Mahavir Jayanti : Celebrating the birthday of the preacher of love and respect

  •   2018-03-29  |  nepaltraveller.com

Mahavir Jayanti is an important festival for Jains that marks the birthday of the founder of Jainism, Lord Mahavir

Mahavir Jayanti is an important festival for Jains across the world that marks the birthday of the last Tirthankara (saviour and teacher) in Jainism. Lord Mahavir is said to be the 24th Tirthankara. 

Lord Mahavir is a proponent of non-violence who preached love and respect for all living beings - from the tiniest beings to the largest creatures. This lead him to form a religion, Jainism. He was born in the palace of Vaishali to King Siddhartha and Queen Trisala. He took over the kingdom when he came of age and ruled for over 30 years after which he gave up the kingdom to seek enlightenment.

Jainism is a religion that was started and founded in India. It teaches the way to bliss and liberation to live a harmless life. The essence of Jainism is a concern for welfare for everyone in the universe. Here are some of the facts that you need to know about Jainism:

 

1) Jains believe that animals and plants, as well as human beings, containing living souls, should be treated equally or considered of equal value.

2) Jains are strict vegetarians and live in a way that minimises the world’s resources

3) Jains believe in reincarnation and seek to attain ultimate liberation

4) Liberation is only attained by eliminating all karma from the soul

5) It is a religion of self-help

6) Lord Mahavir is said to be the one who gave Jainism its present-day form

7) The religion does not have priests. The professional religious people are nuns and monks who live an ascetic life.  

8) Jains are divided into two sects - the Digambara sect and the Svetembara sect

Most Jains live in India, however, Nepal is also home to a handful of Jains. There are about 500-600 Jain families living in Kathmandu itself. There is also a Jain Temple in Kathmandu that is situated at Kamalpokhari. This temple commemorates the memory of  Mahavir. On the auspicious day of Mahavir Jayanti, the Jain Temple is full of Jain devotees where they celebrate the birthday of the founder of Jainism. They also remember him through his teachings and discuss how his teachings can be implemented in everyday life to make the world a better place.




 

Prarthana Dixit is a content writer at nepaltraveller.com 

Photos by Shubham Parajuli 

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