The five Mahavratas
are the five great vows Jain monks
observe. They are:
- Non-violence (Ahimsa)
- Truth (Satya)
- Non-stealing (Asteya)
- Chastity (Brahmacharya)
- Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha)
The vows for the Jain monks, as prescribed by the ancient texts like Acharanga, are quite strict, and have come down to our time from the teachings of Lord Mahavira.
Jain monks are celibate, possess no property and are not attached to any specific place. They are thus required to wander, except for the four months during the rainy season (called chaturmasa).
For lay Jains, who obviously marry and possess property, there is a corresponding set of five vows termed Anuvratas.