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Mahavir Jayanti

Date: 02nd April

The vivacious and sacred land of India celebrates all its festivities with full enthusiasm. Mahavir Jayanti is one such Indian festival that celebrates the birth anniversary of Vardhman Mahavira every year by people of Jain community. As per Gregorian calendar, the popular Jain festival is celebrated in the month of April. Mahavir Jayanti is the most prominent and important festivals of Jains, which is celebrated by this community in a religious and simple manner.

History of Mahavir Jayanti

Lord Mahavira took birth in 5th century B.C and he was the son of Queen Trisala and King Siddharta. The great person was born in a palace of Vaishali. It is said that during the pregnancy, Queen Trisala saw 16 dreams, which indicated that the child would either be a ‘Teerthankara’ or a great king. Indeed, the child became a great Teerthankara and left all the luxuries of the world at the age of 30.

Lord Mahavira gave up all the comforts of life and performed austere penance for twelve long years. The great saint even gave up wearing clothes and focused mainly on the real meaning of life. He preached the importance of non-violence and truth and his teachings made him popular amongst people. Later on, the great saint formulated all his teachings and originated a new religion named ‘Jainism’.

Significance of Mahavir Jayanti

Lord Mahavira is considered as one of the greatest and finest saints. He spread the message of peace, non-violence and salvation, and taught us the real meaning of life. For all the householders, the great saint developed a fivefold path that they should follow and these are, ‘Aparigraha’, ‘Satya’, ‘Asteya, ‘Brahmacharya’ and, ‘Ahimsa’. Below mentioned are some of the popular teachings of Lord Mahavir.

  • Lord Mahavir put emphasis on the importance of complete non-violence and asceticism as the vital means of salvation and spiritual growth.
  • He explicated that man is wholly responsible for all his dissatisfaction and sadness. If they resolve their own issues then they will surely attain peace and happiness.
  • One of his main teachings states that there is no existence of God in this world. He said that by following a simple and right path, one could easily attain happiness.

Rituals and Celebrations

Jain communities celebrate the famous festival of Jains, Mahavir Jayanti all over the country with full dedication. Although Jains shun grandiosity and believe in simplicity, but there are some important rituals that they rejoice with zeal and zest. On this day, people go to Teerthankara temples and offer prayers to the Lord. Temples are decorated in a magnificent manner. Devotees honor the statuette of Lord by fruits, rice, flowers and perform abhishekam.

Holy meetings are organized wherein the teachings and core values of Mahavira is preached. The followers also keep fast on this day and break it by having any sweet dish. At many places, devotees organize chariot processions; they sing holy hymns and chant prayers. Lip smacking dishes like kheer is prepared in many houses and people offer alms to the deprived ones.