Mahaveer Janma Kalyanak, is one of the most important religious festival for Jains. It celebrates the birth of Mahaveer, the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara of Avasarpiṇī.
|Observances:||Prayers, Religious Rituals|
|Type of holiday:||Religious, National holiday|
|Featured in religions:||Jainism|
|2018 Date:||29 March 2018|
|Celebrations:||Going to the Jain Temple|
|Date:||Chaitra Sud Triyodashi (Vira Nirvana Samvat)|
|Significance:||Birth Anniversary of Sri Mahaveer|
Most modern historians consider Vasokund as Mahaveer's birthplace. According to Jain texts, Mahaveer was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra in the year 599 BCE (Chaitra Sud 13). Mahaveer was born in a democratic kingdom (Ganarajya), Vajji, where the king was chosen by votes. Vaishali was its capital.
Mahaveer was named 'Vardhamana', which means "One who grows", because of the increased prosperity in the kingdom at the time of his birth. In Vasokund, Mahaveer is much revered by the villagers. A place called Ahalya bhumi has not been ploughed for hundreds of years by the family that owns it, as it is considered to be the birthplace of Mahaveer.
Mahaveer was born into Ikshvaku dynasty as the son of King Siddhartha of Kundagrama and Queen Trishala. During her pregnancy, Trishala was believed to have had a number of auspicious dreams, all signifying the coming of a great soul. Digambara sect of Jainism holds that the mother saw sixteen dreams which were interpreted by the King Siddhartha. According to the Svetambara sect, the total number of auspicious dreams is fourteen. It is said that when Queen Trishala gave birth to Mahaveer, Indra, the head of heavenly beings (devas) performed a ritual called abhisheka, this being the second of five auspicious events (Panch Kalyanakas), said to occur in the life of all Tirthankaras.
The idol of Mahaveer is carried out on a chariot, in a procession called rath yatra. On the way stavans (religious rhymes) are recited. Statues of Mahaveer are given a ceremonial anointment called the abhisheka. During the day, most members of the Jain community engage in some sort of charitable act. Many devotees visit temples dedicated to Mahaveer to meditate and offer prayers.
Ahimsa runs and rallies preaching the Mahaveer's message of Ahiṃsā (non-violence of non-injury) are taken out on this day.