One of the significant holidays celebrated in India,
Mahavir Jayanti commemorates the birth of Vardhamana Mahavir, the 24th
Tirthankara in Jainism. Read on to know all about Vardhamana Mahavir,
the warrior caste prince who grew up to be one of the greatest prophets
the world has ever beheld. If you like reading about Mahavir and want to
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clicking here and send this page to them. Celebrate Mahavir Jayanti
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Mahavir Jayanti is the most important religious holiday of the Jain community.
Celebrated annually on the 13th day of the bright fortnight of the Chaitra
month, the occasion commemorates the birth of Vardhamana Mahavir, one of
the greatest prophets of peace and social reformation that India has ever
Born as Vardhamana in the year 599 B.C to a pious couple, Siddhartha and
Priyakarni (or popularly Trishala Devi), Mahavir grew up to be the last
star in the galaxy of twenty-four Tirthankaras (Jain Prophets). Vardhamana's
father Siddhartha was the king of Kundalpura on the outskirts of Vaishali
(near Patna in Bihar in Northern India). He grew up as a Kshatriya prince
(warrior caste prince) excelling in physical prowess as well as intellectual
acumen. Even as a boy, Vardhamana came to be associated with many episodes
of absolute fearlessness which earned him the name "Mahavir".
Mahavir's parents were deeply permeated with the philosophy of Jainism
preached by Paraswanatha, the 23rd Teerthankara, and Mahavir imbibed from
them the same religious spirit. In his youth, Mahavir became extremely
spiritual and resolved to give up everything worldly. He gave up attachment
to his parents and loved ones; renounced the pleasures and luxuries of the
place and also parted with the power and prestige of kingship. At the age of
30 he became a wandering ascetic. He went to the forest and became a monk,
devoting himself totally to the meditation of the pure nature of the Soul.
He practiced rigorous austerities, including fasts that lasted many days. He
calmly bore not only the challenges posed by nature but also the torments
from the ignorant and mischievous among his own countrymen. He lived a life
of absolute honesty and chastity. Thirteen years later he reached
Not content with his own personal salvation, Mahavir chose to show the path
of spiritual liberation to others also. He became a great human redeemer and
began to deliver his spiritual messages to everyone. His simple teachings
attracted people from all sections of life, rich and poor, men and women,
touchable and untouchable. He organized his followers into a fourfold order;
monk (Muni or Sadhu), nun (Sadhvi), layman (Shravaka), and laywoman (Shravika).
This order is known as Chaturvidh Jain Sangh.
Mahavir looked around and found the society corrupted by the distortions of
the true concept of Dharma(Basic principles of the cosmos enshrined in
religion). He saw that violence in the form of animal sacrifice had eclipsed
the true spirit of yajna and yaga. Spiritual values had been supplanted by
superstitions and lifeless rituals and dogmas. Propitating various Gods and
Goddesses was considered as a means of acquiring religious merit (Punya), to
the exclusion of the true spiritual significance of these Vedic practices.
With his penetrating insight born out of self-realisation, Mahavir struck
mercilessly at these perversions. He simplified the religious procedures and
concentrated on righteous conduct.
Mahavir's simple and convincing method of appealing to the highest and
noblest impulses in the living breast soon won him a large following. As one
deeply conversant with the needs, capacities and aptitudes of human beings,
Mahavir initiated a simple five-fold path for the householders: Ahimsa
(Non-injury - physical or mental - to others), Satya (abjuring falsehood
while dealing with others), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (abstaining
from sexual pleasures) and Aparigraha (non-acquisition of property). His
grand message of Ahimsa forms one of his main teachings and probably has
greater significance in this strife-torn 21st century than at any time in
On a Deepavali day in 527 BC, Mahavir is said to have left his mortal coils
at the age of 71. But even to this day, 2500 years after the passing away of
that great master, his sayings are pondered upon and followed not only by
millions of devout Jains but also by people from other communities the world
over. Thousands of white-clad Sanyasins and Sanyasisinis and also nude monks
move on foot from village to village and town to town, throughout the length
and breadth of the country, carrying Mahavir's gospel of peace, non-injury
and brotherhood among people. Celebrated every year in late March or early
April (according to the Gregorian calendar), Mahavir Jayanti is dedicated in
honour of that great messenger of peace and liberation.