Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is one of the most important religious festivals in Jainism. It celebrates the birth of Mahavir, the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara of present Avasarpiṇī. On the Gregorian calendar, the holiday occurs either in March or April.
According to Jain texts, Mahavir was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the moon in the month of Chaitra in the year 599 BCE (Chaitra Sud 13). Most modern historians consider Kundagram (which is today’s Kundalpur in Champaran district of Bihar) as his birthplace. Mahavir was born in a democratic kingdom (Ganarajya), Vajji, where the king was chosen by votes. Vaishali was its capital.
Mahavir was named ‘Vardhaman’, meaning “One who grows”, because of the increased prosperity in the kingdom at the time of his birth. In Vasokund, Mahavir is revered by the villagers. A place called Ahalya bhumi has not been ploughed for hundreds of years…
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