September 5, 2013

Mahavir Jayanti

Mahavir Jayanti- Why it is celebrated

People belonging to Jain community celebrate Mahavir Jayanti every year which falls on the 13th day of the Chaitra month. This Wednesday would mark the 2,611 years of the birth of Lord Mahavir who was born in 599 BC and was the 24th Jain Tirthankar.

On this day, various sects of Jains including Digambars, Shwetambars, Sthanak Vaasis and Tera Panthis come together to mark the occasion. The day is marked by organising mass celebration with elephants, horse-carts, camel-carts, a tableau on the life of Lord Mahavir, forming the main attraction.

While greeting the nation on the eve of Mahavir Jayanti, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "May the life and noble teachings of Lord Mahavira inspire us to abjure violence in thought, word and deed and to always adhere to the path of ahimsa (non-violence)."

Mahavira was born at a place called Kundagrama in Vaisali and spread the message of peace and non-violence. According to Mahavira, to live a righteous life one should follow the following principles, which are the main pillars of Jainism

Nonviolence (Ahimsa) causing no harm to living beings; truthfulness (Satya) to speak the truth, non-stealing (Asteya) not to possess things that does not belong to you; Chastity (Bramacharya) not to indulge in sensual pleasures and non-attachment (Aparigraha) not to get attached to material things.

According to Mahavira, one should not accumulate bad karmas (deeds) which are the main cause of human delusion and suffering and lead to vicious cycle of life and death and continues till one is liberated.

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