History of Lord Mahavira
According to Jain texts, Lord Mahavira was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of ‘Chaitra’ in the year 599 BCE. Lord Mahavira was born into Ikshvaku dynasty, as the son of King Siddhartha of Kundagrama and Queen Trishala. During the pregnancy, the queen is said to have had dreams of fortunate nature. The number of dreams varies in conviction of each faction. After running his kingdom faithfully till 30 years of his age, the great saint gave up all luxuries and comforts of palace for penance.
For twelve long years the saint had been under self-punishment. At this time he was enlightened. He was known to be the 24th and the last ‘tirthankara’ to have received enlightenment. He gave up all redundancies of life. Getting rid of the basic materials, he focused on the authentic things and the real meaning of life. He sermonized the significance of reality and non-violence with the message of not possessing anything. He later prepared all his teachings into a religion that he named ‘Jainism’.
Celebrations and Rituals of Mahavir Jayanti
The festival is celebrated throughout the country among Jain communities. One of the most important traditions of Mahavir Jayanti is the visit to different ‘tirthankar’ statues and temples. There are processions with pictures and images of Lord Mahavira. The temples have varied ‘pujas’ to honour the statue of Lord Mahavira by flowers, rice, fruits and ‘abhishek’ it with milk. In the temples the core values and message of Lord Mahavira is preached. The event holds special significance in Gujarat and Rajasthan due to the ancient shrines at Girnar and Palitana in Gujarat. Mahavir Jayanti is also celebrated at Parasnath Temple in Kolkata and at Pavapuri in Bihar.
(Last Updated on : 17-03-2018)
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