Mahavira was Jaininsms" most important teacher and was born in 454 B.; he was the 24th and last Tirthankar (Fordmakers). Tirthankaras are enlightened teachers and aree responsible for bringing Jain religion to humans. His father was King Siddhartha and his mother was Queen Trishala. During the King and Queens rule over Kundapura, the villagers noticed that business and farming started to improve; the King attributed it to the Queens pregnancy. Legend has it that the prince was first conceived in the womb of the Brahmin Devananda, who had fourteen prophetic dreams, after three lunar cycles the prince was divinely transported into the womb of Queen Trishala who in turn had the same fourteen prophetic dreams. The dreams were interpreted, as the child would become either an emperor or a great Tirthankara (prophet). .
When the Queen gave birth to a son, they named him Vardhaman, which means ever growing or advancing. As Prince Vardhaman grew, he exhibited great bravery, once while he and his friends were playing the came upon a snake, the other children ran to hide, but the Prince simply picked up the snake and brought it to safer place. One time they were playing hide-and-go-seek. The rule was that when someone was captured they would have to give the winner a piggyback ride. On this particular day, a strange boy asked if he could join in on the fun. When he was caught, the Prince was the winner. During the piggyback ride the strange boy began to grow taller, the children that were playing the game became scared and ran to hide. Prince Vardhaman was unaware of the growing boy, once he noticed what was happening he hit the boy on the head with his fist. The boy who grew into a monster could not take the pain and gave up. The monster asks the Prince for forgiveness and he granted it. The monster named Prince Vardhaman "Mahavira", which means strong one. .
Prince Mahavira became extremely penitent and as the age of 30, he resolved to surrender all worldly possessions.