How Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated

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lord-mahaviraMahavir Jayanti, one of the most important religious festivals of the Jain community, is celebrated with zeal in India and across the world to commemorate the birth and philosophy of Lord Mahavira.
Mahavira was the last Tirthanka and founder of Jainism in India. He was born on the thirteenth day of the rising moon of Chaitra to King Siddartha and Queen Trisala in Vaishali (Bihar), a few miles from present Patna city. His parents named him Vardhaman.
According to Swetambars, Vardhaman’s expecting mother had 14 dreams. When astrologers interpreted these dreams, they predicted that the child would become either an emperor or Tirthankar, a person who achieves spiritual enlightenment. The prophecies of the astrologers came true and later he became the 24th Tirthankar.
Mahavira lived as a prince. But, in his early years he developed a deep interest in the core beliefs of Jainism and started meditating. At the age of 30, he renounced the throne and his family to seek spiritual truth and spent twelve years as an ascetic. He spent most of his time meditating and preaching non-violence to people and also showed utmost reverence to all living beings.
Mahavira chose an extremely ascetic life. While enduring the penance, he controlled his senses. His courage and exemplary action in controlling the senses earned him the name Mahavira. And he devoted the rest of his life preaching the truth of spiritual freedom. Thus, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated every year to commemorate his preaching and Jain philosophy.
Mahavir Jayanti is an auspicious occasion for the Jain community. Followers visit the temples and offer ceremonial bath, known as ‘abhishek’, to Mahavira’s idol. The temples are lavishly decorated with flags to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira. Majestic chariot processions are also carried out with the images followed by millions of devotees while chanting prayers. Traditional dishes are prepared on this particular day and alms are offered to the poor.
On the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, sermons are also held in shrines or temples to preach the philosophy of spiritual freedom and virtue. Important chapters from the life of Mahavira are read out to the devotees that also contain biographies of Jain Tirthankars.
Devotees and followers of Jainism send Mahavir Jayanti messages to relive the great teachings and life of Lord Mahavira. Amazing Mahavir Jayanti greetings, e-cards and Mahavir Jayanti SMS are shared with friends and family to celebrate the holy occasion.

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