Mahavir

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 share this article with your friends and loved ones, just clicking here and send this page to them. Celebrate Mahavir Jayanti with one and all.

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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 produced.

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 illumination.

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 the past.

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.
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Mahavir Jayanti Home Mahavir Jayanti History Mahavir Jayanti Wallpapers  Greeting cards Coloring page
Mahavir Jayanti Recipes Mahavir Jayanti - The Festival Mahavir Jayanti Facts Mahavir Quiz
Mahavir Jayanti Activities Mahavir Jayanti Craft Ideas Mahavir Jayanti Quotes Mahavir Jayanti Stories Link to us
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