Bhagavan Mahavira Life and Philosophy ► 04 ► [04.02] First Sermon: The Fourfold Path

Posted: 10.08.2005

Chapter 4

Kaivalya (Omniscience) And The Bhagavan's Sermons

fter he had attained kaivalya Bhagavan Mahavira in the first sermon [1] explained the fourfold path of self-realisation:


Samyak darsana

Spiritual experience of Reality or Faith in Truth,


Samyak jnana

Knowledge of Reality,


Samyak caritra

Spiritual Discipline, and


Samyak tapa

The washing off of the effects of accumulated karmas through right austerities.

The world consists of two types of basic substances:

soul and non-soul.

A soul or atma bound by a body is called jiva or an embodied soul.

A free or a disembodied soul is called Paramatma (Perfect Soul).

That which causes transformation of the soul into the perfect soul
is called dharma or religion.


There are two traditional views about the first sermon.

  • According to the first view, Bhagavan Mahavira delivered his first sermon at Vipulacala. King Srenika and Queen Chelana were present there to hear the sermon.
  • According to the second view, Bhagavan Mahavira delivered the first sermon at the very spot where he had attained kaivalya. Only the heavenly beings were present then; there was no human being and therefore nobody took the major or the minor vows.


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