New Delhi: Grand processions, offerings to
the poor and religious discourses marked the birthday of Lord
Mahavir, the Jain apostle of peace, across the country on Saturday.
Functions were held at many places to pay tributes to
the last of 24 Tirthankaras who preached non-violence and
tolerance nearly 2,500 years ago.
Jain temples were adorned with flags as all sections of
the community took part in processions on the occasion of
Jains also made offerings of milk, rice, fruits, lamps
and water to the poor as lectures were organised to preach the
path of vitue to mark the day.
In the morning, the statue of Lord Mahavir, who taught
the world the essence of life, was given a ceremonial bath
called `abhishek` symbolising the purity of mind and body.
Pilgrims from across the country visited ancient Jain
temples at Pawapuri in Bihar and Parsvanath in Jharkhand on
the auspicious occasion.
As the last Thirthankar, Lord Mahavir revitalised the
Jain order and is one of the most important figures of
Addressing a gathering in the national capital, Delhi
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit commended the Jain community in
promoting austerity and simplicity at weddings and in
combating the evil of female foeticide.
President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari
and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted the people on the
occasion saying "Lord Mahavir`s teachings are relevant at all
times to ensure peace and happiness through spiritual