Who Is The Founder Of Jainism?

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founder of jainism

Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world which was founded in ancient India. The founder of Jainism was Lord Mahavira aka Vardhamana Mahavira He is said to be the twenty-fourth Tirthankar of the Jainas. The spread of the teaching and philosophy of Jainism is credited to Lord Mahavira. He was from a royal family but renounced his worldly possessions at the age of 30 in search of spiritual enlightenment. Let us know more about the founder of Jainism in elaboration.

The Founder And Spread Of Jainism

Lord Mahavira is considered the founder and was born in 599 BCE in Vaishali, a region that is now part of modern-day Bihar, India. He was born into a royal family and was given the name Vardhamana, which means “one who grows” or “prosperous.”

  • After years of rigorous austerity and meditation, Lord Mahavira attained enlightenment at the age of 42.
  • He spent the next 30 years travelling and teaching his philosophy, which focused on non-violence, truthfulness, non-possessiveness and self-discipline.
  • His teachings attracted a large following and he is considered one of the most important Tirthankara in the history of Jainism.

Also Read – Jain Councils: History, List and Reasons

The Five Great Vows of Jainism

Lord Mahavira formulated the principles of Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy), and Aparigraha (non-attachment) as the cornerstone of Jain ethical teachings.

  • Lord Mahavira emphasized the practice of ahimsa, or non-violence as the central tenet of Jainism.
  • He also taught his followers to practice truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possessiveness.
  • These five vows, known as Mahavratas, are the foundation of Jain ethics and guide the moral conduct of Jain practitioners.

However, some believe the real founder of Jainism is the first Tirthankara namely Rishabhdeva, who was the first Tirthankara of Jainism. The 24 Tithankaras of Jainism are – 

Tirthankaras NameSymbols/Emblems
Suvidi/PushpadantaDolphin/Sea Dragon
MalliWater Jug
Nami/NiminBlue Lotus
Nemi/ArishtanemiConch Shell
Vardhamana MahaviraLion
Four Noble Truths of BuddhismBhakti and Sufi Movement
First Buddhist CouncilSecond Buddhist Council
Noble Eight-Fold Paths of BuddhismSects of Buddhism
Digambara JainHow Many Buddhist Councils Were Held?
Mahayana and Hinayana BuddhismFirst Buddhist Council Was Held During The Reign Of

That’s all about the founder of Jainism. If you want to read more articles like this, you can get Study notes on the Modern History of India here. Also, you can visit our general knowledge page on Indian History!

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