Mahavir Jayanti Festival, India

Lord Mahavir took birth in Kundalagrama (now Kundalpur) in Bihar, a few kilometers from Patna, on the 13th day of the waxing moon during the Chaitra month (Hindu calendar). It is believed that his parents named him Vardhaman - King Siddhartha and Queen Trisala.

Vaishali was considered at that time to be the capital of the state. However, the year of Mahavira's birth is contested. Swetambar Jains consider Mahavira to have been born in 599 BC; Digambar Jains consider it to have been 615 BC. Following Swetambar beliefs, Mahavira's mother had 14 dreams that astrologers interpreted to say Mahavira would become either an emperor or a sage (Tirthankara). Mahavira looked for truth when he was 30 years old, leaving his throne and family. As a hermit, he spent 12 years exile from society. His non-violent teachings and his respect for everyone were prominent during this time. Mahavira is the name he was given after he proved exceptional skills at controlling the senses. It is widely believed that Mahavira attained Nirvana at 72 years of age.

Every year, the Jain community celebrates several festivities that allow them to take oaths with their families and friends. This community holds Lord Mahavir in respect and worships him. In this festival, the most important event is the presentation of Lord Mahavir's idol. By washing the effigy of Mahavir in fragranced oil, the people signify that the Lord is pure.

There will be thousands of devotees visiting Jain temples across India and around the world. People visit ancient sites associated with the community of Jainism. During the festival, Gomateshwara is a popular destination. Many Jains bestow food or money to temples, which is quite interesting. Mahavir Jayanti is primarily a Jain celebration and to get the true quintessence of it, you can visit any of the Jain temples.

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