Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

1000-YO Mahavir Statue Found in Tamil Nadu


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Vardhaman Mahavir, Jainism

Mains level: Read the attached story



  • A 1,000-year-old stone statue of Thirthangara Mahavir has been found in Tamil Nadu at at Manavarayanendal near Thiruchuli in Virudhunagar district.

Features of the Statue

  • There is a triple umbrella above the head of the statue, which has creepers carved on it.
  • It is flanked by sculptures of yakshas.
  • Based on the sculpture technique, it is assumed that the statue might belong to the 11th century AD.

About Vardhaman Mahavir

Birth 540 B.C.
Birthplace Kundagrama village near Vaishali
Family Background Belonged to the Jnatrika clan; father Siddharta was the head of the Jnathrika Kshatriya clan, and mother Trishala was a sister of Chetaka, the king of Vaishali.
Renunciation Renounced home at the age of 30 to become an ascetic.
Spiritual Practice Practiced austerity for 12 years.
Attainment of Kaivalya Attained the highest spiritual knowledge called Kaivalya (conquered misery and happiness) at the age of 42.
First Sermon Delivered his first sermon at Pava.
Symbol Associated with the symbol of a lion.
Missions Traveled to various regions including Koshala, Magadha, Mithila, Champa, etc.
Passing Away Passed away at the age of 72 in 468 B.C. at Pavapuri in Bihar.
Legacy Founded Jainism as it is known today; contributed significant teachings and principles to the religion.

Everything you need to know about Jainism

Origin Jainism gained prominence in the 6th century B.C. when Lord Mahavira propagated the religion.
Founder Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, is the central figure
  • Jainism recognizes 24 Tirthankaras or great teachers
  • Rishabhanatha being the first and Mahavira the last.
Meaning of “Jain” “Jain” is derived from “jina” or “jaina,” signifying the “Conqueror” or one who has conquered the inner enemies like attachment, aversion, and delusion.
Main Principles Jainism emphasizes the Three Jewels or Triratna:

  1. Right Faith (Samyakdarshana),
  2. Right Knowledge (Samyakjnana), and
  3. Right Conduct (Samyakcharita).
Five Doctrines Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Aparigraha (non-attachment), and Brahmacharya (chastity) are the fundamental principles of Jainism.
Concept of God
  • Jainism does not adhere to the concept of a creator God
  • Believes in the existence of liberated souls (Siddhas) who have attained spiritual perfection.
Major Doctrines
  1. Anekantavada: Jain doctrine of non-absolutism, recognizing that truth can have multiple perspectives or facets.
  2. Syadvada: Jain doctrine stating that all judgments are conditional and true only from certain perspectives, expressed by the term “syat” (may be).
Sects/Schools Jainism is divided into two major sects:

  1. Digambara (sky-clad) and
  2. Svetambara (white-clad)
  • Jainism spread gradually into regions where Brahmanical influence was weak,
  • Received royal patronage from rulers like Chandragupta Maurya
Literature Jain literature comprises:

  1. Agama (canonical) texts, which include the direct teachings of Mahavira, and
  2. Non-agama (commentaries and elaborations) works, such as the Acaranga Sutra.
  • Temples, caves (layana/gumphas), statues, and ornamental pillars (manastambha), exhibiting intricate designs and religious motifs.
  • Notable Jain architecture in India includes the Dilwara Temples in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, and the Girnar and Palitana Temples in Gujarat.
  • These structures exemplify intricate craftsmanship and religious symbolism.
Jain Councils Two significant Jain councils were held for compiling and preserving Jain scriptures and teachings:

  1. First Jain Council at Pataliputra (3rd century B.C.) and
  2. Second Jain Council at Vallabhi (512 A.D.)
Difference from Buddhism
  • Acknowledgment of a permanent self (atman),
  • Acceptance of the varna system,
  • Belief in the concept of a soul (jiva), and
  • Advocacy of extreme asceticism ex. Santhara/Sallekhana
Thoughts on Rebirth
Acaranga Sutra: Jainism teaches the doctrine of rebirth (samsara) and various realms of existence (lokas) based on karma, with souls cyclically transmigrating through different life forms.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch