The ancient temple belongs to the times of Gautam Swami and dedicated to Lord Mahavir and Gautam Swami Bhagawan Mahavir and is dedicated to Jain Muni Gandhar Gautama Swami, who is believed to be Bhagawan Mahavira’s first Gandhara. It is believed that the name “Guniyaji” is derived from “Gunsheel Chaitya” which means a kind of virtuous home, according to an ancient inscription in Rajgir. There is a mention that Bhagawan Mahavir visited this place many times to preach his doctrines of non-violence and many times his Samvasarans were constructed here. On the day when Lord Mahaveer attained Nirvana, Gautama Swami attained Kevala Jnana at this place. The Mulnayak of the temple is the 30 cms high Lord Mahaveer and the white-colored idol of Gandhar Gautama Swami in the Padmasana posture, and important Pagaliya of both Bhagwan Mahaveer and Gautam Swami.


Jainism is an ancient religion with three main pillars: ahiṃsā (non-violence), anekāntavāda (non-absolutism), and aparigraha (non-attachment).

Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (sexual continence), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness). These principles form the foundations of Jain culture, with devotees adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, dedication to Parasparopagraho jīvānām (the function of souls is to help one another) and the prominence of the Ṇamōkāra mantra.

Jainism is eternal dharma and the Tirthankaras are considered to be the guides sent to every time cycle of the cosmology to guide the believers. Jainism traces its spiritual ideas and history through a succession of twenty-four Tirthankaras, with the first one being Rishabhadeva, who is believed to have lived millions of years ago; the twenty-third Tirthankara Parshvanatha, lived around the ninth century BCE; and the twenty-fourth Tirthankara, Mahavira around 600 BCE.


Bhagawan Mahavira was originally born as Vardhamana. He was the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala, who belonged to the Kshatriya (warrior) caste and followed the teachings of Parshva.

After the death of both his parents, he left the royal palace to live the life of an ascetic and spent it in sadhana (renouncing all worldly pleasures and comforts). For twelve and a half years he subjected himself to extremely long and arduous periods of fasting and meditation. Eventually, Vardhamana attained Kevala Jnana (enlightenment) and came to be known as Mahavira (maha means great and vira means hero).

From that day forward Mahavira taught the path he had discovered to other seekers until his physical death. Through extensive fasting and meditation, he is believed to have attained moksha, the final liberation from all rebirth.
Mahavira’s contribution to Jainism was the addition of the principle of chastity to the four Jain principles already given by Parshva (no violence, no lying, no stealing, no possessions). He established a large and loyal monastic/ascetic/mendicant community inspired by his teaching (a community of 14,000 monks and 36,000 nuns before he attained Nirvana). Over the next centuries, the Jain community continued to grow and spread.

Currently, Jainism has between four and five million followers, who reside mostly in India. Some of the largest Jain communities abroad are in Canada, Europe, and the United States, with Japan hosting a fast-growing community of converts. Paryushana and Das Lakshana, Ashtanika, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, Akshaya Tritiya, and Diwali are the main festivals celebrated by Jains.


Indrabhuti Gautama or Gautam Swami was the Gandhara (chief disciple) of Mahavira, the 24th and last Jain Tirthankara. He was the senior-most of 11 gandharas and both his brothers Agnibhuti and Vayubhuti also became Gandhara of Mahavira. He is also referred to as Gautam Gandhara or Gautama Swami.
He was born in the village of Gobargaon in the kingdom of Magadha, to a Brahmin couple, Vasubhuti and Prithvi. He had two younger brothers Agnibhuti and Vayubhuti. All three were well versed in the Vedas and were renowned scholars with each having close to 500 disciples.

One day the learned Brahmin Indrabhuti, also known as Gautam was performing his biggest yagna with all his brothers & 500 disciples as per Vedic scriptures. There were over four thousand Brahmins present on the occasion, and there were eleven popular scholars among them. Indrabhuti stood out as a bright star amongst them.

Suddenly, he noticed many Dev Viman’s coming down towards his sacrificial site. He thought that this would make his offering ceremony the most popular in history. He told the people, “Look at the sky, even the Dev & Devis are coming to bless us.” Even as the whole town kept eagerly looking at the sky, the Dev Viman did not stop at their site, instead, they went further down to Lord Mahaveera’s samasaran at Pawapuri. Indrabhuti was outraged by this incident and left with his brothers and all their disciples to challenge Lord Mahavir.

Mahavir welcomed Indrabhuti by calling him by his name, “Come Gautam come”, even though they had never met before. Though Indrabhuti was surprised, he said to himself, “Who does not know me? I am not surprised he knew my name. I wonder if he knows what I am thinking.” Indrabhuti, even though a great scholar, doubted the existence of Atma(soul) The next moment Mahavir gave the answer to his question and said, “Indrabhuti, Atma (soul–consciousness) is there and you should not question it.” Indrabhuti was taken aback by this response and began to think very highly of Mahävir.

Following this, they had a philosophical discussion, and Indrabhuti became Mahävir’s first and chief disciple. All his brothers and their disciples too changed their beliefs and joined the Jain Deeksha. From that day on Indrabhuti came to be known as Gautamswämi because he came from the Gautam family.

Gautama Swami is also referred to as Anant Labdh Ke Dhani and connected with prosperity as he fed fifteen hundred monks using his magical powers. Once Gautama Swami went to Ashtapada for darshan, which he had climbed taking the support of the sunrays which was one of his Labdhi. As he was returning with the kheer (a sweet made from rice and milk) in a patra (bowl) he saw fifteen hundred hermits. Gautama Swami felt that they were hungry and requested all of the hermits to sit down, and proceeded to serve everyone the kheer with the help of Aksheenmahanasi (non-diminishing) Labdhi (special power). While serving the kheer, he kept his thumb in the kheer. To everyone’s surprise, they were all well served from the small patra (bowl). The hermits were all so impressed, that all fifteen hundred decided to take diksha (renunciation) from Lord Mahavir.

On the day when Bhagawan Mahavir was to attain nirvana (liberation), Mahavira sent Gautama Swami out to preach a man named Devsharma. On his way back he was resting at Guniyaji, Gautama Swami learned that Lord Mahävir had attained nirvana and reached moksha (salvation). Gautama Swami went into a state of shock and sorrow, lamenting over the loss of his beloved teacher. But soon he contemplated that he was wrong and gave up attachment for Mahavir. During this deep thinking, he burned his Ghati Karmas and attained Kevaljnan at the age of eighty. For the next twelve years, Gautama Swami taught and spread Jain principles. He attained Moksha, at the age of ninety-two in 515 B. C. It is believed that Gautama Swami gained Kevala Jnana (omniscience) immediately after the moksha(liberation) of Mahavira at Guniyaji.