Mahavira Jayanti is an important festival celebrated by Jains worldwide. It marks the birth anniversary of Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara of Jainism. In this article, we’ll explore the history, significance, and celebration of Mahavira Jayanti.
History of Mahavira Jayanti
Mahavira was born in 599 BCE in Bihar, India, as Vardhamana. He was born into a royal family and left his comfortable life at the age of 30 to become an ascetic. He spent the next twelve years practicing meditation and severe austerities, which led to his enlightenment. He spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Jainism, which emphasized non-violence, self-control, and compassion.
Significance of Mahavira Jayanti
Mahavira Jayanti is significant as it marks the birth of Mahavira, who is considered the founder of Jainism. Jains believe that he taught the path to achieve liberation and enlightenment through non-violence, self-control, and compassion. His teachings have influenced millions of people worldwide and have contributed to the culture and heritage of India.
Celebration of Mahavira Jayanti
Mahavira Jayanti is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm by Jains worldwide. It usually falls in March or April and is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Chaitra. Jains visit Jain temples, offer prayers, and participate in religious processions. The day is marked by the recitation of Jain scriptures and hymns.
Rituals and Traditions of Mahavira Jayanti
Jains observe a day-long fast on Mahavira Jayanti and break it only after offering prayers to Mahavira. They also participate in charitable activities and donate to the poor and needy. Jains also observe the Paryushana festival, which is an eight-day festival of self-reflection and penance.
Mahavira Jayanti Celebrations Worldwide
Mahavira Jayanti is celebrated worldwide by Jains with great enthusiasm. In India, the cities of Bihar, Rajasthan, and Gujarat host elaborate celebrations. Jains in other countries, such as the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia, also celebrate the day with great devotion and enthusiasm.
Mahavira Jayanti is an important festival celebrated by Jains worldwide to mark the birth anniversary of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. The festival celebrates the teachings of Mahavira, which emphasize non-violence, self-control, and compassion. The day is marked by various religious rituals and processions, and Jains worldwide participate in charitable activities to celebrate the festival.