Mahavir Jayanti is considered as one of the most important festivals in the Jain community. Also known as Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, the festival is observed by Jains all over the world. This year, Mahavir Jayanti falls on April 17. The festival is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Mahavir.
Born in Bihar in 599 BC, Mahavir was the 24th and last Jain Tirthankara who established core tenets of Jainism. Mahavir was born on Trayodashi Tithi during Shukla Paksha in the Chaitra month. This year marks the 2617th birth anniversary of Mahavir Swami.
Here are some interesting facts about Mahavir Jayanti:
- It marks the birth of Lord Mahavir. He is said to be the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara (Teaching God). He was also called Vardhamāna.
- As a son to king Siddartha and Queen Trishala, Mahavir was born at Kundalagrama in Bihar. He spend 12 years of his life as ascetic after abandoning everything at the age of 30.
- It is said that Mahavir, had exemplary control over his senses, and attained nirvana at 72. Then, he preached spiritual freedom for the rest of his life.
- Mahavir Jayanti often witnesses huge procession by the followers of lord Mahavir. Prayers are offered on his name and Mahavir's teachings are recited on this day.
- Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated every year on the 8th day of the holy period of “Paryushana”