Bhagavan Mahavira Life and Philosophy : [04.10] First Sermon: Stress On Inwardness

Published: 18.08.2005
Updated: 06.08.2008

Chapter 4

Kaivalya (Omniscience) And The Bhagavan's Sermons

widespread prevalence of rites and rituals had made the people extrovert even in matters of ethical values.

In order to bring about a revolutionary change, Bhagavan Mahavira asked the people to give importance to inwardness.

It was a common belief among the people that one became

  • a Sramana by simply shaving the head,
  • a Brahamana by merely repeating the sound of Omkara,
  • a muni by merely living in the forests and a tapasvi (hermit) by putting on clothes made of the barks of trees.

Bhagavan Mahavira did not challenge the existence of the institutions of the Sramanas, Brahamanas, munis and tapasvis.
He, however, did not accept their norms.
He insisted on their recognition through their internal qualities.
He maintained that one could not become a Sramana simply by shaving his head, and that one did not become a Brahmana simply by repeating the sound of Omkara.
Similarly, in his view, nobody became a muni simply by living in the forest nor could one become a tapasvi simply by putting on cloth made of the bark of trees.

He insisted on the practice of equanimity, celibacy, knowledge and penance.

A Sramana must practise samata - equanimity, a Brahmana brahmacharya - celibacy, a muni must seek after knowledge (mona) and a tapasvi must observe austerities.

Title: Bhagavan Mahavira Life and Philosophy
Translated & Edited: Muni Mahendra Kumar


Edition 1995
Publisher: Jain Vishva Bharati, Ladnun, India

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Brahmacharya
  2. Celibacy
  3. Equanimity
  4. Kaivalya
  5. Mahavira
  6. Mona
  7. Muni
  8. Munis
  9. Samata
  10. Sramana
  11. Tapasvi
  12. Tapasvis
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