New Delhi: Mahavir Janma Kalyanak or Mahavir Jayanti is the most important festival in the Jain community. The auspicious festival is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Mahavir – the founder of Jainism. This year, Mahavir Jayanti falls on Sunday (April 25).
Mahavir was the 24th and last Jain Tirthankara who established core tenets of Jainism. According to Jain scriptures and religious texts, Lord Mahavir was born on the 13th day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra in the year 599 BCE (Chaitra Sud 13).
Here are some interesting facts about Mahavir Jayanti:
1. It marks the birth of Lord Mahavir. He is said to be the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara (Teaching God). He was also called Vardhamāna.
2. As a son to King Siddartha and Queen Trishala, Mahavir was born at Kundalagrama in Bihar. He spent 12 years of his life as an ascetic after abandoning everything at the age of 30.
3. It is said that Mahavir, had exemplary control over his senses, and attained nirvana at 72. Then, he preached spiritual freedom for the rest of his life.
4. Mahavir Jayanti often witnesses huge processions by the followers of Lord Mahavir. Prayers are offered in his name and Mahavir’s teachings are recited on this day.
5. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated every year on the 8th day of the holy period of “Paryushana”.
6. People from the Jain community also engage in charitable acts such as saving animals from slaughter or feeding the needy on the occasion.
Usually, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with full fervour across India as processions are carried out at various places. However, this year the celebrations are marred due to the rising cases of COVID-19 across the country, and the festival is restricted to homes.
We wish you a Happy Mahavir Jayanti!