Birthplace of Lord Mahavira?

#1 Oct 3rd, 2018, 20:49
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I am confused about about the birthplace of lord mahavira. According to wiki and other documents Mahavira was born at Vaishali. But there is a famous temple in Kundalpur (near Nalanda university) which claims to be the birthplace of Mahavira! (https://goo.gl/maps/xynR3omA4Zm)
#2 Oct 3rd, 2018, 21:49
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Lord Mahabir was born in Kshatriyakund, Vaishali.

He died in Pawapuri. Kundalpur is in Madhya Pradesh where Rishabhnath is main deity.
#3 Oct 3rd, 2018, 21:53
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Prakaantji - from where have you gleaned this factoid?
#4 Oct 3rd, 2018, 21:59
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Is the information provided by me wrong? If so, my apologies.

Please correct the same...
#5 Oct 3rd, 2018, 22:03
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Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post Kundalpur is in Madhya Pradesh where Rishabhnath is main deity.
I am referring to the Kundalpur which is in Bihar (nearby Nalanda university ruins).
Some documents are saying it is the birthplace of Mahavira.
#6 Oct 3rd, 2018, 22:10
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rshalder - why're you looking for this information? Are you planning to visit or any other reason?
#7 Oct 3rd, 2018, 22:13
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post rshalder - why're you looking for this information? Are you planning to visit or any other reason?
Yes. Will visit Nalanda/Rajgir after 2 weeks
Kundalpur jain temple is suggested by many in the youtube videos. The temple is beautiful also. But I have doubt whether the place has any real historical significance (as Mahavira's birthplace).

#8 Oct 3rd, 2018, 22:23
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So, there is considerable uncertainty over the year of Mahavira's birth. There is also no clarity about the place. From our oral tradition, he was born in Kundalpur - it was in Bihar. - then the republic of Vaishali. However, in some sources, the place is referred to as Kundagrama - this place morphed into the present day Basukund. A temple stands here too and there are some claims that seals of a king Siddharth (Mahavira's father) were found by ASI. However, Siddharth may have been a landowner and not a real king, per se.

You might be interested to know that the year of birth has lesser significance in Jain hagiography than the year of his death - as that is the year of his nirvaan - hence the place of his death - Pavapuri is of a greater significance. That place is relatively better known through various sources, especially Buddhist. Most of early Jain history is known through Buddhist sources, as Jains did not maintain written history, while buddhists did.

Hopefully this helps.
#9 Oct 3rd, 2018, 22:40
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post However, in some sources, the place is referred to as Kundagrama - this place morphed into the present day Basukund. A temple stands here too
Hmm I see. Found that temple in Basukund:
https://goo.gl/maps/6qMSQxgX4JN2
#10 Oct 3rd, 2018, 23:16
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All of these are modern temples and therefore of limited significance, if you have to visit one spot associated with Jainism on this trip, pawapuri would be my pick.
#11 Oct 4th, 2018, 12:13
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I thought of adding a few points to this interesting query - maybe it helps someone else seeking information on this topic.

Jains spend a significant amount of time in temples - unlike hindu temples where there are planned aartis and there is a time for the aarti, there is no restriction on conducting an aarti (sung prayer) in a Jain temple. There is no planned 'sleep time' - such as the one seen in krishna temples. Typically, unless dictated by the local jain society, temples would stay open from morning to sunset. Some are open after sunset. I've even been to one that is open at all times! There is no priest, there is a caretaker, sometimes in smaller temples the caretaker is reduced to a chowkidaar who himself may not be a Jain. There is essentially no intermediary between the idol and you, and the idol itself is an object of concentrating your thoughts. Again, the idol is not god and is not worshiped in the same sense. So there is no set time to pray, there is no set form of prayer - some chant mantras (typically namokar, but there are others too), some sing (!), some just close eyes and meditate.

Hence, in the more popular jain temples, one finds a situation bordering on chaos - a family would like to conduct the circumambulation; another, would like to sit on the floor and do the chants while a third would like to do an aarti, all at the same time. Hence, providing space is important. Historicity of a temple is of limited consequence - you may have a small temple at home and it is as good as a larger one outside. Only five temples where the 24 tirthankaras of this age are said to have attained salvation - Palitana, Girnar, Sammed Shikar, Pavapuri and Champapuri are considered to be of greater importance. Note that of all these, other than Pavapuri, historicity of the rest is doubted by non jain, typically western scholars. Of the tirthankaras, Historicity of Parsva and Mahavira is proven - the others not so much.

