Who was Lord Mahavir?
Mahavir was born as Vardhaman Mahavir to the great and noted king Siddhartha and queen Priyakarani. They were the noble rulers of kingdom of Ishkvaku reign which would, in the present day would be somewhere in Patna.
Mahavir was a prince by birth and so all the princely luxuries were his by birth and right. But his life had some different plans for him, he had some different route set for him.
He was the founder of the religion that is now famously known worldwide as Jainism. Mahavir was born as the 24th Tirthankara or the prophet, he was also the last Tirthankara. Mahavir was born somewhere around in March, some scriptures state in April in 599 Before Christ.
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From the time of his birth everyone in his family knew that Mahavir was not an ordinary kid. One of the legend that states the situation or the circumstances that followed during the birth of the Mahavir.
His mother Priyakarani or more popularly known as Trishala Devi was said to have dreams preceding the birth of Mahavir. In early days it was said that the aspiring mothers have the dreams of how their sons or daughters will turn out to be. Their dreams are a form of premonitions about their child’s destiny and life.
So Trishala too had her dreams regarding the destiny of her child. In her dreams she saw many different things. Some scriptures say that she saw a total of 13 images whereas some state there were a total of 16 images that Trishala witnessed in her dreams.
All the images were pointing towards something divine, something auspicious and something great. Those were fortunate images that Trishala saw in her dreams.
It is however not sure how much that has contributed in the life of Lord Mahavir, as he is referred to across the world.
Mahavir was not content with his way of life and thus when he turned 30 he wanted to know the greater meaning of life and hence he announced that he shall relinquish all his worldly and kingly pleasures that were bestowed upon him.
Mahavir therefore set to find knowledge. There were many incidents that proved his fearlessness. As Mahavir went to attain true meaning there were many obstacles that stood before him that tried to weaken his determination and shatter his motive.
Some of the obstacles were from the nature that were inevitable and some were from his own people who tried to test his patience and dedication, but Mahavir stood strong at the face of every obstacle.
It took more than a time period of 12 years for Mahavir to fully attain his magnitude of realization. The obstacles were very firm and tested Mahavir in every possible way.
Neither Mother Nature nor any living creature was able to distract Mahavir out of his path. This was highly commendable and this is also one of the reasons why Mahavir is known worldwide and why people speak about his venture so highly.
Mahavir then came with the teaching that mainly consisted of giving up all the worldly pleasures and devoting life to be selfless. His teachings included that there should not be any form of comfort if one has to walk in the path of selflessness.
They should not retain any material possession and enjoy any form of physical comfort if they intend to be selfless and devote their lives to the service of the betterment of the mankind.
His mother Trishala too was an ardent follower of the Jain religion and its teachings. Even after the death of Mahavir, his teachings are fresh in the minds of his hundreds and thousands of followers all over the world.
His followers are both male and female who walk in the path of abstaining any form of pleasures and follow the monk life of preaching and providing service to the needy.
Mahavir left us and went to heaven at the age of 71. Mahavir not only talked about serving the human race but also the animals and living creature who are unable to defend themselves.
The service include providing food to the needy and homeless, giving them cloths and shelter. And the followers of Mahavir are spread across the globe who spread the wise words of Lord Mahavir travelling barefoot.
Celebration of the Mahavir Jayanti
As for the celebration of the Mahavir Jayanti, it is not like the most other festivals. It is not celebrated with cracking fireworks or lightning houses but rather the celebration is very subtle.
It is rather more of an observance day when all the followers of Jainism and Lord Mahavir gather in the monastery or temples kind of place where they talk about all the preaching and the teachings of Lord Mahavir.
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They talk about the life of Mahavir and his journey to attaining self-illumination. There are also ceremony where people or the devotees serve people by providing food, clothes and even monetary help.
If the rites of celebration of the Mahavir Jayanti is considered then there is a ritual of making a chariot where the idol of Lord Mahavir is placed and it is then taken to different nearby localities. This ritual is called Ratha Yatra.
While doing this the devotees sing the verses from the teachings of the Lord Mahavir and educate other people of all the works of the reformer. In other ritual idols of Mahavir are given a bath.
It is one of the tradition where all the statues of the Lord goes through a bath that is done under all the ceremonial rites. This rite is termed as Abhisheka.
On the main day of observance of the festival of Mahavir Jayanti everyone makes sure that they are involved in the servicing part of the religion.
That is according to the main aim of the Lord Mahavir where he speaks about providing selfless service to mankind and so everyone is involved with the charity work be it is food or money or clothes.
Other ritual or celebration of the Mahavir Jayanti is that people or the followers from all over the world join and come to the temples where teaching of Lord Mahavir are being preached.