Bhagwan Mahvira


Time is eternal. It has no beginning, no end. Jainism has postulated infinite number of equal time cycles. One time cycle is further divided into two equal halves. One part of this cycle, is in ascending order, is progressive, termed utsarpini. The other is in the descending order, is regressive, called avsarpini. Every utsarpini and avsarpini is further divided into six unequal segments called aara. Presently we are in the fifth aara of the avsarpini or the descending cycle.

It is during the fourth aara, that a series of 24 Souls of great virtue are born. They are Tirthankars, so called because they establish the tirth, the vehicle that aids seekers cross the ocean of life and death. The lineage of Tirthankars in the present avsarpini or the descending era begins with Bhagwan Rushabhdeva as the first Tirthankar, and ends with Bhagwan Mahavira, the twenty-fourth Tirthankar.

Bhagwan Mahavira was the exponent, rejuvenator, and propagator of Jainism. A contemporary of Gautam Buddha, He epitomised the highest form of virtue and human perfection. His life is a perennial source of light and inspiration to all.