Mahavir Jayanti and also known as Mahavir Janma Kalnayak is the birth anniversary of Mahavira, twenty fourth and the last teaching god of the present time cycle. A holiday is marked on this day and it usually occurs in the month of March or April. This year it will be celebrated on 19th of April (Tuesday).
Let me take you into the history books to tell you in detail about Mahavira
According to the Jain texts Mahavira was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra in the year 599 BCE.
He was the son of King Siddhartha of Kundgraam and Queen Trishala which belonged to the royal family in a democratic kingdom of Ganarajya (Vajji).
During her pregnancy, Trishala was believed to have had a number of auspicious dreams, all signifying the coming of a great soul.
His mother had sixteen dreams which were :
- A white elephant
- A lion
- Goddess Lakshmi with two elephants at her side showering flowers
- The moon lighting the universe with silvery beams
- A pair of jumping fish
- The radiant sun, a golden pitcher
- A lake full of lotus flowers
- A calm ocean of milk
- A celestial palace
- A throne of rubies and diamonds
- A celestial king ruling the earth
- A garland
- A white bull
- A fragrant Mandara flowers
- A vase as tall as Mount Meru, filled with gems.
- She even felt a white elephant enter her through her mouth.
When Trishala gave birth to her son, it is said that he was bathed with celestial milk by the god-king Indra. This ritual marked him as a Tirthankara (teaching god).
Now let me tell you how Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated
- The Chariot having the idol of Mahavira is carried out, in a procession called ‘Rath Yatra’.
- On the way Indian Holy songs (Bhajans) are recited.
- Statues of Mahavira are given a ceremonial bath known as the Abhishekha.
- Many devotees visit temples dedicated to Mahavira to meditate and offer prayers.
- Lectures by monks and nuns are held in temples.
- Donations are collected in order to promote charitable missions like saving cows from slaughter. Also helping to feed poor people. Ahimsa (non-vilence) runs and rallies are taken out on this day.
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