“Mahavir Jayanti Essay” is an important topic for schools during the months of February-March. Students are asked to write an Essay on Mahavir Jayanti, illustrating on when and why is it celebrated; how is it celebrated legend of Mahavir Jayanti, if any; and its significance. In this essay on Mahavir Jayanti below, we will go through a detailed description of the festival of Mahavir Jayanti.

Introduction

Mahavir Jayanti also called Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is a major and the most significant festival of Jainism. It commemorates the birth of ‘Mahavira’ who was the Jainism’s twenty-fourth and last ‘Tirthankara’ or spiritual teacher. Though, he was the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism; Mahavira is regarded as its founder.

When is Mahavir Jayanti 2020?

Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Triyodashi as per the Jain Lunisolar calendar. In 2020 Mahavir Jayanti in India will be celebrated on Monday, April 6th.

The Celebrations

The celebrations of Mahavir Jayanti are mostly spiritual involving worship and meditation. Jain temples either big or small swell with devotees on the day. People could be seen meditating and reciting religious rhymes. ‘Abhisheka’, a kind of ceremonial anointment of Lord Mahavira’s statue is performed by the devotees.

A religious procession called Rath Yatra with lord Mahavira placed on a chariot is taken out. Devotees sing religious rhymes and teach people about the teachings of Mahavira.

Other activities include fasting and meditation. Devotees and Jain priest fast to express their devotion to Mahavira’s teachings. Several social activities are also performed, like – collecting donations to mend the sick or feed the poor. Many temples also offer free prasadam or food to the poor.   

The Legend of Mahavir Jayanti

As the Jain texts narrate, Mahavira was born in Chaitra month in 599 BCE. It was the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon. He was born in Kundagram in Bihar’s Champaran district.

He was born to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala of the Ikshvaku dynasty. When Trishala was still pregnant with Mahaviraswami, she had at least sixteen auspicious dreams which were interpreted by King Siddhartha. As per the belief, the dreams signified the arrival of a noble soul.

It is believed that upon the birth of Mahavira, Indra, the God of rain performed Abhishekam of the Sumeru Parvat. It was the second most auspicious (Janma Kalyanaka) of the five events believed to happen in the life of a Tirthankara. The five auspicious events in their order of auspiciousness are – Cyavana Kalyanaka, Janma Kalyanaka, Diksa Kalyanaka, Kavalajanana Kalyanaka, and Nirvana Kalyanaka.  

Significance of Mahavir Jayanti

Mahavira is the most significant and revered teacher of Jainism. He was the last Tirthankara that is he ended the cycle of life and death. Mahavir Jayanti is observed as a national holiday in India and is very important for Jains, from a spiritual point of view. It is a time for them to remember the teachings and noble words of their beloved teacher and implement them in their lives. It is also an occasion to serve the poor and needy through various deeds.

Conclusion

Mahavir Jayanti is a major festival of Jainism. Though the celebrations involve strictly Jain culture and tradition; Lord Mahavira is loved and respected by other Indian religions as well. Some believed that Jainism was born out of Hinduism; therefore, Indian Hindus also consider Mahavira as one of their own and revere him.

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By Abha