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Mahavir Jayanti 2022: Know the date, importance and how to celebrate festival

On Mahavir Jayanti, religious processions (rath yatra) are held. Flags decorate the Jain temples, and donations are made to the poor and needy.
 

Mahavir Jayanti 2022: Know the date, importance and how to celebrate festival - adt
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New Delhi, First Published Apr 14, 2022, 7:00 AM IST

Mahavir Jayanti is one of the most auspicious festivals for the Jain community, it marks the birth anniversary of the founder of the Jainism or Mahavir Janma Kalyanak and is celebrated by the Jain community to promote peace, harmony, and the teachings of Mahavira, the Jain religion's 24th Tirthankara. Jainism emphasises world peace and harmony such that no or minimal harm is brought to living creatures. 

Jains consider Jainism an eternal (Sanatan) religion (dharma), with the Tirthankaras directing each cycle of the Jain cosmology. The Jainism slogan is Parasparopagraho Jīvānām (the function of souls is to help one another), while the Ṇamōkāra mantra is the most typical and fundamental prayer.

The date of the festival is observed: 
This year the festival is celebrated on April 14, 2022.

History and Significance:
Mahavir was born in Kundalagrama, Bihar, on the 13th day of the Chaitra month, or the 13th day of the waxing moon in the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar. King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala were his parents. However, his birth date is sometimes arguable by the Swetambar Jains, who believe he was born in 599 BC, and the Digambar Jains, who believe he was born in 615 BC.

Mahavir sacrificed his throne and all his worldly belongings when he was 30 years old in search of a spiritual path. He spent 12 years in exile as an ascetic, away from all worldly pleasures, and meditated and led an austere life for roughly 12 years before acquiring 'Kevala Jnana' or omniscience, and was therefore known as Sage Vardhamana. He advocated nonviolence (ahimsa). He got his name because of his remarkable mastery over his senses. Seeking truth and spiritual liberation, he gained enlightenment (Nirvana) at 72.

Mahavir preached ahimsa (nonviolence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (chastity), and aparigraha (non-attachment). Indrabhuti Gautama, Mahavir's main disciple, compiled Mahavir's teachings.

The festival celebrations:
On Mahavir Jayanti, religious processions (rath yatra) are held. Flags to decorate the Jain temples, and donations are made to the poor and needy. Donations are also offered to help save animals from killing.

On Mahavir Jayanti, a procession that happens to carry Mahavir's idol on a chariot takes place, with people reciting religious songs on their way. Jains across the globe celebrate this day by doing charity, praying, fasting, visiting Jain temples, holding mass prayers, and meditating.

The celebrations include eating satvik food and freshly prepared vegetarian meals without onion or garlic. Satvik diets avoid these two root vegetables and are prepared in a way that does the least amount of harm to living animals.

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