Who is Chandragupta Maurya?

When we discuss ancient history, parts of the world often get overlooked in favor of those which we’re more familiar with here in the west. The Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya was the first to rule the Mauryan Empire from 322 BCE until 298 BCE. At its peak, the Mauryan Empire was the largest to ever grace Indian lands and rivaled the other largest empires of the time period. This empire was important for the region because smaller states ruled independently prior to Chandragupta, who helped unify them into what could be considered a more cohesive country with an organized government and prosperous economy.

The road to success was a difficult one, and while on it Chandragupta crossed paths with one of history’s better-known figures–Alexander the Great.

Only four years before Chandragupta put together his empire, Alexander the Great fought with King Porus, a ruler of one of India’s local states located in Paurava (what we know today as Punjab). Alexander eventually managed to defeat this new rival king, and in doing so created a powerful new ally. He made King Porus ruler of those regions of India that had already been conquered and were thus under Macedonian rule.

Chandragupta was in exile while these events played out, and happened to be living his life as a fugitive within one of Alexander’s camps. His opposition to Macedonian influence was clear, and he eventually put together an army. Although his forces were small in comparison to those he fought, he managed to overcome the odds through careful manipulation of other factors. He manufactured the conditions necessary to throw the Magadha kingdom into civil war and then swept in with his own forces to seize power.

The Mauryan Dynasty that Chandragupta created lasted through 185 BCE and India prospered during this time. He was an efficient ruler, and his empire saw the building of roads, mines, irrigation canals, and temples, all of which led to a robust economy.

Religious diversity also prospered under his rule. Buddhism, Ajivika, and Jainism all gained traction in the decades that followed. Chandragupta himself became a Jainist monk. In doing so, he should have forsaken wealth and power–which he obviously did after his rule had ended. Jains were known to be vegetarians because they believe in all living creatures striving to help one another as part of an ancient dharma. Today, there are still millions of Jains who practice in similar ways to the ancient religion, and most still live in India.

Chandragupta passed the throne to his son Bindusara in 298 BCE and perhaps died of self-starvation in a cave around 297 BCE. No one knows for sure, but that’s where his story ends.

Who Is Rishabhanatha?

This word Rishabhanatha in Jainism means bull, but it is also referential of a mystical leader, one that is thought to have lived eons ago. It is thought that he was one of 24 teachers, those that are part of Jain cosmology, specifically this first half of the cycle. He is often referenced as the Ford maker, a person that has helped uncountable people escape the Wheel of Samsara. By helping them avoid this cycle of rebirth, he has reached a level of reverence that is very high. According to traditional accounts, he was initially born to a queen and king located in North India, and later married to have 99 sons and one daughter call Brahmi. At a later time he began to wander, abstaining from food for an entire year. It is from there, these humble beginnings, that he went on to live millions of purva years and was described as being 1200 feet tall. His teachings were then disseminated, many of which are still taught today.

Temples Dedicated To Rishabhanatha

There are many temples that are dedicated to Rishabhanatha including those that stand as high as 108 feet tall. He is thought to be the avatar of Vishnu, and is discussed in many parts of Buddhist literature. His statues are often sitting in the lotus position, or they can be standing, and there are also paintings. He is a very important in Hindu mythology, and was thought to have practiced asceticism for millions of years. It was only after he returned to Ashtapada that he finally died from his fasting. These temples, therefore, depict some of the stories and try to represent him in a physical manner that can be understood.

This basic overview of what Rishabhanatha is is just a cursory explanation of this very popular deity in Jainism. He is just one of 24 Tirthankaras, a Savior who was named by his mother after she had 14 auspicious dreams. These saviors are able to cross over, not being affected by the stream of life, death and rebirth. He is a symbol of freedom that many people look to as they are trying to improve their chances of not having to reincarnate again. What is so important about this figure is that he is a representation of what all of us are able to do. He is simply representative of someone that used asceticism to purify himself in order to escape the possibility of reincarnation.

Who Are The Tirthankaras?

This is a group of people that are part of Jainism, a part of the ancient Indian religions. The followers are called Jains, a word that translates to Victor, representative of people that are victorious in regard to our life streams that each of us has that pertain to rebirth. Tirthankaras are specifically called arihants, individuals that have been successful at conquering inner passions. They are able to avoid thoughts of anger, attachment, greed and pride. These are emotions that adhere us to returning time and time again. The Tirthankaras have been able to attain what they call pure infinite knowledge, and they spend their time discussing and preaching about what is called Dharma.

What Is Dharma?

In some translations, this is simply a word for religion. In one context, this could refer to Jainism, the ancient Indian religion which preaches nonviolence, nonattachment, and truth. There are subsets of this religion, each of which has its own interpretation of what Jainism is, a religion that today has about 5 million followers. Dharma refers to the principles that they follow which include 10 virtues. These virtues include humility, celibacy, renunciation, and forgiveness to name a few. Therefore, Tirthankaras are those that follow the Dharma as presented by Jains, allowing them to access what are called siddhis.

What Are Siddhis?

When you are able to adhere to a life that is free from attachment, and negative emotions, you have access to these siddhis or powers. These are spiritual powers, those that are only available to those who have become more enlightened, allowing them to connect more fully with what some call the righteous path. The goal in Hinduism has always been to escape the Wheel of Samsara, the never ending cycle of death and rebirth. Those that follow these religions believe that life represents suffering, and it is through Dharma that Tirthankaras can escape this never ending cycle and interact directly with that from which we come.

