Join in wishing Jains a sacred Mahavir Jayanti
We asked CIC board member Sonal Sanghani about the Jain holiday of Mahavir Jayanti
Mahavir Jayanti’s literal translation is “Mahavir’s birthday”. Based on the moon calendar, Lord Mahavir was born in 599 B.C., on the thirteenth day of rising moon of Chaitra month. This day falls in the month of March or April as per English calendar and the date changes each year. Iin 2019 Mahavir Jayanti is on April 17th.
Lord Mahavir was the twenty fourth tirthankar. According to Jain philosophy, all tirthankars were human beings who attained enlightment and paved the path for others to break the cycle of birth and death and achieve liberation. Tirthankar’s are responsible for organizing the Jain religious order based on the needs of that time.
Lord Mahavir preached anekantvada or philosophy of non‑absolutisim, that there are multiple viewpoints and they may all be right, that right faith (samyak darshana), right knowledge (samyak jnana), and right conduct (samyak charitra) together is the real path to attaining liberation.
The right conduct is achieved by taking 5 vows non-voilence (Ahimsa) towards all living beings, speak the truth (Satya), do not steal (Asteya), Chastity (Brahmacharya) and non-possessive or non-hoarding (Aparigrah).
Mahavir Jayanti is one of the auspicious days for Jains and they celebrate his birth ritualistically by visiting temple and performing pujas in a manner similar to celebration of his actual birth. They listen to sermons from monks on Jain principles/virtues. In alignment with Mahavir’s teachings many Jains meditate, fast, make charitable donations on Mahavir’s birthday.