Mahavir Jayanti is one of the most important festivals in Jainism, and it celebrates the birth anniversary of the 24th Tirthankara Mahavir, who played a significant role in preaching Jainism.Mahavir Jayanti is one of the most important festivals in Jainism, and it celebrates the birth anniversary of the 24th Tirthankara Mahavir, who played a significant role in preaching Jainism. This year, Mahavir Jayanti shall take place on April 6. This day is also known as the Birth Anniversary of Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, and also as Mahavir Janma Kalyanak.
Significance and history
It was on the 13th day in the month of Chaitra in 599 BCE or 615 BCE that Mahavir was born, according to the Digambar and Swetambara school of Jainism respectively, in Kundagram. He was born the son of and Swetambara school of Jainism respectively.
When he was 30 years old, Mahavir abandoned all his worldly possessions in search of a spiritual path. He meditated and led an austere life for around 12 years before attaining ‘Kevala Jnana’ or omniscience.
Mahavir believed in a preached ahimsa or non-violence, satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (chastity) and aparigraha (non-attachment). Mahavir’s teachings were put together by his main disciple, Indrabhuti Gautama.
Mahavir Jayanti takes place according to the Gregorian calendar. On Mahavir Jayanti, a procession takes place with Lord Mahavir’s idol on a chariot and people recite religious songs on the way.
On this day, the Jains around the world celebrate by doing charity, saying prayers and observing fasts. They also visit Jain temples, conduct mass prayers and meditate.
On this day, and in general, Jains all around eat satvik food, which includes freshly prepared vegetarian meals made without onion or garlic. Satvik diets do not use these two root vegetables and are prepared with minimum harm to living creatures.