Glossary

Mahā-vrata
Type of termDefinition
TermMahā-vrata
Alternative TermsMahavrata, Five Great Vows, Five Greater Vows, Five Major Vows, Mahavratas, ascetic vows, mendicant vows
Replaced with-
Short Description-
Long Description

The five vows taken by ascetics. Monks and nuns must follow these ‘absolute’ vows of:

  • non-violence – ahiṃsā
  • truth – satya
  • taking only what is given – asteya
  • celibacy – brahmacarya
  • non-attachment or non-possession – aparigraha.

The 24th Jina Mahāvīra added a fifth vow to his predecessor Pārśva's four, making the vow of celibacy not just implicit but a separate vow.

See also
Term Language-
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