Both Mahavira and Gautama Buddha are considered contemporaries separated from each other by gap of about 77 years. Initially advent Mahavira above 2600 years before now! Mahavira is 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, preceptor. The Jainism religion also called a way of life has a chain of enlightened ones termed Tirthankaras. Mahavira was the last and the most recognized in the present chain.
Mahavira gained enlightenment at 42 years of age, indulged in discourses (termed deshna in Jainism) for full 30 years before leaving his mortal frame at 72 years of age. The teachings of Jainism are widespread, much deeper than the teachings of Gautama Buddha. Prime reason why people in present times preferred following Buddhism than Jainism! Commoners cannot conceptualize a walking naked monk.
In Jainism religion a further set of Tirthankaras are expected in coming times. Comparatively Buddhism Dharma developed around the teachings of Gautama Buddha. There has only been one preceptor in Buddhism. But in Jainism the trend of gaining enlightenment will continue until the end of time. In India the primary philosophies of Jainism and Hinduism were almost the same.
Siddhartha Gautama started in search of absolute truths early in age. While living in family he tried to assimilate teachings of sacred scriptures but did not succeed. He became a recluse and went to deep dense jungles (forests) to contemplate on cosmic truths of life. Again he did not succeed. Eventually he came back to the community not as a householder but a wandering monk, a bhikshuk.
Siddhartha Gautama continued trying his best to reach stage of nirvana but cosmic truths of life remained elusive. Finally contemplating under a bodhi tree for a period of almost 12 years he reached stage of kaivalya. Siddhartha Gautama was about 80 years of age. His frail body had suffered much in search of absolute truth. About a year later at 81 years of age Gautama Buddha finally left his mortal frame.
Gautama Buddha finally advocated following middle path. Neither as a recluse, a wandering mendicant or living within the community; could one realize abstract truths of life. He advocated following both the paths to reach stage of kaivalya and finally nirvana. In present times none could reach God via path of Buddhism. In Jainism reaching stage of enlightenment was a distinct possibility.
Born in a Jain family right from six years of age I followed teachings of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita. By 13 years of age my zeal to see and meet God in this very life became absolute. 25 years of yoga meditation I finally realized self, realized god… reached cosmic end of life, 8.4 millionth manifestation, last in cosmic life cycle. Nothing more to gain, nowhere to go further moment I leave my mortal frame I shall but attain salvation moksha forever. All my life I believed more in scriptures of Hinduism than Jainism.
By: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – (Ref 150904)
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