The 24th Tirthankara

Lord Mahavira was not the founder of the Jaina religion. Jainism has a long and illustrious line of teachers who are called Tirthankaras. Tirthankara means "one who finds a place to cross the ocean of suffering." Another translation is "ford-finder."

The very first Tirthankara was Rishabha who lived at the dawn of human civilisation. Lord Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara and the last one in this particular cycle of time.