Mahavir Jayanti Puja Vidhi and Vrat Katha - Know Story Behind Mahavir Jayanti Celebratioin

MAHAVIR JAYANTI: REFLECTING ON MAHAVIR'S THOUGHTS

Places of Merriment: Gujarat and Rajasthan
Mahavir Jayanti Puja Vidhi and Mahavir Jayanti Vrat Katha

Mahavira Jayanti Festival Information
For the Jains community, Mahavir Jayanti is the most significant and important festival. It is the birthday anniversary of Jain prophet—Lord Mahavira. It usually falls on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the Chaitra month. According to the Georgian calendar, it falls anytime between March and April.

Who and Where is Mahavira Jayanthi Commemorated?
Considered as one of the biggest Jain festivals, traditionally, it is Digambar (sky-clad) and Shvetambar (white-clad) Jains that observe this festival. The majority of the Jain population is found in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Mahavir Jayanti is widely celebrated in ancient shrines at Girnar and Palitana (Gujarat), Parasnath temple (Calcutta), and Pawapuri and Vaishali (Bihar) and Mahavirji (Rajasthan).

Who is Lord Mahavira?
Mahavira, son of King Siddhartha and Priyakarani, is the last one in the galaxy of Twenty-four Teerthankaras (Jain Prophets). Born in 599 BC, he is acclaimed as India's renowned prophet of peace and social transformation.

Mahavir was not the founder of Jainism. He reformed the Jain doctrines so he was more of a reformer than a founder. During his growing up days as a prince, he renounced the pleasures and luxuries of the palace. He undertook a life of intense penance for more than twelve years.

Mahavira introduced the true concept of Dharma. He looked around and found the society corrupted by the distortions. Mahavira, with his penetrating insight born out of self-realization, struck mercilessly at these perversions. He simplified the religious procedures and concentrated on righteous conduct.

Mahavira initiated a simple five-fold path for the householders:
Ahimsa (Non-injury - physical or mental - to others)
Asteya (non-stealing)
Brahmacharya (temperance in sexual pleasures)
Aparigraha (non-acquisition of property).

How is Mahavir Jayanti Commemorated?
The major emphasis of Mahavir Jayanti is renunciation. On this day, there are religious prayers, where Jains reflect on the teachings of Mahavira. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated on a grand scale with processions, fast, charities, fairs and religious ceremonies at the Jain shrines.

On this day, grand processions are carried out with life size bust of Lord Mahavira all across India. The Jain shrines are decorated with flags. Early in the morning, the idol of Mahavira is given a ceremonial bath called 'abhishek'. He is then placed in a cradle for a grand procession around the neighborhood. During this procession, devotees offer milk, rice, fruit, incense, lamps and water to the tirthankar. Special skits are performed enacting important incidents from the life of Lord Mahavira.

Enlightening lectures on the life of Lord Mahavira and its teachings by well-known Jain scholars. On this day, people seek salvation by way of meditation and prayers. A donation drive is organized to save slaughter of cows. Special social service programmes are organized at various charitable organizations.

The popular Mahavir Jayanti fair is organized at 'Mahavir Temple' in an enclosure known as Katala. The temple of Mahavirji also has images of other Jain tirthankaras. It has an idol of Bhairon, which is installed as the guardian of the shrine at the door. There is a main attraction is stambha (tower of glory) made of marble in front of the temple.

Mahavir Jayanti Puja Vidhi: Method of Worship

  • In the morning, the idol of Mahavira is given a ceremonial bath also known as the ‘Abhishek’. 
  • After the Abhishek, the idol is placed in a cradle and carried in a procession. 
  • Taking out grand processions with images of Mahavira is symbolic and is organized on this day. 
  • The procession generally sees drummers, horses, elephants, singers, and lamps. 
  • The procession ends at a temple or a shrine. On this day, people worship the Tirthankars with water, sandal-wood, flowers, incense, candle, rice, sweets, and fruit.
  • Devotees offer milk, rice, fruit, incense sticks, and water to the Tirthankar. 
  • Preachings are carried out and people offer prayers. 
  • Even donations are collected for saving cows – mother of the gods, according to the Hindu religion, from slaughter. 
  • There are four kinds of donation for every Jain on this day and it includes:
Gyan daan: sharing of knowledge
Abhay daan: protecting people from bad actions
Aushad daan: donating medicines
Ahaar daan: giving food
  • On this day, ancient Jain temples at Girnar and Palitana in Gujarat are also visited by devotees and pilgrims.

Mahavir Jyanti Katha: Mahvir Jayanti Story

Lord Mahavir was the 24th and last Tirthankar of  Jain religion. He was the third child of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. He left his kingdom and family at the age of 30 when Lord received Diksha on the day of Margashirsha Krishna Dashami.

For the next twelve years he meditated under Ashoka tree to attain his inner desires and feelings. He sacrificed food and took care that he won't harm any human or living kind. Lord Mahavir's philosophies encouraged 'Satya' (Truthfulness), Ahimsa (Non-violence), 'Asatya' (Non-stealing), "Brahmacharya' (Chastity), "Aparigraha' (Simple living). Lord Mahavir was also called by different names likebAtíveer, Sanmati, Vardhaman and Veer.

TrishalaMata, the mother of Lord Mahavir had 14 dreams when Lord Mahavir was getting to change state.

First dream Queen Trishala had was of an Elephant. This dream indicated that she would give birth to a toddler with exceptionally high character.

The second dream Queen Trishala had a cow. This dream indicated that her son would be highly religious and an excellent spiritual teacher.

The third dream Queen Trishala had was of a powerful Lion. This dream indicated that her son would be as powerful and powerful because of the lion.

The fourth dream Queen Trishala had the Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of richness, success, and strength.

The fifth dream Queen Trishala had was of a gorgeous Garland descending from the sky. It indicated that her son's teaching will spread throughout the universe.

The sixth dream Queen Trishala had was of a full -of the moon. This nightmare resembles that the child would help lessen the suffering of all living beings.

The seventh dream Queen Trishala had was of the brilliant Sun. This dream indicated that her son would have the Superior understanding.

The eighth dream Queen Trishala had was of an outsized Flag flying on a golden stick. This dream indicated that her son would carry the banner of the faith

The ninth dream Queen Trishala had was of a Golden Vase crammed with the clear water. This dream indicated that her son would be perfect altogether virtues

The tenth dream Queen Trishala had was of a Lake filled with Lotuses. This dream indicated that her son would be beyond global attachment.

The eleventh dream Queen Trishala had was of water waves. This dream indicated that her son would have a good attitude.

The twelfth dream Queen Trishala had was of an astronomical plane. This dream indicated that each one of the Angels within the heaven would respect, honor, and salute her son's spiritual teachings.

The thirteenth dream Queen Trishala had was of an enormous Heap of Jewels. This dream indicated that her son Would have infinite morality  and intelligence

The fourteenth dream Queen Tríshala had was of a gasless Fire. This dream indicated that her son would reform and restore the faith.

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