Mahavir Jayanti/Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is celebrated as birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir. In 2024, this auspicious day will be be observed on 21st April (Sunday).

Mahavir Jayanti 2024

Mahavir Jayanti is a festival that holds immense significance for the Jain community worldwide, particularly in India. This auspicious occasion is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Mahavir, who is revered as the 24th and final Tirthankara of the Jain faith. As a Tirthankara, Lord Mahavir was a spiritual teacher and guide who played a crucial role in spreading the tenets of Jainism.

Jainism is a religion that places great emphasis on non-violence and peaceful coexistence. It espouses the idea of minimal harm to all living beings, and followers of this faith are known for their strict adherence to principles such as ahimsa (non-violence), aparigraha (non-attachment), and anekantavada (non-absolutism).

The term "Tirthankara" is central to Jainism, and it refers to the saviour and spiritual teacher of the Jain dharma. Tirthankaras are believed to have achieved enlightenment and to have helped others attain the same. Lord Mahavir is considered the last Tirthankara, and his teachings continue to inspire and guide Jains around the world.

During Mahavir Jayanti, Jains across the world celebrate the birth of Mahavira by performing various rituals and activities, such as offering prayers, listening to discourses on Jainism, organizing processions, and performing charitable acts. The festival is also an opportunity for Jains to come together and strengthen their community ties.

Mahavir Jayanti Date

When is Mahavir Jayanti in 2024?

Mahavir Jayanti is typically celebrated in the month of March or early April, as per the Gregorian calendar. Out of the two sects of Jainism, the Swetambar sect of Jainism date the burth of Lord Mahavir on the 13th day of the waxing moon on the Chaitra month (Hindu calendar) in 599 BC in Kundalagrama, Bihar. However, the Digambar Jains believe that his birth took place in 615 BC. Regardless of the differences in beliefs, the festival is a time for Jains to come together, reflect on Lord Mahavir's teachings, and renew their commitment to living a life of peace, harmony, and non-violence.

Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion by the followers of Jainism, to commemorate the birth of Lord Mahavira, who was the 24th and the last Tirthankara of the Jain faith.

According to the Swetambaras, Lord Mahavira was born in 599 BC, but the Digambaras believe that he was born in 615 BC. This auspicious festival is celebrated on the 13th day of the waxing half of the Hindu month of Caitra, which falls in late March or early April in the Gregorian calendar.

In 2024, Mahavir Jayanti falls on April 21 and the nation will be celebrating the 2623rd birth anniversary of Mahavir Swami. On this day, Jains pay tribute to Mahavira's teachings of non-violence, virtue, and compassion towards all living beings. Mahavir Jayanti is considered the most important festival for Jains, and it is celebrated with fervor and zeal. Lord Mahavira was born in Kundalagrama, which is located in the Vaishali district of Bihar. Jains offer prayers, visit temples, and participate in charitable activities on this holy day.

History of Mahavir Jayanti

The celebration of Mahavir Jayanti has a rich history and origin that dates back to thousands of years ago. The last Tirthankara of Jains, Lord Mahavir was born into a royal family as Prince Vardhamana. His father was Kshatriya and King of the Ikshvaku Dynasty, King Siddhartha and his mother Queen Trishala of the Licchavi republic. Although destined to become an emperor, he renounced his luxurious lifestyle at the age of 30 to search for truth and enlightenment. He gave up all his worldly possessions, including his clothing, and lived an ascetic life. He traveled from place to place, fasting and meditating, until he finally attained enlightenment (Nirvana) at the age of 72.

After attaining enlightenment, Lord Mahavir continued his travels, spreading the teachings of Jainism. He preached the concept of absolute freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and how anyone can achieve Moksh. He established five rules for humans to follow, which are ‘Ahimsa,’ ‘Asteya,’ ‘Brahmacharya,’ ‘Satya,’ and ‘Aparigraha,’ and based many of his teachings on the scientific facts of nature and the true meaning of life.

Lord Mahavir's teachings of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity, and non-attachment impressed many people in India and around the world. He inspired the foundation of Jainism - a simple religion free from ritual intricacies. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated in honor of Lord Mahavir, who is considered one of the greatest prophets of social reform and peace worldwide.

Mahavir Jayanti reminds us of the life of Lord Mahavir and his teachings of non-violence, truth, and detachment. The celebration of this day is an opportunity for Jains to come together and offer prayers and seek blessings. It is a reminder to people of all faiths to live a simple and meaningful life, following the principles of non-violence and truthfulness, which are essential for a peaceful and harmonious society.

Mahavir Jayanti 2024 Celebrations

Mahavir Jayanti is a significant festival for the Jain community all around the world, and the day is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm. The celebrations begin with a grand procession of Lord Mahavir's idol on a chariot, known as Rath Yatra. Devotees sing religious hymns and songs (stavans) while the procession moves along the streets. The procession concludes at a Jain temple where the idol is placed and anointed in a ceremony called 'abhisheka.'

On this day, the Jain community engages in various charitable activities to mark the occasion. People also perform acts of kindness and generosity, such as donating food, clothes, and money to the poor and needy. Nuns and monks organize lectures and discussions on the principles and teachings of Jainism, promoting the virtuous path defined by Lord Mahavir.

The celebration of Mahavir Jayanti also involves observing a day-long fast and offering prayers to Lord Mahavir. The fasting ritual is undertaken to purify the mind and body and to seek blessings from Lord Mahavir for a prosperous life. The Jains also visit Jain temples and offer prayers and seek blessings from the deities. The day's celebrations culminate with mass prayers and meditation sessions, where people seek spiritual enlightenment and inner peace.

The Jain community also follows a Satvik diet on this day, which involves eating freshly prepared vegetarian meals made without onion or garlic. The diet is prepared with minimal harm to living creatures, in line with the principle of non-violence (ahimsa) advocated by Lord Mahavir.

In India, the eastern state of Bihar, where Lord Mahavir was born, is the epicenter of the celebrations. The Parasnath temple in Calcutta attracts a significant number of devotees, who come to offer prayers and participate in the day's festivities. Age-old Jain temples all over the country also witness a high footfall of visitors, who come to pay their respects and seek blessings on this auspicious occasion.

All in all, the festival of Mahavir Jayanti is a significant occasion among the Jain community, celebrated with great devotion and dedication. The day's celebrations involve fasting, prayers, charity, and meditation, all aimed at seeking spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. The Jain community's adherence to non-violence, truth, non-stealing, chastity, and non-attachment is a testament to Lord Mahavir's teachings and his legacy of peace and harmony.

Mahavir Jayanti Date (2021-2026)

Year Mahavir Jayanti Date Day
2021 25 April Sunday
2022 14 April Thursday
2023 4 April Tuesday
2024 21 April Sunday
2025 10 April Thursday
2026 31 March Tuesday