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INTRODUCTION

It is a historical fact acknowledged by many an eminent scholar like Rc. Dutt, Tilak and Tagore that the sixth Century before Christ was an era of fanaticism and dogamatism. the masses were misguided by the selfish leaders.  Their self-centred views induced them toi perpetrate all sorts of atrocities in the name of religion.  Unholy ceremonialism became very predominant.  Benevolent path of purification and perfection was blocked by blind faith.  Superiority complex developed the ostentatious attitude in the people of power and property and inhuman behaviour was done towards the poverty stricken people and they were looked upon with an eye of hatred and discard, and such treatment made great unhealthy distinctions between a man and a man. In such circumstances where was the chance of compassion and mercy for the animal life? Millions of innocent creatures were brutally massacared and tortured to quench the thirst of ambitious and passionate people.  The position of the whole human culture became very topsyturvy and whole social order was disfigured. the enlightenment of truth was very essential and inevitable.

According to the mighty law of nature the most meritorious master was earnestly anticipated for the meta morphosis and overhauling of the whole mechanism of the human cult.  It was none else but the Blessed Lord Mahavira who was born in the most distinguished dynasty of 'Ikshu Vansa' as a prince; who came forward to dispel the darkness prevailing in those days by making himself the embodiment of Ahimsa not only by preach but also by practice.  Inspite of all Princely pleasures at his disposal, he renounced his royal paraphernalia and went in the dense forest full of ferocious creatures, lived a renunciated life of an ascetic order in search of truth, and by the moral force of mortification and meditation, he attained the infinitude of knowledge and beatitude of eternal bliss in order to establish peace and harmony by his tremendous of endeavours and efforts. he built a bridge of brotherhood between the universal beings of various kingdoms.

A new-way of approach and apprehension called 'Anekantvad' or 'Shyadvada' was introduced in the field of India philosophical thoughts, It was appreciated by one and all and various thinkers and seers began to extoll this new system of aprehension namely 'Shyadvad' as a Unifying Force and Compromising System of all the differences borne out of ignorance. The peace which was shattered to pieces by wrong notions was restored and consolidated and there was a sudden amelioration of our holy culture.  This enterprise owes only the Lord Mahavira. Hence his name became very popular in the philosophical world and people began to call him founder of Jainism:- the Science of conquering oneself. But in real sense he was the last 'Thirthankara' of the twenty four. Jainism as a matter of fact was not founded by him but it was only propogated and propounded by him. The founder of Jainism was Lord Rishabha in this cycle of period who existed in the hoary past before innumerable years. He is regarded as an incarnation of "Mahavishnu" according to srimad Bhagvata and first God "Adi Bhagavan" according to Thirukkural. Many references are apparent in Rigveda-Shivpuran Nagapuran and Brahmandpuran etc. Hence in real sense Lord Rishabha
was the Originator of Human Culture and Organiser of Human Society.

In this treatise which deals with the biographical sketch of Lord Mahavira the learned writer Mr. Jeevabhandu Sripal has explained everything elaborately about the origin of Jaina philosophy, so that the misapprehension which is prevalent regarding Lord Mahavira as 'Founder of Jainism' and constantly referred to as such in many Text Books of History and Social Studies may be rectified and set right.  This wrong notion is due entirely to the superficial study and hurried judgement of some foreign Scholars. Hence perusal oif this booklet will be of great value and interest to one and all.

It is indeed a great pleasure that this Treatise has been published by Sri Jinduttsuri Jain Mandal during Bhagwan Mahaveera's Twentyfifth Centenary Celebrations. I hope that many more useful volumes will be published during this celebration.

Dharmanuragi "RISHABH"



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4-4-1974

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