the great serpent was spreading its hood. The divine youth got on the top of the hood of the serpent and stood there dancing fearlessly. The Deva who came there to test him was surprised at the fearless heroism of the youth. He resumed his usual form and worshipped him. He praised the youth thus “Oh Bhagavan! Thou art really the Mahavira.” Thus they named him with the appropriate name of Mahavira. Thus the Lord lived 30 years of his youthful life.  
  In his 30th year, he had an idea of renouncing the world. About that time, Lokanthikalpa Decas appeared before him and addressed him thus: Oh Lord! Now is the time for you to renounce the world and adopt asceticism. With the consent of Lord, the Devas celebrated the Parinishkramana Kalyana, the happy event assuming ascetic life. He spent several days in spiritual discipline and yoga, completely fasting. After this period of fasting, he wanted to break his fast. Hence to secure food, he entered the village called Koolagrama, the chieftain of which was called Koolen who offered him pure food which was accepted by the Lord. Then the Lord maintaining the vow of silence returned to the forest and adopted the Thapas.  
  Chandana, the last daughter of Chetaka Maharaja was carried away by a Vidyadhara youth without the knowledge of her parents. Fearing the jealousy of his own wife she was not taken to his own home; but he left her in the forest region. There, a hunter took possession of her and sold her to a merchant by name Vrishabhasena who treated her as his own daughter. But the merchant’s wife by name Suprabha out of jealousy, Suspected her husband’s conduct. She treated Chandana as a salve, put chains on her feet, gave her dirty rags cover her nakedness and gave her food prepared from coarse millet. While Chandana was in such a miserable condition, she learnt that the Lord was entering into the city of Kousambi in the country of Vathsa for the purpose of obtaining food. Chandana with great devotion wanted to meet and entertain the Lord. This very thought due to devotion to the Lord, resulted in the miraculous breaking up of her chains automatically. She regained her usual bodily beauty. The rags with which she had covered her body gave place to beautiful silk sarees. Her body became miraculously adorned with various kinds of ornaments. The food prepared out of the coarse millet grains turned into a rich food prepared out of rice. The mud plate in which she carried also changed into a beautiful golden plate. Chandana was filled with surprise and joy at these miraculous changes. The food which she offered and which was in the beginning of a poor quality, became all in a sudden, rich food which was accepted by the Lord for breaking his fast. After entertaining the Lord, Chandana was happy to return to her own home enjoying with her relations.  
   Then the Lord spent twelve years in austere Thapas and Yogic contemplation. When he was in yogic contemplation, the potential power of the various karmas was gradually destroyed. Finally, through the use of the yogic power or Sukla Dhyana, the four kinds of destructive karmas called Khathi Karmas were also destroyed. He at once obtained the four kinds of infinite qualities which are infinite knowledge infinite perception infinite power and infinite bliss. Equipped with these four infinite qualities, he became Omniscient Lord, Arhanta. He then obtained the ten miraculous qualities resulting from the destruction of the Karmas. Immediately, the Devas and Devendras appeared there to celebrate the Maha Pooja relating to the appearance of the Omniscience. The Devas Provided the Lord with the glorious paraphernalia such as Samavasarana. They also provided fourteen miraculous qualities associated with Lord Arhanta.  
While the Lord who was thus situated in Samavasarana was propounding the Dharma; Devendra went in search of a scholar who will be able to interpret the divine speech for the benefit of the different people, assembled in the Samavasarana Hall. Finally, he found a Bramin scholar by name Indrabhuti of Goutama Gothra. This Brahmin scholar Indrabhuti was taken to the Samavasarana by Devendra. Though he was conceited because of great scholarship, yet, in the presence of the Lord, he was entirely free from intellectual pride and listened to the Lord’s teaching about the nature of reality. He was impressed by the divine wisdom. He became a disciple of the Lord and became a Jaina ascetic together with his 500 followers. He became the chief Ganadhara of the Lord. He produced the teachings of the Lord into sacred Agamas for the benefit of the mankind. Thus he became the first and chief disciple Ganadhara. With him, there were altogether eleven Ganadharas – the chief disciples. Besides Goutama, the other ten are the following 

     1  Vayubhuti                 6. Putra 

  1. Agnibhuti                7. Maitreya       
  2. Sudharma           8 Akampana     
  3. Mourya              9 Achelaka     
  4. Mandara            10. Prabhasaka  

Surrounded by various followers in a cognation ascetics and ordinary people, both male and female, the Lord traveled different places preaching the Dharma to all without any distinction. The Lord then spent thirty years going about from place to place pounding the Dharma. Then be gave up his travels and remained in yogic contemplation near the town Pavapuri. With the help of yogic contemplation called Cukla Dyana, all the remaining Akhathi Karmas were got rid off. In the month of Karthigai, 14th day of the dark fortnight towards the end night, he attained Nirvana, the spiritual release followed by Eternal bliss. This day of Mahavira’s Nirvana is celebrated by the Jains as “Deepavali”.  


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