Diwali is an auspicious festival celebrated largely across the lengths and widths of India as well as throughout to expanse of different casts and creeds in distinctive relevance. Religious significance of Diwali in Jainism also has a peculiar pertinence in context with series of events related to lord Mahavira. Here are some facts on the religious relevance of Diwali in Jainism.
Diwali Celebrated in Jainsim as the Day of Moksha Attainment by Lord Mahavira
According to the Harivamsha Puran, Tirthankar Mahavir who was also known as Jinendra, attained nirvana on 15th October, 527 BCE in Pavapuri located within the state territories of Bihar, India. This day was mentioned in the holy books of Jainism as Dipalikaya which is called as Diwali interchangeably. Dipalikaya is deciphered as lightening of lamps to embark the celebration for the occasion of lord Mahavira’s achievement of moksha (Nirvana).
Diwali Celebrated as the Beginning of New Year as per the Jain Calendar
Pratipada, celebrated usually on the following day of Diwali is marked as the starting of a new accounting year in Jainism. Jain Businessmen and jewellers celebrate this occasion by wishing prosperity to each other as well as by offering prayers with traditional rituals. As per the holy books, it is also acknowledge as the day when the main disciple of lord Mahavira, Gandhara Gautam Swami attained nirvana. The day is considered as the best time to begin a new trade or for purchasing ornaments which is believed to bring good luck and property in life. The day also marks the significance of last day in Ashvina month of Jain calendar.
In Jainism, Diwali is celebrated in more over a subtle way. The festival is not celebrated in a loud character and lightening of fireworks is avoided as it creates pollution. People light lamps, decorate their houses, visit others with sweets and offer prayers through meditation. They follow a special ritual of distributing lamps as massively as possible in order to serve lord Mahavira’s teaching of spreading knowledge and destroying ignorance from the world.
Bihar’s Pavapuri becomes a special attraction on the occasion of Diwali. Thousands of Mahavira followers from around the world make a religious visit to the place. Pavapuri temples and streets are decorated to welcome the visitors.
In respectful ode to lord Mahavira’s contribution in enlightening the human kind, Svetambara Jains observe rigorous fasting on Diwali for around three days. Chants and rhymes from Uttaradhyayan Suttra are recited on the occasion of Diwali.
Diwali is addressed as the Nirvana Kalyanaka Divas or Naval Saal for the multi-facet significance of Diwali in Jainism. Moreover, the festival is celebrated with outmost serenity, calmness and as per religious rituals in the Jain community.