Mahavir and Buddhism

Mahavir, Gautam Buddha and Buddhism
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  Mahavira  (599 BCE  – 527 BCE [1] ), also known as Vardhamana , was the twenty-fourth and   last  tirthankara  of  Jainism. Therefore, although Mahavira is widely regarded as the founder of Jainism, he is more properly regarded as a reformer of Jainism. Mahavira was born into a royal family in what is now Bihar , India. At the age of 30 he left his home in pursuit of spiritual awakening (Diksha). For the next twelve and a half years he practiced intense meditation and severe penance, after which he achieved Kevala Jnana or enlightenment. He travelled all over  Bharata (which was larger than today's India) for the next thirty years to teach his philosophy which is based on ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya and aparigraha.    Mahavira attained nirvana at the age of 72. Gautama Buddha , also known as Siddhārtha Gautama , [note 1]   Shakyamuni , [note 2]  or simply the Buddha , was a sage [3]  on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. [web 1]  He is believed to   have lived and taught mostly in eastern India [note 3]  sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE. [4][note 4]     The word Buddha  means awakened one or the enlightened one. Buddha is also used as a   title for the first awakened being in an era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (Pali  sammāsambuddha , Sanskrit samyaksaṃbuddha ) of our   age. [note 5]  Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the   severe asceticism found in the Sramana (renunciation) movement [5]  common in his region. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such asMagadha and  Kośala . [4][6]     Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later. Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality. Buddhist practices like  meditation  are means of changing yourself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path —  a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood. An enlightened being sees the nature of reality absolutely clearly, just as it is, and lives fully and naturally in accordance with that vision. This is the goal of the Buddhist spiritual life, representing the end of suffering for anyone who attains it. Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god, some people do not see it as a religion in the normal, Western sense. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. So Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender. It teaches practical methods  which enable people to realise and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, to be fully responsible for their lives. Jainism  / ˈdʒeɪ n ɪ z (ə) m/, traditionally known as ' Jaina Shasana' or Jaina dharma  (Sanskrit:   जैन      धरम ), [1]  is a nontheistic Indian religion that prescribes a path of  ahimsa - nonviolence - towards all   living beings, and emphasizes spiritual independence and equality between all forms of life. Practitioners believe that nonviolence and self-control are the means by which they can obtain liberation. Currently Jainism is divided into two major sects,  Śvētāmbara  and Digambara.    The word Jainism is derived from the Sanskrit verb root  jin  ( to conquer ). It refers to a battle with the passions and bodily pleasures that the Jain ascetics undertake. Those who win this battle are termed as Jina  (conqueror). The term Jaina  is therefore used to refer to laymen and ascetics of this tradition alike. Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world. [2]  Jains traditionally trace their history through a   succession of twenty-four propagators of their faith known as tirthankaras with Rishabha as the first and  Mahāvīra  as the last of the current era. For long periods of time, Jainism was the state religion of Indian kingdoms and widely adopted in the Indian subcontinent. The religion has been in decline since the 8th century CE due to the growth of, and oppression by the followers of Hinduism [3]  and Islam. [4]  Jainism is a religious minority in India, with 4.2 million adherents, and there are small but notable immigrant communities in Belgium,Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the United   States. [5]  Jains have the highest degree of literacy of any religious community in India (94.1 percent), [6]  and their manuscript libraries are the oldest in the country. [7]     The srcins of Jainism are obscure. [2][8]   During the 5th century BC, Vardhamana Mahāvīra became one of the most influential teachers of Jainism. Mahāvīra, however, was most probably not the founder of J ainism, which reveres him as the last of the great tīrthaṅkaras of this age and not   the founder of the religion. He appears in the tradition as one who, from the beginning, had followed a religion established long ago. [9]   Pārśva, the traditional predecessor of Mahāvīra, is the first Jain figure for whom there is reasonable historical evidence. [10]  He might have lived somewhere in the 9th  – 7th century BC. [11][12][13]   Followers of Pārśva are mentioned in the canonical books; and a legend in the Utt  arādhyayana   sūtra relates a meeting between a disciple of Pārśva and a disciple of Mahāvīra which brought about the union of the old branch of the Jain ideology and the new one  
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