Mahavira's conception

There are five very special and auspicious events in Mahavira's life which are celebrated by devout followers of the Jaina path. The very first of these is Mahavira's conception, or garbha.

According to our Indian philosophy, kings are traditionally of the Kshatriya or warrior caste, while the role of the Brahmins is to act as priests. When it comes to the Avatars and spiritual Masters of a very high order, Hindus, Jainas and Buddhists believe that they should also come from the Kshatriya class, since these great figures are actually kings in the spiritual realm. Sri Ramachandra, Sri Krishna and Lord Buddha were all Kshatriyas.

In the case of Lord Mahavira, it is believed that his soul originally descended into a Brahmin family. Indra, the king of the cosmic gods, could not brook this untoward circumstance, and so he occultly transferred the embryo to a devout Kshatriya woman by the name of Trishala. She was the wife of a wealthy zamindar, or chieftain, whose name was Siddhartha. He was the ruler of the Naya tribe.

Siddhartha and Trishala were already of the Jaina faith. They were devoted to the 23rd Tirthankara, Parsva, who had lived 250 years earlier.