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Vardhamana gave up luxury and comfort in search of truth. He attained the spiritual knowledge after 12 years. Mahavira transformed to Jina, which means ‘Conqueror of the Self’. His philosophy is known as Jainism and his followers are called Jains. Non-violence is the first great teaching of Mahavira, who believed that a person’s soul would be reborn again due to his or her actions. Mahavira preached not to harm any living creatures, not even insects and plants.

Mahavira believed that the highest goal of a person’s life was to gain freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth (moksha). Digambaras follow the original teachings of Mahavira. Svetambaras (white clad) do not believe in hard penance. Mahavira preached in Prakrit. Religious literature of Jains is found in Purvas and Angas.

Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana in 483 BCE. Gautama Buddha preached his ‘first sermon’ at Deer Park in Sarnath. Buddhist Philosophy is also called the Middle Path and aims to attain Nirvana by following the Eightfold Path. Buddha preached in Pali language. An order of monks was called the sangha. Buddhism was divided into Hinayana and Mahayana. Religious Buddhist literature is contained in Tripitakas and Jatakas. Confucius was born in 551 BC in China.

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