History of Mahavir Mandir
The study of historical facts suggests that the temple was originally built by Swami Balanand, a saint of Ramanandi Sampraday in around 1730 A.D. The temple was later rebuilt as a concrete house. However, it was broken down in 1987 and constructed into a splendid marble temple housing the idol of Sankat Mochan or Lord Hanuman. The temple belongs to Ramanand sect but from 1900 A.D. it was owned by the Gosain Sanyasis until 1948 A.D.
Structure of Mahavir Mandir
Mahavir Mandir was declared as a public temple in 1948 A.D. by Patna High Court. The initiative of Kishore Kunal fostered the reconstruction of the temple between 1983 and 1985. Devotees also freely contributed towards the construction.
The main entrance of the temple is located on the northern side. A row of stairs built on a raised platform leads the pilgrims to the garbhagriha, the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Hanuman. Two idols of Lord Hanuman, one for the protection of the people and another for the elimination of the wicked people are enshrined within the temple complex.
The passage on the other side enshrines the idol of Lord Shiva. The first floor of the temple houses images of four deities. The imagery presence of Lord Rama delights the spiritual mind of the pilgrims. Standing beside it is another image of Lord Krishna delivering sermon to Arjuna. Idols of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva are also present within the temple complex. Parvati in a meditating posture and a Nandiare established in the wooden palisade, which again houses a Shiva Lingam. It is a site for the performance of Rudrabhisheka. The ground floor of the temple preserves the floating Ram-setu Shila in a glass container. The stone weighs almost 13,000 mm, while the weight is approximately 15 kgs.
The second floor of the temple is chiefly used for the purpose of conducting rituals such as reciting of mantras, Satyanarayan katha and recitals of Holy Scriptures etc. The Sanskar mandap is built on this floor. The pictographic representation of the different scenes of Ramayana enthrals the religious sentiments of the devotees.
The idols of Lord Satyanarayan, Lord Rama accompanied by his holy consort Sita and Goddess Saraswati installed in the Mahavir Mandir cast a benign effect on the devotees visiting the temple. A temple of Lord Shani built beautifully has been constructed in the temple complex.
Besides these idols, the temple within its campus has an office, a shop that sells different ritualistic materials and a book shop selling religious books. Astrological/Palmistry centre and a Gem Stone centre also operate within the complex.
Festivals of Mahavir Mandir
Mahavir Mandir celebrates several festivals with full enthusiasm and fervour during which the temple is decked beautifully and is thronged by devotees from different corners. Some of the important festivals of the temple are:
The festival of Ramanavami is celebrated on a grand scale on the auspicious day of the birth of Lord Rama.
Janaki Navami is celebrated every year on the occasion of the birth of Sita. It is organized on the 9th day of the bright fortnight of the Vaishakh month.
The temple celebrates the Hanuman Jayanti on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of the Kartika month. This day finds mentuion in the Vaishnava-matabja-bhaskara of Ramanandacharya. On this day rituals are performed elaborately by the temple pandits.
Mahavir Mandir also celebrates the festival of Durga Puja. The idol of the goddess is established in the campus. During the last three days of the Navratri the temple witnesses a vast gathering of the devotees.
Vivah Panchami is the festival of the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita. The temple celebrates several marriage rituals and yajna. Dance performers from Mithila visit the temple and enact colourful dance shows during this time.
Tulsi Jayanti is celebrated on the 7th day of the bright fortnight of Shrawan month. Many eminent scholars give lectures in varied aspects of Tulsidas on this day.
Geeta Jayanti is celebrated on the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Agrahan month. According to mythology it is on this day that the Mahabharata war was started and Lord Kishna gave the holy sermon to Arjuna. The holy sermon has been compiled in the Bhagavad Gita.
Ramanandcharya Jayanti is celebrated on 7th day of dark fortnight of Magh month. The temple is a part of the Ramananda sect. Hence, it celebrates this day on a grand scale.
Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on the Magh Purnima day. Mahavir Mandir enshrines an impressive idol of Sant Ravidas on the north east corner of the temple. On this day grand processions are held and the different facets of this life are portrayed to the general masses.
Shri Krishna Janmastami
The Mahavir Mandir celebrates Janmashtamiwith great enthusiasm. On this day the priests of the temple recites the Bhagwad Gita. Till midnight devotees keep fast. For two hours bhajan in Sanskrit and Hindi is conducted. At night arti is done and thereafter prasad is distributed amongst the devotees.
Every year on the Shrawani Purnima day the Sanskrit Divas is observed. On this day students from different schools participate in essay competition and recite Sanskrit speeches. A conference is held in the evening where several eminent scholars address the audience.
These functions, celebrations and rituals are administered by the temple's trust, Shri Mahavir Sthan Nyas Samiti. It also looks after the maintenance of the temple. Many human welfare organizations such as Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, Mahavir Vaatsalya Hospital and Mahavir Arogya Hospital are run by the trust. It has also developed many orphanages throughout the length and breadth of the city.
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