Justice T.U.Mehta


Muttanam-moyaganam means ‘One who becomes free and makes others free' - such is the description of the souls like the great Mahavira. After thirty long years of wanderings for the spread of the gospel of non-violence and peace, the master spent his last ‘Caturmasa' (four months of say for rainy season) at Pavapuri. It is in this way that his initial second discourse was fruitful and he started his march of victory. Three months of his four monthly stay were over and the end of the dark half of the month of kartika was coming near. The master saw that it was the time for his soul to leave the last of its earthly connections. At that time (according to kalpasutra) eighteen confederate kings of Kasa and Kosala, nine Licchavis, and nine Mallas and many others had gathered for his Darsana. Before his (Nirvana) the master gave his last discourse showing how sinful life ends in a series of painful events, and how the life devoted to virtues like non-violence and truth ends in peace, tranquility and happiness. Ganadhara Sudharma who survived the master has recorded this discourse in the scripture called ‘Uttaradhyayana-sutra'.

The master was conscious of the attachment which Indra-bhuti Gautam, his principle disciple, had for him. He wanted Gautam to shed away this attachment, an obstacle to his attainment of Kaivalya. He therefore, sent Gautam away on a mission so that he may not witness his end.

After finishing his last discourse the master went into final meditation called ‘Sukla Dhyana' and gave up his mortal frame after midnight of the last day of the dark half of the month of kartika. The assemblage of kings and others, gathered there declared: "Since the light of intelligence is gone, let there be an illumination of the material matter." Thence for wards it became the day of illumination- the day called Dipavali- to commemorate the illumination of knowledge made in the psyche of contemporary Indian society. The grateful nation still commemorates this day as the day of illumination, the Dipavali day when every hut and palace in every corner of India is illuminated with lights. It is this light of non-violence and truth which inspired, the father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi who carried the torch of illumination ever to the murky field of politics.