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Twenty-Four Tirthankaras

Just as Buddhism is associated with Buddhism. Lord Mahavir is linked to Jainism. However, most people are not aware that Jainism existed before Mahavir. However, his teachings were based on those of his predecessors. Thus, unlike Buddha, Mahavir was more of a reformer and propagator of an existing religious order than the founder of a new faith. In jainism there are twenty-four tirthankars and they are: 

1) Shri. Rishab dev
2) Shri. Ajit nath
3) Shri Sambhav nath
4) Shri Abhinandan swami
5) Shri Sumati nath
6) Shri Padam prabhu
7) Shri Suparash nath
8) Shri Chandra prabhu
9) Shri Suvidhi nath
10) Shri Sheetal nath
11) Shri Shreyans nath
12) Shri Vasu pujya swami
13) Shri Vimal nath
14) Shri Anant nath
15) Shri Dharam nath
16) Shri Shanti nath
17) Shri Kunthu nath
18) Shri Aarnath
19) Shri Malli nath
20) Shri Munisuvrat Swami
21) Shri Naminath
22) Shri Neminath
23) Shri Parasav nath
24) Shri Mahavir swami

According to the principles of Jainism, all Tirthankaras were born as human beings but they have attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self-realization. Tirthankaras are also known as Arihants or Jinas. 

Lord Mahavir

Lord Mahavir and Gautam Buddha have a remarkably similar history. Like Gautam Buddha, Mahavir too was from a royal family. He was born in 599 B.C. as a prince in Bihar. At the age of 30, he renounced his family and his luxurious life and became a monk. He spent the next twelve years in deep silence and meditation in a bid to overcome his material desires and baser feelings. He went without food for days at a stretch. He tried his best to avoid harming other living beings including animals, birds, and plants. At the end of twelve years, he realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. This realization is known as keval-jnana. 

Once he had achieved enlightenment, he devoted the next thirty years of his life travelling barefoot around India preaching his message of eternal truth to the people. His teachings crossed all barriers, rich and poor, kings and commoners, men and women, princes and priests, touchables and untouchables.

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