Mahavir Jayanti-About Mahavir Jayanti-About Lord Mahavir Swami-Sixteen dreams

About Mahavir Jayanti

Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated on thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of  Gujarati month Chaitra.According to the Gregorian calendar, the Mahavir Jayanti festival falls during the period between March and April.It marks the birth of Vardhmana Mahavir Swami, the 24th Teerthankar of Jains.Jain people celebrate this day with great zeal and devotion.Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Mahavir, is the main Jain festival of year.This religious event is largly observed by the Jains, by visiting sacred sites and worshipping the Teerthankars.He was born in 599 BC at Kshatriyakund near modern Patna in Bihar. His father, King Siddhartha, and his mother, Queen Trishla, were very religious people and followers of Lord Parshwanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar. When Queen Trishla was expecting the baby she had 14 beautiful dreams (some believe sixteen dreams). When the learned scholars were asked about the dreams they said she was going to have an extraordinary child., one who will show the path to true happiness to humanity.On this day Jain temples are decorated with flags.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 devotees make offering of milk, rice fruit, incense, lamps and water to the Tirthankar.Pilgrims from all parts of the country visit the ancient Jain Temples at Girnar and Palitana, in Gujarat, on this day.Some  section of the community even participate in a grand procession.Lectures are held to preach the path of virtue.People meditate and offer prayers.Donations are collected to save the cows from slaughter.The day ends at the shrine, temple or communal area where people meditate and pray. Mahavir Jayanti is also observed with festivities on the 8 day holy period of "Paryushana".

About Lord Mahavir Swami

According to the Digambar school  of Jainism, Lord Mahavira was born in the year 615 BC, but the Swetambaras believe that He was born in 599 BC.Both sects, however, adree that he was the son of Siddhartha and Trishala.Legend has it that he was conceved by Devananda, wife of a Brahmin named Rishabhdeva.The gods, ingeniously, transferred the  embryo to the womb of Trishala.It is said that the expectant mother had sixteen ansupicious dreams before the child was born.astrologers inteepreting these dreams, started that the child would be either an emperor or a Teerthankar.
Mahavir was not the founder of Jainism.He reformed the Jain doctrines so he was more of a reformer than a founder.In Jain Metaphysics, 'Time' is divided into cycles and, in each half-cycle, twenty-four teerthankars ,at different intervals preach new doctrines.Mahavir was the twenty- fourth, and like the others was omniscient.
According to the Swetamber sect of Jains, in 599 B.C. on Chaitra Shukla Trayodahi. i.e., the thirteenth day of the bright half of Chaitra(March-April), a child was born to King Siddhartha and Queen Priyankarani who was popularly known as Trishala Devi.Siddhartha was the king of kaundinyapura near Patna in Bihar.The child who was named Mahavir and also Vardhamana and sanmati, was destined to become one of the greatest prophets of Jainism.He was the last, i.e. 24th Teerthankar of Jains,as far as the currant yuga or is concerned.
From his childhood , Vardhamana was brave and fearless which earned him the epithet of Mahavir; Maha means great and vir means a hero.He grew up as a prince excelling in all arts of prowess and intellectual sphere,Since his parents were followers of Jainism, as preached by Parsvanath, the 23rd Teerthankar, Mahavir was much influenced by its philosophy.Mahavir was very obedient to his parents.He lived a life of truthfulness ,honesty and chastity.He left the transitory pleasures of the world and engrossed himself in Self-contemplation.He renounced the pleasures and luxuries of the place and the crown.He gave up attachment to his parents, relatives and friends and undertook a life of intense penance for more than twelve years.He knew that renunciation was the only means of attaining eternal bliss.
During his long penance, he went through a rigorous life of austerities, fasted and meditated on the pure nature of the Soul.He was unmoved by the beautiful damsel whom God sent to test him.Again, he not only bore the vicissitudes of nature and the torments of his jealous opponents and his own countrymen, but finally attained self-enlightenment.
Mahavir was not contect with his own salvation.He wanted to become a true redeemer of the human race.He found that the real concept of dharma was misinterpreted and there was much corruotion in the religious sphere also.In the name of religion, animal sacrifices took place during yagnas, etc.He did not believe in rituals and spiritual belief that were distorted and filled with more superstition than reality.He remarked that worshiping gods and goddess was more for attaining punya or religious merit for oneself than practicing goodness and understanding the true significance of the Vedic scriptures.he ruthless condemned the existing ill practices of the religious priests.Insted, he introduced simple codes of righteous conduct which appealed to  all and won him a large number of followers.
Mahavir preached non-injury to other creatures and bbeings.He would ask "Can you hold a red-hot iron in your hand merely because someone wants you to do so?" The listerners would of course answers" No, never".Mahavir would ask them, The golden rute, common to all true religious philosophers: "Then, will it be right on your part to ask others to do the same thing just to satisfy your desire?If you can not tolerate infliction of pain on your body or mind by others words and actions, what right have you to do the same to others through your words and deeds?His sermon was ." Do unto others as you would like to be done by.Injury or violence done by you to any life in any form, animal or human, is as harmful as it would be if caused to your own self," His message and emphasis was on 'Unity of Life' and universal Brother hood.
Before renouncing the world, Mahavir had distributed all his wealth to the poor with his own hands.When he went to the forest it seems he took off even the piece of cloth which he was wearing.Before he became a monk, he rooted out with his hands five tufts of hair from his head and turning to the North said. " Salutations to the Siddhas."Mithila and other distant places, and even kings became his disciples.Even today , we find Jain monks and sanyasins spreading his teachings of  peace, non-injuryy and brotherhood throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Mahavir lived for 72 years and entered into nirvana in 527 B.C. on the Diwali day, but the lamp of Peace which he lit still continues to glow as brightly as ever.

Sixteen dreams
  • A white elephant
  • A lion
  • Goddess 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
  • A fragrant Mandara flowers
  • and a vase as tall as Mount Meru, filled with gems.
  • And immediately after this, she felt a white elephant enter her through her mouth. She also didn't feel any pain associated with childbirth.

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