Mahavira realised that living a luxurious life will not give happiness, so he renounced and led a simple life. In Jainism, enlightenment means Kaivalya gyan meaning pure knowledge, which can be seen without the help of the senses or the intellect. It is pure knowledge that comes from atman. Mahavira practised for 12 years, ate and slept very little, and spent most of his time in meditation. Mahavira asked people to practise ahimsa. Jainism has three major principles: ahimsa, nonviolence; aparigraha, nonpossession and anekantavada, multiple perspectives.


Respect all forms of life. Nonviolence can be practised through our mind, speech and physical actions. If my words are not hurting anyone, my speech is nonviolent; if my thoughts are positive, my thinking is nonviolent and if my physical actions are not hurting anyone, I’m communicating through nonviolent actions. To listen to others and respect others is a quality of understanding. There are two ways of nonviolence — active and passive. Sometimes, we practise passive nonviolence and then we don’t speak up even when somebody hurts us, because we think that we are being dominated. Active nonviolence is when we don’t react in a violent manner but in a nonviolent way, for instance, the Civil Disobedience Movement, launched by M K Gandhi in the 1930s. React, but communicate without aggression. Through our body, speech and mind, we can practise an active way of nonviolence. Peace is possible only through nonviolence.
People fight for possession. Possession