Archive for the ‘Deravasis’ Category

Mahavir Jayanthi

April 8, 2009

The birth anniversary of the 24th and the last Tirthankara, Vardhman Mahavir, the founder of Jainism who Born a prince in 599 BC, Mahavir renounced worldly life at the age of 30 and undertook austere penance until he achieved realization, is celebrated by the Jain community on Mahavir Jayanthi. On this day the Jain temples are decorated with flags.


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In the morning the idol of Mahavira is given a ceremonial bath called the ‘abhishek’.
The last Tirthankara, Vardhman Mahavir spread the message of salvation to the world and had many followers. Mahavir preached non-violence, prohibited any kind of killing and taught his followers to seek salvation through penance and abstinence. They are also advised to donate money, clothes and grain to the poor. The Jains are divided into many sects of whom the main ones are Digambaras and Shvetambaras with the latter again divided into Deravasis and Sthanakvasis.


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The devotees make offerings of milk, rice, fruit, incense, lamps and water to the Tirthankar. Lectures are held to preach the path of virtue. People meditate and offer prayers.  Donations are collected to save the cows from slaughter. Pilgrims from all parts of the country visit the ancient Jain Temples at Girnar and Palitana in Gujarat on this day.