This holiday is of great cultural importance, which is why public figures often greet celebrants through television and radio broadcasts. Mahavir Jayanti is not fixed on the Gregorian calendar, so its date varies. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is usually celebrated in March or April. During these holidays, people celebrate the teachings of Mahavira. It is a day of humility and happiness for all. Mahavir Jayanti, also known as Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, is the most important religious festivals for Jains all over the world. Celebrate the birth of Mahavir, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara. And after 2 days of this festival, on April 6, 2020, people celebrate Lord Hanuman’s birth as Hanuman Jayanti. According to the Jain texts, Mahavir Ji was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra in 599 BC. C. (Chaitra Sud 13). When the austerity of the world was never felt, when the world strikes the differences between the rich and the poor, at that beautiful moment there was a person who was driven to establish the mission of having a generation full of peace and prosperity. It is none other than Mahavir Jain, the founder of Jainism in India and the last Tirthankar. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated as the auspicious anniversary of the birth of Mahavir Jain. Being a propitious occasion for the Jain community, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with much enthusiasm in all Jain temples, especially in Girnar and Palitana in Gujarat; Sri Mahavirji in Rajasthan; Calcutta and Pawapuri Parasnath Temple in Bihar. Many Jains are dedicated to charity activities, considering that they will obtain liberation. Some give lectures in the temple to distribute the virtues of the Jain doctrine. Traditional dishes are prepared at Mahavir Jayanti and served to the poor. In general, being honest and straightforward are the best traits of Mahavir Jayanti.
The life and teachings of Lord Mahavira
Lord Mahavira was born to a noble family in Bihar, India, during the 4th century BC. C. During his life, Lord Mahavira was known as Vardhamana. In many ways, Vardhamana is similar to the Siddartha Gautama of Buddhism.
Like Siddartha, Vardhamana left his comfortable home to find the truth about the world after being protected from the outside world with harsh reality. After mixing with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, Vardhamana learned a great deal about the world and the sources of suffering. Finally, Varhamana decided to focus his efforts on fasting and meditation.
Through this process, Varhamana found enlightenment. He discovered that humans must remove greed and its connection to worldly possessions to end their limitless search for desires. With his knowledge, Varhamana travelled in India and other areas of Asia to spread Jainism. During this time, the Varhamana kingdom experienced a period of extreme prosperity.
Many people converted to Jainism in hopes of experiencing a similar state of happiness. After achieving moksha, or purity of the soul, Varhamana died. In 425 a. C., Varhamana became known as Lord Mahavira, the last Tirthankara and omniscient dharma teacher. Many people celebrate this Jayanti to reflect on their everyday life actions and the teachings of Lord Mahavira.
After attaining sheer enlightenment, Lord Mahavira preached five principles that would lead to a prosperous life and the beauty of inner peace. The first of these principles is ahimsa. The ahimsa principle states that all Jains must abstain from violence in all circumstances. The next principle is Satya. By following the principle of Satya, people always tell the truth.
The third principle is asteya. People who follow astaya do not steal from others. These people live in moderation and only take what is given to them. The fourth principle is brahmacharya. This principle requires that Jains exhibit traits of chastity; they must not participate excessively in sensual acts.
The final principle is aparigraha. This teaching connects all of the above principles. Following aparigraha, the Jains become conscious and eliminate their desires for possessions.
Jains take part in many activities that allow them to interact with their family members and show respect for Lord Mahavira.
Procession: One of the most popular activities is the procession, an idol of Mahavira. This activity involves Jain monks carrying a statue of Mahavira through the streets in a cart. During this parade, communities gather and recite special rhyming prayers, that honour Mahavira
Statues washing: People often wash Mahavira statues with water and fragrant oils. This symbolizes the purity of Mahavira. It also serves the practical purpose of cleaning the beautiful religious statues for regular worship throughout the year.
Visit temples: During Mahavir Jayanti, people from all over the world visit Jain temples in India. In addition to visiting active temples, people also visit ancient historical sites related to Mahavira and Jainism.
Some of the most popular places are Gomateshwara, Dilwara, Ranakpur, Sonagiri and Shikharji.
Donations: To demonstrate their humble choice of lifestyle, many Jains donate money, food and clothing to temples during Mahavir Jayanti. Monks often take what they need and donate the remaining items to less fortunate people.