Tirthankaras are simply people that follow the teachings of Jainism, hoping to conquer the cycle of death and rebirth. By following the many virtues, which can only happen through avoidance of worldly temptations like alcohol or cars, they can hopefully prevent their rebirth after they die. Although this is very similar to many of the other Hindu teachings, it has its own unique take on life and life’s purpose. If followed properly, they will eventually be able to remain in the realm where their soul dwells throughout eternity finally obtaining spiritual purity.

If you would like to learn more about this subject, please watch the following video:

Why Would Loving Parents Renounce Their 3 Year Old?

In Madhya Pradesh, a couple has renounced their three-year-old girl and all of their property that is worth Rs 100 crore in order to be Jain Monks. This has prompted social activists to appeal to the National Human Rights.

The couple, Sumit and Anamika chose to become monks when their daughter was just a mere 8 months old. They prepared for the change by beginning to live separately. Married 4 years ago, they have taken a vow of silence.

As a teen, Varshil Shah San Antonio scored 99.9 in Class 12 and later announced that he would renounce the world to become a Jain Monk. In order to “attain and maintain peace,” he believed that this was the only way.

His family also follows the Jain principles of Jivdaya or “compassion for all who are living”. They restrict the use of electricity in the house and they believe that too many aquatic animals are killed by processing power generation. This is against their beliefs of non-violence.

Jainism Monkhood is perhaps one of the oldest religions in India and it’s followed by less than one percent of their population. They must rise above their corporeal existence.

While they worship deities, they don’t believe God as the creator, the protector, or the destroyer. Per the book, ‘Faith and Philosophy’ authored by Arun Kumar, the preachers are only those who have managed to attain the ideal knowledge and mastered self-control. In short, they have achieved moksha which is considered to be the “ideal state of being”.

It is the belief of Jains that each and every living being has a soul and this is why their devotees are all vegetarians. They also won’t eat root vegetables like onions or carrots. Many also believe that animals that are in dairies are subjected to cruelty.

Prior to becoming a monk, they must go through a Diksha ceremony. This is the last rites in which they can indulge in any worldly possessions and they must devote themselves to a life of spiritual fulfillment that will include celibacy.

Many will take out an oath of varghodas and mark the ceremony by throwing out all of their money, their utensils, their clothes and anything else to the general public.

They must repent each morning and decide how to eat their meals and drink water.

Becoming a monk means that they must follow the principles of non-violence and tolerance. They will cover their mouths with a bit of cloth after the ceremony in order to assure that they aren’t swallowing any living creature when they speak. If they accidentally sit on an ant, touch a flower or a person that is of the opposite sex, they’ve committed a grave sin.

What Really Are The Jain Caves?

Jain caves or Naina Gullu (local name) are located on the bank of river Manair in Malharao Mandal (Karimnagar District). These caves have been craving for attention from ancient times. Even though the caves were discovered a long time ago in history, neither the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) nor the State Archaeology Department was interested in preserving these historical monuments for the future generations. In fact, the exact period of the creation of these amazing caves is not exactly known. But it is believed to be created during the peak of the spreading of Jainism in India. The Jain monks have been using these caves during the 7th and 8th centuries since Jainism flourished for more than 2,000 years in Telangana. This article provides information on what really are the Jain caves.

These caves are sculpted out of single sandstone and converted into shrines of Shiva with a Lingam inside one of these chambers. These caves are situated about two kilometers away from the right bank of River Maneru – which is near the Adavi Somanapalle village. In fact, these caves are quite similar to the famous Undavalli caves – that are located on the banks of the Krishna in Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. These caves consist of open-pillared mantapas, including shrine chambers inside. The Jain Caves are surrounded by the forest and could be reached by the Tadicherla crossroads – the area where the popular temple Nagulamma is situated.

There are rock paintings that have been found in these caves. There is also a pool constructed near the Manair river, adjoining the caves, which holds water throughout the year. The authorities are keen on developing these sites as a tourist hub to attract tourists from across the globe. In fact, the district Collector A Murali, as well as DFO or District Forest Officer T Ravi Kiran, confirmed this when contacted. There are proposals to construct a path to the caves from the Adavi Somanapally bridge across the Manair. This move will do well to promote the Jain Caves as a tourist hub in the long run. But the Jain Cave site should be brought under the protection of the ASI in order to preserve it for the future generations.

In conclusion, the Jain caves have been craving for attention from ancient times. This article provides information on what really are the Jain Caves.

What Is Jainism

Jainism is a religion whose origins are unknown. Scholars believe that originated in Ancient India around the same time as Buddhism. Currently, there are approximately 5 million “Jains” or followers of Jainism. This religion does not believe in creators but rather believes in the Universe and Scientific Laws. The first person who practiced Jainism was Mahavira, a prince who gave up everything to find spiritual understanding.

The main goal of Jainism is to reach what is called Moksha – the end of the birth – death – rebirth cycle – by achieving enlightenment. Ones who have achieved Moksha is called Tirthankaras. Jains believe that ALL souls including plants and animals can achieve Moksha. They believe in non-violence, conquering all temptations such as anger, greed pride and believe in non-attachment to the material world.

It is one of the only religions that vegetarianism is required. It also excludes root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and garlic because eating these foods kill the plant.