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Mahavir Jayanti 2024: Know 5 fascinating facts about Lord Mahavira and the festival

Know five intriguing facts about Lord Mahavira and the significance of Mahavir Jayanti 2024, celebrating the birth anniversary of the revered Jain spiritual leader. Explore his journey to enlightenment, principles of Ahimsa, and enduring legacy.

Written By: Muskan Gupta @guptamuskan_ New Delhi Published on: April 21, 2024 11:35 IST
Mahavir Jayanti 2024
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Mahavir Jayanti, the auspicious occasion commemorating the birth of Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, is celebrated with great reverence and enthusiasm by millions of Jain followers worldwide. This year, the Jayanti is observed on April 21. The day serves as a time for introspection, spiritual renewal, and communal harmony. It encapsulates the essence of Jain philosophy and provides an opportunity for individuals to deepen their understanding of non-violence, compassion, and self-discipline. As we celebrate Mahavir Jayanti 2024, here are the five intriguing facts about Lord Mahavira and the festival.

  1. Birth of a Spiritual Icon: Lord Mahavira was born as Vardhamana to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala in Kundagrama (present-day Vaishali district in Bihar, India) around 599 BCE. His birth is believed to have occurred on the thirteenth day of the Chaitra month in the Hindu calendar. His teachings form the foundation of Jain philosophy, emphasising non-violence (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), non-stealing (asteya), celibacy (brahmacharya), and non-attachment (aparigraha).
  2. Renunciation and Enlightenment: At the age of 30, Mahavira renounced his princely life, leaving behind his family and worldly possessions in pursuit of spiritual truth. For twelve years, he practiced intense meditation and austerity, enduring various trials and tribulations. Finally, at the age of 42, he attained enlightenment (kevala jnana) under a sal tree in the state of Bihar, India.
  3. Ahimsa - Central Tenet of Jainism: Mahavira's teachings heavily emphasise the principle of non-violence (ahimsa) towards all living beings. He preached compassion and advocated for the protection of life in all its forms. Jains commemorate Mahavir Jayanti by reflecting on his teachings and striving to emulate his profound commitment to ahimsa in their daily lives. The festival serves as a reminder of the importance of non-violence, not only in actions but also in thoughts and words.
  4. Symbolism of Mahavira's Life: Mahavira's life is filled with symbolic significance. His birth symbolises the dawn of spiritual awakening, his renunciation represents detachment from worldly desires, and his enlightenment signifies the ultimate realisation of truth. During Mahavir Jayanti celebrations, devotees engage in prayers, hymns, and meditation to honour his legacy and seek inspiration for their spiritual journey.
  5. Global Observance of Mahavir Jayanti: Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with fervour across the globe, transcending geographical boundaries. From India to countries with significant Jain communities like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and others, devotees come together to commemorate the birth of their revered spiritual leader. The festivities often include processions, temple decorations, charitable activities, and community gatherings where the teachings of Lord Mahavira are shared.

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