What is Mahavir Jayanti?
Mahavir Jayanti (also Mahavir Janma Kalyanak) is a festival that is crucially important in the Jain religion. In fact, it is often described as the most important festival in the Jain calendar.
Mahavir Jayanti is the occasion to celebrate the birth or coming into the physical world of the 24th or the last Tirthankara, Lord Mahavira.
When is Mahavir Jayanti Celebrated? – date
As per the Gregorian calendar, Mahavir Jayanti is generally celebrated either in March month or in April month.
Year 2018 date: Thursday, 29th day of March, 2018
Year 2019 date: Wednesday, 17th day of Arpil, 2019
Year 2020 date: Monday, 6th day of April, 2010
What is Jainism? Why is it an important religion?
The Jains belong to the Jain religion, or Jainism. This is an Indian religion that seeks a path to spiritual enlightenment by means of a life that involves doing absolutely no harm to anyone – including animals.
The Jain lifestyle also involves renunciation and a desire to find liberation from all that is evil. By living this lifestyle, Jains hope to attain true happiness. They are guided in the way that they live and worship by certain spiritual teachers, and they hold festivals to celebrate the lives of important teachers.
What is the significance of Mahavir Jayanti?
- On this day, Last Tirthankara, Mahavira also known as Vardhamana was born, i.e., in the month of Chaitra on the 13th day of rising moon, which is even more than 2500 years ago.
- Mahavira, a great intellect, was the son of Siddhartha and Trisala. Mahavira was a believer of non-violence and always spread the message of peace and non-violence (ahimsa) to all the living being throughout his life. There is a great follower of Mahavira and that’s why they all go into the step of Mahavira. Some wear mask on his face so that the chance of killing insect while breathing doesn’t arise.
How devotees celebrate this festival?
Mahavir Jayanti celebrates the birth of Mahavira, who was the last in the line of the Jain spiritual leaders and teachers. Jains celebrate this festival by visiting the Jain temple, praying, fasting, and focusing more than ever on their spiritual enlightenment.
- Different people have their own way of celebrating Mahavir Jayanti. Some celebrate the day with great pomp and show and some celebrate the day with silent worship and prayers.
- Since this day is a holiday, some People celebrate Mahavir Jayanti by staying with their family and friends.
- On this day, people were seen by doing fasting and praying.
- Parasnatha temple located in Kolkata is one of the prime spot. This is a day when various sects of Jainism come together to celebrate the birthday of Lord Mahavira.
- On this day some donate food, money and clothes to the poor people.
- They also organize camps for free food and drink, free health checkup, blood donation, etc.
- Social functions are held and elders recollect the humanitarian work of the Tirthankaras.
Wikipedia link for Mahavir Jayanti: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahavir_Jayanti