Thursday, June 1, 2017



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Mahavir Jayanti, also known as Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, is the most important religious holiday for Jains. It celebrates the birth of Mahavira, twenty-fourth and the last 'Tirthankara' of present time cycle. This year Mahavir Jayanti is being observed on April 9.

Mahavira was born into royalty as the son of King Siddartha of Kundgraam and Queen Trishala. During pregnancy, mother Trishala was believed to have had a number of auspicious dreams, all signifying the coming of a great soul.

Local statues of Mahavira are given a ceremonial bath called the ‘abhisheka’. During the day, many Jains engage in some sort of charitable acts in the name of Mahavira while others travel to temples to meditate and offer prayers.

Sri Aurobindo says: “… it is the great saints and religious personalities that stand at the head in India and present the most striking and continuous roll-call of greatness.” The Rishi in ancient India was the outstanding figure with the hero just behind, while in later times the most striking feature is the long uninterrupted chain from Buddha and Mahavira to Ramanuja, Chaitanya, Nanak, Ramdas and Tukaram and beyond them to Ramakrishna and Vivekananda and Dayananda.

Also about Jainism, he says: “Why cannot one love or experience [the Cosmic Divine or the Transcendent Divine] concretely? many have done it. And why assume that He is immobile, silent and aloof? The Cosmic Divine can be as close to one as one’s own self and the Transcendent as intimate as the closest friend or lover. It is only in the physical consciousness that there is some difficulty in realising it.

The Jain realisation of an individual godhead is all right so far as it goes…”

(*Painting on Mahavir by Rajendra Kamble; Information on Mahavir Jayanti sourced from Wikipedia)

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