Mahavira was born in 540 BC in a village Kundgrama near Vaishali in Bihar. His father’s name was Siddhartha and his mother’s name was Trishalawas. He was married to Yashoda who was the daughter of Samarvira king and produced a daughter Anonja Priyadarshini.
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• According to Jain tradition there were 24 Tirthankaras.
• ‘Tirthankaras’ literally means ‘ford makers across the stream of existence’ .
• The first Tirthankara was Rishabhadeva/Adinatha.
• The last Tirthankara was Mahavira.
• The Vishnu Purana and the Bhagavat Purana describe Rishabha as an incarnation of Narayana.
• The name of two Jain Tirthankaras— Rishabha and Arishtanemi are found in the Rig Veda.
☼ Sects of Buddhism. (1) Hinayana , (2) Mahayana (3) Vajrayana .
(1) Hinayana (i.e. the Lesser Vehicle):
(i) Its followers believed in the original teaching of Buddha.
(ii) They sought individual salvation through self-discipline and meditation,
(iii) They did not believe in idol-worship.
(iv) They favoured Pali language,
(v) It is known as ‘Southern Buddhist Religion’, because it prevailed in the South of India, e.g. Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Syam (Thailand), Java etc.
☼ Buddhist Council.
(1) 1st Buddhist Council:-
• It was called by Ajatashatru (Harayanka Dynasty) in 483 BC at Saptaparni Cave, Rajgriha.
• Mahakassapa was the chairman of the 1st Buddhist Council.
•Compilation of Sutta Pitaka and Vinaya Pitaka by Ananda and Upali respectively were done in this Council.
(2) 2nd Buddhist Council:-
• Gautama Buddha was born in 563 BC (widely accepted), on the vaisakha pumima day at Lumbinivana in Kapiivastu. He was the founder of Buddhism. His father’s Name was Suddhodhana and mother’s name was Mahamaya. After his mother’s early death, he was brought up by his step mother and aunt Mahaprajapati Gautami. He was married at an early age to Yasodhara from whom he had a son Rahul.
From 6th Century BC to 4th Century BC various religious movements viz. Buddhism, Jainism etc. were born and grew up in the Post-Vedic Period known as the Period of Second urbanisation or the Age of Buddha . Modern historians are of the opinion that deep socio-economic and religious issues were involved behind the rise of new religious concept in the 6th century B.C. During the later Vedic period society had become divided into four distinct classes or varnas, such as Brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas and sudras.