People belonging to the Jain community celebrate Mahavir Jayanti to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jain spiritual leader Mahavir, who was the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism.
Mahavir Jayanti 2020 marks the 2,618th birth anniversary of the teacher. It is also called the 'Mahavir Janma Kalyanak'. This year the auspicious occasion will be observed amid a global health crisis triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.
Date and timing
Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated annually on the 13th day of the Hindu month of Chaitra. According to Hindu Samwat calendar, Mahavir Jayanti 2020 will be celebrated on April 6, 2020 (Monday). The tithi or date of Mahavir Swami Jayanti 2020 will begin at 7:24 pm on April 5 (Sunday) and end at 3:51 pm on April 6 (Monday).
History and Significance
Mahavir Swami is one of the most famous spiritual teachers in Jainism. He was the 24th and last Tirthankara of the faith. Born in 599 BC as prince Vardhamana in Bihar, India, Mahavir left his worldly comforts and possessions at the age of 30 and became a monk.
After practicing meditation and pursuing spirituality, he attained the ultimate perception, power, knowledge and bliss. Soon, he set out to preach people about the realization or ‘keval-jnana’ that he had attained.
He divided his followers into four categories –monks, nuns, layman and laywoman. They came to be known as Jains later on. To pay respect to the spiritual leader, the birth anniversary of Mahavir is celebrated with vigour and pomp.
In 527 BC, Mahavir passed away leaving behind his body. The soul of the great sage found liberation upon the mortal body’s death. This day is celebrated as Diwali or festival of lights among the Jains.