Bhagavan Mahavira Life and Philosophy ► 01 ► [01.02] Bhagavan Parsva

Posted: 23.07.2005


Before The Advent Of Bhagavan Mahavira

hagavan Parsva vitalized collective spiritual discipline. He opposed the practice of self-mortification based on ignorance and involving himsa (violence). He gave it a spiritual orientation. Because of his determined opposition to sheer self-mortification, he had to face serious difficulties. But one who treads the path of friendliness and non-violence must oppose himsa and face the consequences, howsoever painful they may be.

Bhagavan Parsva succeeded in his mission. The sramanas started wielding considerable influence in his time. It was, in fact, the influence of ahimsa. Bhagavan Parsva, therefore, became very popular and the followers of both - the Sramana and Brahmana traditions - came to acknowledge his greatness. Bhagavan Mahavira used the epithet Purusadaniya for Parsva, which means 'worshipped by the people' or 'Ieader of the people'.

The parents of Bhagavan Mahavira and his maternal uncle Cetaka, the head of the Licchavi Republic of Vaisali, were the followers of Bhagavan Parsva who had strengthened and popularised the philosophy of spiritualism and self-realization as against materialism and nature-worship. This was a great achievement. The achievements of Bhagavan Parsva were inherited by Bhagavan Mahavira and Bhagavan Buddha and several other tirthankaras of the sramana system.

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