Mahavir is also the founder of Jainism. He is perceived as a reformer who was strictly opposed to ritualism and false beliefs. Mahavir was the twenty-fourth and the last Jain Tirthankara. He was born in 599 BC and lived for 72 years. He was born to Siddhartha, the Raja of Kundalpura, and Queen Trishala, who was also known by the name Priyakarni
Right from his childhood, Mahavira was fearless and this earned him the name `Mahavira'. He grew up as a prince as He was born to a King and excelled in all physical trainings and intellectual lessons. But he renounced the pleasures and luxuries of the worldly life and palace and undertook a life of intense devotion for more than twelve years. He calmly bore the rigors of nature and the torments from the ignorant countrymen and finally became self-illumined. He gave up attachment to his parents, friends and relatives and distributed all his wealth amongst the poor. He led a very simple life and fasted which were for many days. He meditated on the pure nature of the Soul. He lived a life of absolute truthfulness and perfect honesty
Mahavira found the society corrupted by the distortions of the true concept of Dharma. He found that in the name of religion there were violence in the name of animal sacrifice and this has overshadowed the true meaning of religion. Superstition and meaningless rituals had dominated the life of people. Mahavira, who was full of self realization and righteous conduct, did not favour all these happenings around Him. He simplified the religious process and founded the religion Jainism. And its followers are called Jains
On the eve of Mahavir Jayanthi Jain temples are decorated with flags. In the morning the statue of Mahavira is given a ceremonial bath. Massive processions are taken out in the cities and all sections of the society participate in these processions. On this day the Jains offer poor people milk, rice, fruit, incense, lamps and water. Lord Mahavira is an ideal in Jainism who taught the world the essence of life. His teachings on righteousness and human virtue are preached to show the people the true meaning of life and happiness. Devoted pilgrims from different corners of the country visit the ancient Jain Temples at Pawapuri, Kundalpur and Parsvanath on this day
The lamp of peace which he lit continues to glow throughout the ages and his devotees find true peace and happiness following his simple ideals and philosophies.