Mahavir Jayanthi is one of the popular festivals which marks the birthday of Lord Mahavira, founder of the Jain religion. Lord Mahavir was born on 13th day of Chaitra which might be either 599BC or 615BC. The term ‘Jain’ was derived from the word ‘Jina’, which means right faith & right knowledge. It works on the principle of karma theory. It teaches the mankind to live an austere life. The Jain devotees do not hurt or harm even a fly. They treat every living being in this world equally. Some of the followers used to cover their mouth through tiny cotton clothes to ensure that even a single germ doesn’t hurt during breathing. It is a kind of Non-violence, which was later adopted by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle. Jainism can be categorized into two types: shwetamabara Jains & Digambara Jains. The shwetambara Jains are the ones wearing white clothes, on the other hand, Digamabara Jian’s practice asceticism by not wearing any clothes. Both of these principles follow the teachings of Lord Mahavir.
Vardhan Mahavir was born to the King of Kundalpura and Queen Trishala. When Mahavir was young, he was not interested in family life and gave up attachment to his friends, relatives, and parents. He distributed all this property to the needy and poor people. He gave up his desire, goal, and everything. Soon he became a sage. He lived a life which is full of truth, sacrifice, and pureness. He is an honest monk who lived a life of absolute chastity. Mahavir went to a dark forest and meditated on his own soul. He was considered as supreme beings by those people. To remember his birthday, Mahavir Jayanthi is celebrated every year. Jain community celebrates Mahavir Jayanthi during his birthday. This popular celebration can be seen in Northern part of India especially Gujarat and Rajasthan, where a lot of Jains are living.
Mahavir Jayanthi is celebrated in Vaishali, which was his birthplace. Also, it is celebrated in Jain temples. On his birthday, each Jain will do a traditional bath. After that, his statue will be carried in a parade which includes elephants, horses, drummers, lamps, singers and much more. Finally, the parade ends at a temple, where the group of people prays together.
On this special occasion, Jains will donate something to the needy people. First, Gyan Daan, which means sharing of knowledge. Abhay daan helps to save the people from crime & bad actions. Aushad Daan means donating tablets, herbs, and medicines. Adhaar dhaan means giving food. Every jains must do this kind of donations.
Mahavir janma kalyanak is one of the popular religious festivals for Jains. According to the Gregorian calendar, this holiday occurs either in April or March. However, it is believed that he was born in March. According to the Jainism, there are five supreme gods namely Siddha, Arihant, Acharya, Upadhyaya and Jain Monks. Mahavir Jayanthi is an auspicious day. Any work done on this auspicious day gives fruitful results.