Mahavir Jayanti 2020 Date in India: One of the most important festivals in Jainism, Mahavir Jayanti celebrates the birth of the 24th and last Tirthankara Mahavir, who played an important role in preaching Jainism. This year, it will be held on April 6.
Significance of Mahavir Jayanti
Mahavir was born on the 13th day in the month of Chaitra in 599 BCE or 615 BCE, as believed by the Digambar and Swetambara school of Jainism respectively, in Kundagram (Kundalpur in Champaran district in Bihar), as the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. It is believed that he was born in a place called “Ahalya bhumi” which has not been ploughed for hundreds of years by the family that owns it.
At the age of 30, Mahavir is said to have abandoned all worldly possessions in pursuit of spiritual awakening. He practiced intense meditation and austerity for almost 12 years before attaining “Kevala Jnana” or omniscience. He is believed to have been a contemporary of Gautam Buddha.
Mahavir taught the vows of ahimsa or non-violence, satya or truth, asteya or non-stealing, brahmacharya or chastity and aparigraha or non-attachment. His teachings were compiled by his chief disciple Indrabhuti Gautama as the Jain Agamas.
Mahavir Jayanti takes place in March or April, as per the Gregorian calendar. It also marks the 13th ‘sud’ day of the Chaitra month of the Jain calendar. On this day, a procession is carried out with the idol of Mahavir on a chariot. Religious rhymes or stavans are recited on the way. Mahavir idols are also given a ceremonial anointment called abhisheka.
Jains celebrate the day by engaging in charitable act, prayers and vrats. Devotees visit temples and meditate. People also take out rallies preaching Mahavir’s message of ahimsa.
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