Mahavir Jayanti or Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is one of Jainism important festival which celebrates the birth of Mahavir who was twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara of present Avasapirni. According to the Gregorian calendar, this day falls in the month of March and April. This year Mahavir Jayanti 2021 will be celebrated on the 25th of April.
As per the Jainism, Mahavir was born on the thirteenth day in the month of Chaitra in 599 BCE, but Digambar school of Jainism believes that Mahavira was born in 615 BC
Most historians find that the birthplace of Mahavir is his Kundagram (now known as Kundalpur in the Champaran district of Bihar). Mahavir was born in the Democratic Empire (Ganarajya), Vajji, where the Ruler was elected by the vote. Vaishali was the capital of the world.
Mahavir was called ‘Vardhamana,’ meaning ‘one who rises,’ because of the increased wealth of the kingdom at the time of his birth. In Vasokund, Mahavir is worshipped by the villagers. A place named Ahalya bhumi has not been plowed by the family that owns it for hundreds of years, although it is believed to be the birthplace of Mahavir.
Mahavir swami, the son of King Siddhartha of Kundagrama and Queen Trishala, was born into the Ikshvaku dynasty. Trishala was believed to have had a number of auspicious visions during her birth, all of which signified the arrival of a great soul.
Mahavir swami has always given respect to all the living beings and also taught non-violence. He also put his senses under exemplary regulation which later won him the name Mahavira. He also achieves nirvana at the age of 72, and dedicated remaining life under promoting spiritual liberty. Thus, people celebrate this day to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira and his teachings.
The present-day ascetic religion of Jainism revers Mahavira as its key prophet more than 3.5 million people practices Jainism. They follow the path of non-violence to all living beings. Most of the Jain people may wear face masks to prevent the possibility of killing an insect while breathing in.
Mahavir Jayanti is a holy festival for Jains and followers across the globe celebrating it in a great way by bringing out processions that may include chariots, horses, elephants, drummers, and chanters. Silent prayers are also given and, on this day, his preaching is recapitulated as sermons to the followers. In order to celebrate the festival, traditional Mahavir Jayanti recipes are also prepared.
The celebrations of Mahavir Jayanti carried by the Procession (rath yatra) in which people carried out the idol of Lord Mahavir on a chariot and along the way the religious rhymes Stavans are recited. Throughout the day, many members of the Jain community take part in some kind of charity, prayer, pujas, and vratas. Many worshippers visit temples dedicated to the meditation of Mahavir and offer prayers. People and practitioners from across India come to ancient Jain temples to pay their respects and celebrate Mahavir Jayanti.