Chaitra Shukla Trayodashi
The thirteenth day of the bright half of Chaitra
Mahaveera, also known as Vardhamana, is the last one in the galaxy of Twenty-four Teerthankaras (Jain Prophets). He was born in the year 599 B.C. and has been acclaimed as one of the greatest prophets of peace and social reformation that Bharat has ever produced. He was born to a pious couple, Siddhartha and Priyakarani or popularly Trishala Devi - who were deeply permeated with the philosophy of jainism preached by Parswanatha, the 23rd Teerthankara. Siddhartha was the king of Kaundinyapura on the outskirts of Vaishali (near Patna in Bihar).
Even as a boy, Mahaveera came to be associated with many episodes of absolute fearlessness which earned him the name `Mahaveera'. He grew up as a prince, excelling in physical prowess as well as intellectual acumen. However, he renounced the pleasures and luxuries of the place, as also the power and prestige of kingship, and undertook a life of intense penance for more than twelve years. He calmly bore not only the rigors of nature but the torments from the ignorant and mischievous among his own countrymen also. He finally became self-illumined. But not content with his own personal salvation, he chose to become a great human redeemer.
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