MahaviraSpiritual leader of Jainism
Born: 599 B.C.
Mahavira lived the life of a wealthy Indian nobleman until the age of thirty. He then renounced his wealth, property, and family and took up the life of an ascetic. He preached a doctrine of self-denial and austerity, and advocated extreme nonviolence toward all living beings, two of the major tenets of the Jain religion. Following these precepts, he maintained, would lead to salvation. Mahavira is considered the last of Jainism's 24 saints.Died: 527 B.C.