2550th Bhagwan Mahavir Nirvan Mahotsav

On 21st April 2024, PM Narendra Modi marked Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Mahavir as the 2550th Bhagwan Mahavir Nirvan Mahotsav at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi. Bhagwan Mahavir was the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. According to the Jains ‘Bhagwan Mahavir was born on the 13th day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chitra’.

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About the Ceremony-

During the ceremony, PM Modi paid tribute to Bhagwan Mahavir also unveiled a commemorative stamp and coin and attended a dance drama titled ‘Vartaman mein Vardhaman’ performed by school children. He commended the youth’s commitment to Bhagwan Mahavir’s principles, interpreting it as a positive indicator of the nation’s progress. Also, he recalled the philosophies like Anekantavada and Syadvada.

Bhagwan Mahavir’s Biography-

Bhagwan Mahavir was born in 599 BCE at Vaishali in Bihar. He belonged to the Ikshvaku dynasty. His childhood name was ‘Vardhaman’. His father’s name was Siddhartha and his mother’s name was Trishala. He attained Kaivalya (omniscience) at the age of 42 and gave his first sermon at Pava (near Patna). He passed away at the age of 72 (527 BCE) at Pavapuri (near Rajgir, Bihar).

Bhagwan Mahavir emphasised the teachings of Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Aparigraha (non-attachment) and Brahmacharya (Chastity). These five teachings are called 5 Mahavratas.

What is Kalyanak?

Jains celebrate the five Kalyanakas (major events) of every Tirthankar, including Bhagwan Mahavir: Chyavana/Garbha (Conception) Kalyanak; Janma (Birth) Kalyanak; Diksha (Renunciation) Kalyanak; Kevaljnana (Omniscience) Kalyanak and Nirvana (Liberation/Ultimate Salvation) Kalyanak.