Mahavir Jayanti is one of the important days that are marked in the Jain community. This day marks the birth of Vardhaman Mahavir who was the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara and the religion of Jainism was revived by them.
This year, Mahavir Jayanti will be celebrated on April 6. This day has a deep significance for the people of the community and this day will be marked by the Jains all over the globe.
For more than 10 years, Lord Mahavir practiced intense meditation and achieved Kevala Jnana that is omniscient. His teachings are very impactful to people who have faith. Lord Mahavir preached love, respect, and kindness to every creature, including the microorganisms.
He followed the ascetic lifestyle of intense medication of 12 years that helped in attaining the supreme wisdom about the world. Agamas are formed based on the discourse of the Tirthankara.
Significance of Mahavir Jayanti
Mahavir was born on the 13th day in the month of Chaitra in 599 BCE or 615 BCE, as believed by the Digambar and Swetambara school of Jainism respectively, in Kundagram (Kundalpur in Champaran district in Bihar), as the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. It is believed that he was born in a place called “Ahalya bhumi” which has not been ploughed for hundreds of years by the family that owns it.
At the age of 30, Mahavir is said to have abandoned all worldly possessions in pursuit of spiritual awakening. He practiced intense meditation and austerity for almost 12 years before attaining “Kevala Jnana” or omniscience. He is believed to have been a contemporary of Gautam Buddha.
Mahavir Jayanti takes place in March or April, as per the Gregorian calendar. It also marks the 13th ‘sud’ day of the Chaitra month of the Jain calendar. On this day, a procession is carried out with the idol of Mahavir on a chariot. Religious rhymes or staves are recited on the way. Mahavir idols are also given a ceremonial anointment called abhisheka.
Jains celebrate the day by engaging in charitable activities, prayers, and vrats. Devotees visit temples and meditate. People also take out rallies preaching Mahavir’s message of ahimsa.