Mahavir Jayanti

Birth Anniversary of 24th Jain Thirthankar Vardhaman Mahavir.

Born - 2617 years back (599 BC)

Place of birth - Vaishali, Bihar - 2.5 hours from Patna.

Parent name - King Siddharth & Queen Trishaladevi.

Birth Name - Vardhaman (meaning - The one who grows)

As a prince, he was quiet, brave and fearless.

Spouse name - Yashoda

Daughter name - Priyadarshana

At 30, decided to renounce worldly pleasure & luxuries of life & become saint.

For next 12 years, performed rigorous penance & meditation & attained Keval Gyan at 42 under a tree at the banks of river Rijuvaluka in Bihar.

Keval Gyan means infinite knowledge. Ability to comprehend & visualize past, present & future. Free of emotions & attachments.

For next 30 years, he preached knowledge to his followers from Samavasarana (preaching pavilion). 11 Brahmins led by Gautam swami were his first set of followers who decided to convert to Jainism.

Mahavir set up four fold Jain samaj consisting of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen.

He attained moksha after giving his final discourse at the age of 72 at Pawapuri on Diwali night.

On day of Mahavir Jayanti, devotees wake up early, take bath and head to do puja. Then they participate in Rath yatra. Abhishek of idol is performed on this day. Temples are decorated with lights in the night. Donations are collected to save animals. Devotees eat only Jain food during this day.