What is proven is that the rules organized by Mahavira for the followers - monks and layfolk, have survived over two and a half thousand years - and depiction of tirthankaras (as idol, painting, etc) is practically unchanged over this time frame as well.
#12 Oct 6th, 2018, 13:06
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Agree with Rshaldar and Vaibhav. My search took me to Sikandar Chak in the same area, but there was no Jain temple there. Kundagrama.
यो वै स धर्मः सत्यं वै तत् तस्मात्सत्यं वदन्तमाहुर् धर्मं वदतीति धर्मं वा वदन्तँ सत्यं वदतीत्य् एतद्ध्येवैतदुभयं भवति ll
Truly that Dharma is the Truth (Satya); Therefore, when a man speaks the Truth, they say, "He speaks the Dharma"; and if he speaks Dharma, they say, "He speaks the Truth!" For both are one. - Brihadaranyak Upanishad
#13 Oct 7th, 2018, 01:19
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#13
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post
You might be interested to know that the year of birth has lesser significance in Jain hagiography than the year of his death - as that is the year of his nirvaan - hence the place of his death - Pavapuri is of a greater significance. That place is relatively better known through various sources, especially Buddhist. Most of early Jain history is known through Buddhist sources, as Jains did not maintain written history, while buddhists did.

Hopefully this helps.
Not trying to be pedantic or a show off, just wondering if Jains work for their moksha and not for Nirvana. Nirvana is more of a Buddhist quest. As you all may very well know Jainism precedes Buddhism. Very informative posts from you all.
#14 Oct 7th, 2018, 09:24
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I think Kundagrama was some four yojanas in West from Vaishali. There is some mention of that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by surya2015 View Post Not trying to be pedantic or a show off, just wondering if Jains work for their moksha and not for Nirvana. Nirvana is more of a Buddhist quest. As you all may very well know Jainism precedes Buddhism. Very informative posts from you all.
'Moksha', 'Nirvana' are the common words for liberation (Mukti) in all four Indic religions.
#15 Oct 8th, 2018, 11:18
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What i wrote in the two posts above was not from the standpoint of a student of religion or as a zealously religious person, but from the standpoint of an observer trying to make sense of things that an average tourist might see and feel puzzled.

The issues with gathering information about Jainism are perhaps roughly threefold -

1. Jainism is a hard religion to follow, due to its emphasis on renunciation. Since the Tirthankaras seek nothing from this world, therefore they cannot give anything of this world. By extension, there is no concept of a varadan (boon) or a shrap (bane) - so limited incentive to visit a temple. If you visit a medieval or ancient temple, you'd usually find a small hindu statue - typically an avatar of shiva (in Rajasthan these are bhomiyaji or bheruji) or ganesh on the side. The function of this deity is to perform these 'worldly' transactions. Rules for layfolk are also not very easy - a non-negotiable following of non-violence for example and by extension vegetarianism.

2. Thus, Jainism was never the state religion of a pan-Indian empire and thus there are no court histories that talk at length about it (unlike Hinduism or Islam). There is therefore limited information on what the rituals were, back then, one relies on epigraphs or on sources in other religions (buddhism, notably). There were several kings who turned Jain - Chandragupta Maurya was probably the best known - but that was in ancient times.

3. Jains do not accept the authority of the vedas. Parsva was called the leader of the nirgranthas / nigantha (translation : those who do not have granthas). By extension the community has also resented the co-option of their coreligionists with the broader Hindu fold. There is no enmity per se, but ultimately it is an independent religion and they just feel they should be treated that way.

These aspects obviously led to a smaller follower-ship as the entire tradition is oral and there is no proselytization. Buddhism, on the other hand, is a much more moderate religion to follow.

Mokkha is a pali language word but so is nibban - at any rate - that is an ideal. What actually happens to the 'person' after physical death, neither modern science nor ancient religion has a clue. It's just belief / hypothesis.
Last edited by vaibhav_arora; Oct 8th, 2018 at 16:10..

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