What were the Main Teachings of Mahavira?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The main teachings of Mahavira revolve around the concepts of proper conduct, right belief and the right knowledge. Mahavira was the 24th supreme preacher or Tirthankara of Jainism. Also known as Vardhamana, he was born into a Kshatriya family, but he renounced the life of worldly pleasures and became a monk at the age of 30. He was born in the early 6th century BC in a royal Kshatriya Jain family.

Main Teachings of Mahavira

According to Mahavira, attaining spiritual liberation requires upholding the vows of Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truth), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (chastity), and Aparigraha (non-attachment). He taught the Syadvada and Nayavada tenets of Anekantavada (many-sided reality).

Mahavira’s primary teachings were on appropriate behavior, belief, and knowledge. Let’s discuss the main teachings of Mahavira in depth:

  • Ahimsa – It means non-violence, which states that no living being should be harmed and everyone must be respected.
  • Brahmacharya – means chastity and not indulging in any sensual pleasures.
  • Aparigraha – Aparigraha means non-possession or non-attachment, which is a state of complete detachment from things, places and people.
  • Asteya – means not stealing anything that is not given back.
  • Satya – means the path of truthfulness.


What were the Main Teachings of Mahavira?

Mahavira’s teachings revolved around Ahimsa, Satya, Brahmacharya, Asteya and Aparigraha. As the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, Mahavira is believed to have attained perfect enlightenment. He also emphasized the three jewels or Triratna of life, right conduct, right belief, and the right knowledge.

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