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Date, History, Celebration And Significance Of the Jain Festival

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Old 03-28-2018, 08:14 AM
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Default Date, History, Celebration And Significance Of the Jain Festival

Mahavir Jayanti 2018: Date, History, Celebration And Significance Of the Jain Festival

This year Mahavir Jayanti will be celebrated on March 29, 2018. This is considered to be the main and most auspicious festival for the Jain community. According to the Hindu calendar, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak or Mahavir Jayanti falls in the month of Chaitra. However, as per as the Gregorian calendar Mahavir Jayanti falls on the month of March or April. This festival is celebrated by the Jains across the world. In the Jain religious history, the spiritual teachings and stories of Mahavir hold a lot of significance. Lord Mahavir created the five-fold path of ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence), ‘Asteya’ (non-stealing), ‘Brahmacharya’ (virtue of celibacy), ‘Satya’ (truth) and ‘Aparigraha’ (non-possessiveness).

And Jains are very particular about their food habits and they always stay away from certain foods like onions and garlic, which are both root vegetables. So, meals prepared during Mahavir Jayanti should never include either of these two root vegetables. As Mahavir’s teachings talk about minimising pain to other creatures, Jains are strict believers of vegetarianism. So as to follow the path of non-violence or ahimsa Jains always stay away from non-veg foods. The Jain way of eating is known as the ‘satvik’ diet as they eat fresh meals.

History of Mahavir Jayanti:

As per as the Jain tradition, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated to observe the birth anniversary of the great philosopher, Mahavir. It is said that Mahavir Swami hails from the Ikshvaku dynasty. He was born in the year 599 BCE to King Siddhartha of Kundagrama and Queen Trishala. Mahavir was also called as Vardhamana and it is believed that he was born on the thirteenth day of the bright cycle of the moon in Chaitra. He gave up his entire umpire at the young age of 30 to walk the path of the ascetic and thus, he is considered to be one of the greatest sages of his time.

The significance of Mahavir Jayanti:

Mahavir Jayanti marks the birth of Lord Mahavir and it is celebrated by reliving his teachings of non-violence, humility and simplicity. He is considered to be one of the most honourable saints on the planet. He was one of the revolutionary philosophers and he explained the real meaning of life as well as the causes of nature. This day is of great importance as Mahavir’s mother was getting many auspicious dreams before his birth and he was considered as a blessed child. Mahavir’s spiritual teachings play an important role in other communities as well.

The celebration of Mahavir Jayanti:

The celebrations are accompanied by a few rituals. Jains visit the Jain temples and seek the blessings of the last Tirthankara of Jainism. Then they observe an auspicious ritual known as ‘Abhishka’ where the idol of Mahavir is bathed with honey, milk and water. After this a Puja is conducted by the priests and the idol of Lord Mahavir is worshipped. Prasad is offered to devotees and community meals are prepared and distributed to the needy. This auspicious day is also celebrated by organising various peaceful processions with the image of Lord Mahavir embedded in a beautiful chariot. Here is wishing all of you an Advance Happy Mahavir Jayanti!

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