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Vardhamana Mahavira, Jainism and Jain Councils:


Important points on Jainism and Vardhamana Mahavira:

1. Rishabha, the first Tirthankaras, was the founder of Jainism.
2. There were 24 Tirthankaras.
3. The 24th and the last Tirthankaras was Vardhamana Mahavira. He was born at Kundagram near Vaishali of Bihar in 599 BC.
4. Mahavira was born to King Siddharth and Queen Trishala who was sister of a Lichchhavi prince Chetaka of Vaisali whose daughter was wedded to Bimbisara of Magadha.
5. Mahavira belonged to the Jnatrika Kshatriya clan.
6. Mahavira was married to Yashoda and had a daughter named Priyadarsena.
7. At the age of 30 he left his home in pursuit of spiritual awakening (Diksha).
8. In the 13th year of his asceticism he attained enlightenment/supreme knowledge i.e. Kaivalya on the bank of river Rijupalika.
9. Mahavira gave his first sermon at Vipulachala mountain at Rajgriha. His first sermon is called Divya Dhwani.
10. He died at Pava near Patna in 527 BC.
11. The two main sects of Jainism was Shwetambar and Digambar.
12. Religious book of Jainism is Agam in Pali language.
13. The Kalpa Sutra is a Jain text containing the biographies of the Jain Tirthankaras, mainly Parshvanath and Mahavira.
14. Parsavanath was the 23rd Tirthankara.
15. First disciple of Mahavira was Jamali.


Five main beliefs of Jainism:

Ahimsa - Non-injury to living beings.
Satya - To speak the truth.
Asteya - Not to steal
Aparigraha - Non-possession of property.
Brahmacharya - Abstain from sex-indulgence


Jainism Literature:

Jain literature are written in Prakrit.
The Jain literature contains -
(1) The 12 Angas
(2) The 12 Upangas
(3) The 10 Prakirna
(4) The 6 Chhedsutras
(5) The 4 Mulasutras


Jain Councils:

First Council - First Jain Council was held at Patliputra under the chairmanship of Sthulabhadra in 300 B.C. It resulted in the compilation of 12 Angas replacing the lost 14 Purvas.
Second Council - Second Jain Council was held at Vallabhi under the chairmainship of Devardhi in 521 A.D. It resulted in the final compilation of 12 Angas and 12 Upangas.


24 Tirthankaras and their symbols:

1. Lord Rishabha (Adinath)Bull or Ox (Bell)
2. Lord AjitnathElephant (Haathi)
3. Lord SambhavnathHorse (Ghoda)
4. Lord AbhinandannathMonkey (Bandar)
5. Lord SumatinathCurlew or

Red Goose (Kronch Pakshi)

6. Lord PadmaprabhuLotus (Kamal)
7. Lord SuparshvanathSwas-tika
8. Lord ChandraprabhuMoon (Chandrama)
9. Lord PushpadantaCroc-odile (Magar Macch)
10. Lord SheetalnathKalpa-vriksha or ficus religiosa
11. Lord ShreyansnathRhino-ceros (Genda)
12. Lord Vasupujyafemale buffalo (Bhaisa)
13. Lord VimalnathShukar
14. Lord AnantnathFalcon ( Baaj)
15. Lord DharmanathVajra (Thunderbolt)
16. Lord ShantinathDeer (Hiran)
17. Lord KunthunathHe-Goat (Bakra)
18. Lord ArahnathFish (Machali)
19. Lord MallinathJar (Kalash)
20. Lord MunisuvrataTortoise (Kachua)
21. Lord NaminathBlue Water Lily or Blue Lotus (Hara Kamal)
22. Lord NeminathConch (Shankh)
23. Lord ParshvanathSnake (Naag)
24. Lord MahaviraLion (Sih)


Objective Questions on Vardhamana Mahavira, Jainism, Jain Council, 24 Tirthankaras etc. frequently asked in SSC, CDS, NDA, PSC, Railways and other competitive examinations-
1. How many Tirthankaras are there in Jainism?
(a) 21
(b) 22
(c) 23
(d) 24

2. Vardhamana Mahavira was born in the clan/tribe of?
(a) Sakya
(b) Jnatrika
(c) Panchala
(d) Kuru

3. What is the name of first Tirthankara of Jainism?
(a) Ajitnath
(b) Mahavira
(c) Rishabha
(d) Parshvanath

4. In which language Jain literature are written?
(a) Prakrit
(b) Sanskrit
(c) Hindi
(d) Bengali

5. First Jain Council was held at?
(a) Patliputra
(b) Vallabhi
(c) Rajgriha
(d) Vaishali

6. Mahavira was born at?
(a) Pavapuri
(b) Lumbini
(c) Kundagram
(d) Bodh Gaya

7. Mother of Mahavira was?
(a) Trisala
(b) Amrapali
(c) Yasoda
(d) Mahamaya

8. At which age Mahavira attained Nirvana?
(a) 70
(b) 71
(c) 72
(d) 73

9. Which of the following are the sects of Jainism?
(a) Shwetambar
(b) Digambar
(c) Mahayana
(d) Both a and b

10. Vardhamana Mahavira died at?
(a) Rajgriha
(b) Vaishali
(c) Kundagram
(d) Pava

11. Which of the following are the holy books of Jainism?
(a) 10 Angas
(b) 12 Angas
(c) 14 Angas
(d) 16 Angas

12. What is the meaning of the word 'Jina'?
(a) Conquer
(b) Desire
(c) Peace
(d) Cruelty

13. Under the bank of which river Mahavira got enlightenment?
(a) Ravi
(b) Rijupalika
(c) Saraswati
(d) Krishna

14. Which of the following tenet was added by Mahavira to the four basic tenets of Jainism?
(a) Brahmacharya
(b) Non-violence
(c) Truthfulness
(d) Non-possession of property

15. The Mauryan ruler who patronised Jainism was?
(a) Kumaragupta
(b) Bindusara
(c) Chandragupta Maurya
(d) Samudragupta


Answers - 1(d), 2(b), 3(c), 4(a), 5(a), 6(c), 7(a), 8(c), 9(d), 10(d), 11(b), 12(a), 13(b), 14(a) and 15(c).