The 27 reincarnations of Lord Mahavir

The 27 reincarnations of Lord Mahavir

Lord Mahavir was the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara of the Jain religion.

Born on the thirteenth day of rising moon of Chaitra month, in 599 B.C. in the present state of Bihar, India near the modern city of Patna, Lord Mahavira’s mother’s name was Queen Trishla and his father’s name was King Siddhartha. Both his parents were followers of Lord Parshwanath, the 23rd Tirthankara, who lived during 877-777 BCE.

It is said that a soul attains liberation after countable births after it attains samyak darshana (Right View). Jainism declares the hallmark of a person who has the right vision are, spiritual calmness (Prasanna), desire for liberation from the endless birth-life-death cycles (Samvega),without any attachment or aversion to anything (Nirveda), kindness (Anukampa), and belief in these fundamental principles (Astikya).

After attaining Right View, the soul attains liberation after few births either by becoming a Tirthankar or by becoming ordinary Arihant.

If we glance in Lord Mahavir’s previous births then we would know that the soul of Lord Mahavir attained Right View in his birth as Nayasar. Before being born as Nayasar, the soul had transmigrated through infinite births but after attaining Right View in Nayasar’s birth the soul that became Lord Mahavir attained Liberation after 26 more births. So there were total 27 births along with Nayasar’s birth.

Below is the list describing Lord Mahavir’s 27 births:

  1. Nayasara: A village headman who secured samyaktvaor partial enlightenment in this birth on account of preaching of true dharma by Jain monks
  2. Birth in the 1st Celestial World (Heaven) called Saudharma
  3. Prince Marichi: Grandson of Rsabha, the first Tirthankara and Son of King Bharata
  4. Birth in the 5th Celestial World called Brahmloka
  5. Kaushika: A Brahmin
  6. Pushyamitra: A Brahmin
  7. Birth in the 1st Celestial World called Saudharma
  8. Agnidyota: A Brahmin
  9. Birth in the 2nd Celestial World called Ishaan
  10. Agnibhuti: A Brahmin
  11. Birth in the 3rd Celestial World called Sanatkumar
  12. Bharadwaja: A Brahmin
  13. Birth in the 4th Celestial World called Mahendra
  14. Sthavira: A Brahmin
  15. Birth in the 5th Celestial World called Brahmloka
  16. Prince Vishvabhuti
  17. Birth in the 7th Celestial World called Mahashukra
  18. Triprishtha Vasudeva – First Vasudeva of this half-time-cycle
  19. Birth in the 7th Hell called Mahatamaha Prabha (pitch dark hued)
  20. A lion
  21. Birth in the 4th Hell called Panka Prabha (Mud Hued)
  22. A human being (Name unknown)
  23. Priyamitra: A Chakvartin (The universal ruler of seven continents)
  24. Birth in the 7th Celestial World called Mahashukra
  25. Prince Nandana: Accepted the vow of self control and gained Tirthankara nama karma
  26. Birth in the 10th Celestial World called Pranat
  27. Birth as Tirthankar Lord Mahavir, the final birth

Between births 5th as Kaushika Brahmin and 6th as Pushyamitra Brahmin, the soul transmigrated through countless births as insects, animals, plants, birds etc. Those births are not counted in Lord Mahavir’s 27 births.

Again after the 21st birth as a hellish being in the fourth hell the soul had taken countless births as insects, animals, plants, birds etc and those births are not counted.

~ Rahul Zota