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Mahavir Jayanti 2022 Date: History and significance of the Jain festival in India

Mahavir Jayanti 2022 Date in India: Mahavir Jayanti marks the birth of the 24th and last Tirthankara, Lord Mahavir, who played an important role in preaching Jainism. This year, Mahavir Jayanti falls on April 14.

Significance of Mahavir Jayanti

According to Digambar and Swetambara school of Jainism, Lord Mahavir was born as the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. He was born on the 13th day in the month of Chaitra in 599 BCE or 615 BCE, It is believed that he was born in a place called “Ahalya bhumi” which was not ploughed for hundreds of years.

At the age of 30, Lord Mahavir is said to have abandoned all worldly possessions in pursuit of spiritual awakening. He practiced intense meditation and austerity for 12 years before attaining “Kevala Jnana” or omniscience. He is believed to have been a contemporary of Gautam Buddha.

Lord Mahavir taught the vows of ahimsa or non-violence, satya or truth, asteya or non-stealing, brahmacharya or chastity, and aparigraha or non-attachment. His teachings were compiled by his chief disciple, Indrabhuti Gautama, as the Jain Agamas.

Mahavir Jayanti usually falls in March or April, as per the Gregorian calendar. It also marks the 13th ‘sud’ day of the Chaitra month of the Jain calendar. On this auspicious day, a procession is carried out with the idol of Lord Mahavir on a chariot. Religious rhymes are recited on the way. Lord Mahavir idols are also given a ceremonial anointment called abhisheka.

Jains celebrate the day by engaging in charitable acts, prayers, and observe vrat or fasts. Devotees visit temples and meditate. People also take out rallies preaching Lord Mahavir’s message of ahimsa.

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