The Period in which Mahavira lived was an age of acute intellectual upheaval in the cultural history of India; and among his contemporaries there were such religious teachers as Kesa-kambalin, Makkhali Gosala, Pakuddha Kaccayana, Purana Kassapa, Samjaya Belatthi-putta and Tathagata Buddha. Mahavira inherited a good deal from earlier Tirthakaras. He left behind not only a systematic religion and philosophy but also a well-knit social order of ascetics and lay followers who earnestly followed and practiced what he and his immediate disciples preached.
Some 2500 years ago, Vaisali was a prosperous capital. A suburb of it was called Kundalapura or Ksatriyakunda; and here in the palace of king siddhartha, of his queen Trisala or Priyakarini, Mahavira was born: to emphasise his various outstanding traits. He was also known as Jnata-putra, Vaisaliya, Vardhamana, Sanmati, etc. His mother belonged to the family of Cetaka, the mighty Licchavi ruler of Videha at whose call Licchavis and Mallas co-operated both for defense and offence. Tradition is not unanimous about his marriage: according to the one, he was a celibate throughout; while according to another, he married Yasoda and had a daughter called Priyadarsana. As a prince having excellent connections with ruling dynasties of his times, it was expected of him to rule with authority and enjoy the pleasures of a prosperous career after his father.
In : ancient history
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