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Mahavir Jayanti in 2012

Mhaveer Jayanti or Mahavir Jayanti 2012 date is 5 April. Mahavira Jayanti is the most important of all Jain festivals. It celebrates the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, the 24th Tirthankar (guide). Lord Mahavir was born in the year 599 B.C. and is acclaimed being one of the greatest religious reformers of all times. He was born to Siddhartha and Priyakarani or popularly Trishala Devi - was deeply influenced by the philosophy of Jainism preached by Parswanatha, the 23rd Teerthankara. Siddhartha was the king of Kaundinyapura on the outskirts of Vaishali (near Patna in Bihar).

It is said that the expectant mother had sixteen auspicious dreams before the child was born (only 14 according to the Swetambaras). Astrologer's intepreting these dreams, stated that the child would be either an emperor or a Teerthankar.

This religious event Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated by visiting sacred sites and worshipping the Teerthankars. This festival is specially celebrated in Gujarat and Rajasthan, due to the ancient shrines at Girnar and Palitana in Gujarat. Other celebrations worth a mention are at Parasnath temple in Calcutta and at Pawapuri in Bihar.On the day of Mahavir Jayanti the followers of Jainsim donate money, food and clothing to the poor. In addition, Jain organisations arrange for free food and drink for all passersby. Temples are decorated with flags for the occasion, and on the day of the festival, the idol of the tirthankar is given a ritual bath before being taken out, ensconced in a cradle, in a grand procession. Sections of the Jain community take part in the grand procession. The assembled devotees make offerings of milk, rice, fruit, incense, lamps and water to the people in procession. The nature of the procession varies from region to region but generally a parade on this day includes drummers, horses, elephants and singers. At many places, lecture-sessions are held to preach the path of virtue that Lord Mahavir showed. Religious people use this day to meditate and offer prayers. Donations are collected to save cows from slaughter. Depending on the place, the procession ends at a temple, shrine or large communal area where people may pray and meditate.

Four kinds of donations (daan) are recommended for every Jain on this day. These are:

  • Gyan daan: Sharing of knowledge
  • Abhay daan: Protecting people from bad actions
  • Aushad daan: Donating medicines
  • Ahaar daan: Giving food

Mahavir Jayanti, is celebrated during the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra. It lasts for one day. Mahavir Jayanti occurs on the thirteenth day of Chaitra, right around the time of the full moon. The hindu month of Chaitra includes March and April. The religion of Jainism does not believe in God as a creator, survivor, and destroyer of the universe. Jainism explains that eight types of Vargana and five bodies exist in the universe.

The eight Vargnas (matters) are:

  • Audaric vargana - creates the physical body of the living being
  • Tejas vargana - creates the Tejas body to the living being which provides heat and digestion power to the audaric body.
  • Karman vargana - creates Karmic or Causal body
  • Aharac vargana - creates Aharac body, which is very small in size and is possessed by some unique soul
  • Vaikriya vargana - creates Vaikriya body, which can be converted into very small or large in size
  • Breathing vargana- provides breathing
  • Mind vargana - provides mind for thinking
  • Speech vargana - provides speech wishes all our Jain visitors A Very Happy Mahavir Jayanti .We wish this auspicious occasion inspires us to live by the virtues propagated by Lord Mahavir.

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