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15. Lord Mahavir
Once upon a time Pururava, a tribal lived in a forest of Videh named Madhu. He prepared himself to kill Shri Sagarsen Muni by pulling the arrow on his bow. His wife stopped him by saying “Do not kill him, he is the divine of the forest”. Pururava went near him and left drinking wine & eating meat & honey on account of Muni’s preachings.
When Pururava died he became a deity in the heaven. After completing his life in heaven, he came down & was born as one of the sons of Bharat Chakravarti. His name was Prince Marichi Kumar. Without understanding the implication, he accepted the vow of a Digamber Muni along with his grand father Shri Rishabh Dev. He could not bear the miseries of hunger & thirst and being corrupt, he propogated many wrong faiths (Pakhand Mat). He was less passionate therefore he got some happiness but because of his wrong faith he went to Itar Nigod. He suffered the miseries of the cycles of births & deaths for innumerable times in tras-sthavar lives.
After a long period when he was in the form of a lion, one day he hunted a deer & was eating it as food. At the same time two Riddhidhari Munis (saints possessing super power) named Ajitanjay & Amitgun revealed there from the sky path. They told him “Oh King of animals! you are supposed to be Lord Mahavir in your tenth birth. As per your association with wrong faith, you have suffered terrible miseries of animal life & in hell.
Listening to the teachings of the saints the lion remembered the previous life of hell. He repented & wept with sorrow .Therefore the saint explained him the principle of Right Faith (Samyaktva). The lion accepted the five partial vows (Anuvratas). He was determined to have a passionless death with “Sallekhana”. Later after his death, he was born as a deity in the heaven. During his eighth birth as Nand Muniraj, he practiced the Solah Karan Bhavanas (particular 16 reflections) & the penance of hard kind. At last, he became the Indra of sixteenth heaven after his death.
In his next birth he was born to Mata Trishla on the earth. Before six months of the pregnancy of Mata Trishla, the heavenly deities started showering of crores of jewels daily in the courtyard of the mother who was the queen of King Siddharth, the ruler of Kundalpur which was situated in the country of Videh. Mother saw sixteen auspicious dreams. The soul of the Indra came down from heaven into the womb of the mother on the 6th day of the bright half of Asharh. The deities came to Kundalpur & celebrated the Garbha Mahotsava.
On the 13th day of the bright half of Chaitra, mother Trishla gave birth to a son. That very time the deities took the child over to Sumeru Mountain & celebrated the Janmabhishek Utsav & named the child as Veer & Vardhman.
Lord Mahavir did not marry. At the age of thirty due to some reason he turned down the worldly pleasures & became a Digambar Muni (Saint) on the 10th day of the dark half of Magshir. This day was celebrated as Deeksha Kalyanak by the deities.
In the city of Kaushambi, Subhadra Sethani used to give the rice of Kodo in earthen bowl to eat to Chandana. Due to suspicion and anger she kept Chandana tide with iron shackles. One day Lord Mahavir came to Kaushambhi for taking food (Ahar). Chandana came forward with great devotion. At the same time all her chains were broken. Beautiful hairs were grown over her head, her clothes and jewellry became charming. Due to her moral character (Shil) her earthen pot turned into golden utensil and the rice of Kodo into delicious rice. She welcomed Lord Mahavira with Navdha Bhakti (particular nine kinds of devotions) and served him food. After twelve years of performing hard penance, on the 10th day of the bright half of Vaishakh, He was enlightened with Supreme Knowledge (Kevalgyan). The deities built an assembly hall (Samavasarana). Saudharma Indra very wittingly brought Indrabhuti Gautam in the Samavasarana on the 1st day of the dark half of Shravan. On entering the gate of the Samavasarana Gautam attained Right Faith (Samyaktva). He became a disciple of Lord Mahavir and adopted Jaineshwari Deeksha. Thereafter the divine voice (Divya-dhwani) of Bhagwan was revealed for the upliftment of innumerable living beings sitting in the assembly of twelve Compartments (Sabhas).
After thirty years, Bhagwan came to Pawapuri. He got Salvation by destroying all the eight karmas on the end of the 14th day of the dark half of Kartik i.e. in the morning of Amavasya. He became Liberated Soul (Siddha) and will live at Siddhashila peacefully forever. The deities celebrated that night by lightening the lamps. Thereafter in the same remembrance the festival of light i.e. Deepawali is celebrated till date. Jal Mandir is situated at Pawapuri (Nalanda) from where Lord was salvated. Standing postured idol of Lord Mahavir has been consecrated at Panduk Shila Campus just infront of Jal Mandir. Gautam Gandhar was salvated from Gunavaji (Nalanda), where also well-established Tirth is situated.
Bhagwan Mahavir was 72 years old, His height was of 7 hands with a golden littering body. His symbol is Lion and so His idol is recognized by this symbol. He is commonly known by the following five names-Veer, Vardhman, Sanmati, Ativeer and Mahavir. The birthplace of Lord Mahavir-Kundalpur (Nalanda-Bihar) has been developed with the grand construction of 'Nandyavart Mahal Tirth'. Nandyavart is the name of the 7 storeyed palace, in which Lord was born.