Mahavir Jayanthi is an auspicious occasion celebrated by the Jain community in India and around the world. It is a day that marks the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara in Jainism. Mahavir Jayanthi falls on the thirteenth day of the Chaitra month in the Hindu calendar, which usually falls in March or April. The day is celebrated with great enthusiasm, devotion, and reverence, and holds significant importance in the Jain community.
History and Significance
Lord Mahavir was born in 599 BCE in Vaishali, Bihar, India, to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. He was born into a royal family, but at the age of thirty, he renounced all his worldly possessions and embarked on a spiritual journey to find enlightenment. After twelve years of rigorous meditation and self-mortification, he attained Kevala Jnana, the state of absolute knowledge and liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
Lord Mahavir spent the rest of his life preaching the principles of Jainism, which advocate non-violence, truth, non-attachment, and compassion. He believed in the equality of all living beings and preached the concept of ahimsa or non-violence towards all living beings, which is the fundamental principle of Jainism. His teachings and philosophy have had a profound impact on the Jain community and have influenced millions of people around the world.
Mahavir Jayanthi is celebrated by the Jain community with great enthusiasm and devotion. The day begins with the recitation of prayers and hymns in praise of Lord Mahavir. Devotees visit Jain temples, perform puja, and offer flowers, sweets, and fruits to the deity. Many people observe a day-long fast, and some even go on a strict vegetarian diet during the day.
The highlight of the day is the grand procession known as the Rath Yatra, in which a beautifully decorated chariot carrying the idol of Lord Mahavir is taken out in a procession. Devotees sing devotional songs, dance, and celebrate the occasion with great fervor. In some cities, cultural programs, lectures, and exhibitions are also organized to mark the occasion.
Mahavir Jayanthi is an important occasion that celebrates the birth of Lord Mahavir and his teachings of non-violence, truth, and compassion. The day is a reminder of the significance of leading a virtuous and ethical life and following the principles of Jainism. The celebrations bring together people from all walks of life, and the message of love and harmony resonates through the air. As we celebrate this auspicious occasion, let us all pledge to uphold the principles of non-violence, truth, and compassion and live a life of virtue and righteousness.