Mahamastakabhisheka Mahavir Jayanthi g
Mahavir Jayanthi Mahamastakabhisheka


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Mahavir Jayanthi
Mahavira Jayanti is the birthday of Mahavira. It is observed on the first day of the month of Bhadrapad. The date on which he was born is how ever in dispute. According to the Digambara sect, his birth took place in 615 BC, whereas the Svetambaras claim that it occurred in 599 BC. The occasion is of special significance to the Jains because he was their 24th and last Tirthankara. The festival is celebrated with great pomp and show. Jain temples, dedicated to Mahavira, are decorated with flags for the occasion. In the morning the idol of Mahavira is given a ceremonial bath called the abhishek. It is then placed in a cradle and carried in a procession around the neighborhood. Drummers, boys with silver staves and arati lamps, bhajan singers, musicians, horses, elephants and tableaux depicting scenes from the life of Mahavira form part of the pageant. It concludes at a temple or a huge ground reserved for the purpose. Many devotees and by standers participate in the procession. At the temple, people offer ceremonial prayers and meditate. On his birth anniversary, Mahavira's followers recall his teachings, and try to adhere to them. Four kinds of donations are recommended for every Jain: of food called ahar dan; of medicines and equipment's, called aushad dan; of dispersing knowledge by giving sermons, called gyan dan; and of protecting people from any bad deeds they might commit, called abhay dan. mahavira
People refrain from violence of any kind, and keep their emotions in control, eating their evening meal before the sunsets. They also donate money, clothes and grain to the poor. Many Jains organize food and drinks for the community. These functions are open to all. In homes, people make imprints of hands on the walls to bring luck. The hands are dipped in water mixed with vermilion, then pressed against the wall to make an impression. The hand symbolizes good will and is considered auspicious. According to Jain mythology, Mahavira had not only performed many good deeds, but had also acquired all the qualities necessary to become a Tirthankara in his previous life. Six months before he was to take birth in the mortal world, the gods and goddesses created an atmosphere befitting to the arrival of a great being.
mahavir Innumerable goddesses came down to the earth to tend to the needs of his pregnant mother. There was gold rain from the heavens and everyone was rid of poverty and illness.

Just before his birth, at the auspicious hour of four in the morning, Mahavira's mother Trishala had sixteen dreams. In these visions, she saw a white elephant, a lion, Lakshmi with two elephants at her side showering flowers, the moon lighting the universe with silvery beams, a pair of jumping fish, the radiant sun, a golden pitcher, a lake full of lotus flowers, a calm ocean of milk, a celestial palace, a throne of rubies and diamonds, a celestial king ruling the earth, a garland, a white bull, fragrant Mandara flowers, and a vase as tall as Mount Meru filled with gems.
Immediately after this, she felt a white elephant from heaven enter her body through her mouth. At the time of his birth, Mahavira's mother felt none of the pain or agony of childbirth. It is believed that at the exact moment of his birth, the life forms in all the three worlds were cheerful and content. Several gods and goddesses descended from the heavens to pay homage to the Tirthankara. They bathed him ceremonially and named him Vardhaman, Vir, Mahavira, Ativira and Samvati. The child was of exceptional beauty and developed great physical and spiritual strength. At the age of 30, Vardhamana decided to renounce the world. He sat in deep meditation under an Ashoka (Jonesia asoka) tree for 12 years, before attaining enlightenment. All the gods gathered to watch the great event. At the moment of his enlightenment, they bore him up and carried him in a palanquin to a park where he was put on a five-tiered throne and acknowledged as Mahavira. Here he stripped himself of all his clothes. Instead of shaving his head, he tore his hair out from the roots, for he was above pain. According to the Digambaras, Mahavira wore no clothes thereafter, but the Svetambaras believe that Indra presented him with a white robe. This sect believes that white robes, unlike all other personal possessions, do not impede the liberation of the soul by getting involved in the cycle of earthly life. Mahavira preached non-violence and prohibited any kind of killing. He also believed that the most virtuous life is spent sitting still and fasting, as then a man does not run the risk of injuring life even involuntarily, by swallowing or treading upon insects. On his birth anniversary, every Jain resolves to follow his teachings