Mahavir Jayanti is a significant religious festival celebrated by Jains in India and around the world with great sanctity and spiritual fervor. It marks the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira, who was the 24th Tirthankara (spiritual teacher) of Jainism and is considered a key figure in Jain religious history. The date of Mahavir Jayanti varies each year according to the Jain lunar calendar but usually falls in March or April.
Here are some places in India where Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with utmost sanctity and spiritual fervor:
- Ranakpur, Rajasthan: Ranakpur in Rajasthan is known for its stunning Jain temples, including the famous Ranakpur Jain Temple. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with elaborate processions, prayers, and rituals at this temple. Devotees from all over the country visit Ranakpur to pay their respects to Lord Mahavira.
- Palitana, Gujarat: Palitana is one of the holiest places for Jains and is home to more than 900 temples. On Mahavir Jayanti, Jains visit the Palitana temples for special prayers and to climb the sacred Shatrunjaya hill, which is considered highly auspicious.
- Parasnath Temple, Jharkhand: Parasnath Temple, located on Parasnath Hill, is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Jains. On Mahavir Jayanti, thousands of devotees gather here to offer prayers and participate in religious processions.
- Mumbai, Maharashtra: In Mumbai, Jain temples like Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Temple and the Jain Temple at Walkeshwar celebrate Mahavir Jayanti with grandeur. Devotees organize pujas, aarti ceremonies, and processions in the city.
- Delhi: In the capital city, several Jain temples, including the famous Digambar Jain Lal Mandir and the Shri Ahimsa Sthal, observe Mahavir Jayanti with prayers, fasting, and cultural programs. The Ahimsa Sthal also hosts a grand procession.
- Pune, Maharashtra: Pune is home to the Osho International Meditation Resort, which has a significant Jain following. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated here with meditation sessions, lectures, and discussions on Lord Mahavira’s teachings.
- Ahmedabad, Gujarat: The city of Ahmedabad sees grand celebrations on Mahavir Jayanti, with numerous Jain temples and organizations conducting special prayers, lectures, and cultural events.
These are just a few examples, and Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with devotion and enthusiasm in Jain communities all over India. The festivities typically include prayers, fasting, visiting temples, offering alms, and engaging in acts of charity and non-violence, which are key principles of Jainism.