Lord Mahävir is the last and 24th Tirthankar of this era of Jain religion. He was a prince whose childhood name was Vardhamän. As the son of a king Siddhärtha, he had many worldly pleasures, comforts, and services at his command. However, at the age of thirty he left his family and the royal household, gave up his worldly possessions, and became a monk in search of a solution to eliminate pain, sorrow, and suffering from his life and from the life of all beings.He spent the next twelve and one-half years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires, feelings, and attachments and to eradicate all karma that subdue the original qualities of the soul (four Ghäti Karma). He carefully avoided harming other living beings including animals, birds, insects, and plants. He also went without food for long periods of time. He remained calm and peaceful when facing unbearable hardships. During this period, his spiritual powers developed fully and he realized perfect perception, perfect knowledge, unlimited energy, and a blissful state. This realization is known as the perfect enlightenment or Keval-Jnän.Lord Mahävir spent the next thirty years traveling barefoot throughout India preaching the eternal truth he had realized. The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of one’s self. This state is also known as liberation, Nirvana, absolute freedom, or Moksha.At the age of 72, Lord Mahävir attained Nirvana (the final death) and his purified soul left his body and achieved complete liberation in 527 BC. He became a Siddha, a pure consciousness, a liberated soul, living forever in a state of complete bliss. On the evening of his Nirvana, in honor of his spiritual attainments, people celebrate the Festival of Lights known as Deepävali. This is the last day of the Jain calendar year.