Mahavir Jayanti 2019: Mahavir Jayanti is one of the most auspicious festivals for the Jain community. Celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira, the 24th and the last ‘Thirthankara’ of Jainism, this year it will be celebrated on April 17 as an observance of peace, harmony and love and to spread the message of Lord Mahavira.
The day is marked with religious processions or rath yatra during which an idol of Mahavira is carried among prayers, chants and sermons. Jain temples are decorated with flags, and alms are offered to the poor. Since Jainism focuses on peace and harmony with minimal harm to living creatures, donations are also collected to save animals from slaughter.
Born to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala in Kundalagrama in Bihar, Lord Mahavira renounced his crown and spent 12 years as an ascetic away from all kinds of wordly pleasures at the age of 30. Also called Sage Vardhamana, Lord Mahavira’s philosophy is centred around ahimsa or non-violence.
He is renowned as Lord Mahavira for his exceptional control over his senses. Seeking truth and spiritual freedom, he went on to attain Nirvana at the age of 72 years. Preaching spiritual freedom and non-violence became his life’s calling.
Despite his birth date being debatable among the Swetambar Jains, who stress that he was born in 599 BC, and the Digambar Jains who believe that he took birth in 615 BC, Mahavir Jayanti is commemorated in a grand way as it is one of the most sacred festivals for the Jains.