SIGNIFICANCE OF MAHAVIR JAYANTI CELEBRATION, 2011
F.J. Dalal: 9001 Good Luck Rd., Lanham, MD 20706
Birthday Celebration of MAHAVIR, The Founder of Jainism according to Modern History, will be celebrated by JAINS and Others around the world. Traditional Jains consider him as the 24th Tirthankar, The Purified Soul. He came to the rescue of People in India, torn apart by Violence over 2500 years ago. Battles were being fought amongst Kings and Animal Sacrifices were carried on by Hindus, The Religious People of Blind Faith. He left the Kingdom and Family in search of Truth behind the Suffering of People.
He was the contemporary of Gautam Buddha, the founder of BUDDHISM. Both were born in the Province of Bihar in India. What was the pain due to Death and Destruction? It was the Innocent People and Animals who were the Victims. India has been one of the Ancient Lands where the Culture and Civilization evolved over time. Nature GODS like Air, Water, Light, Fire and Land were worshipped by simple People due to their impact on Life. As time went by people personified them into Idols. The Religions began to formalize into Structures. The largest Group called themselves by different Names, ultimately known and called as HINDUISM, the People who lived on the banks and around River Indus. River was the Mother God that sustained All Lives.
Siddhartha became Mahavir as he went through a lot of suffering during his walks through forests and survived. People followed him to Listen to his Message of AHINSA-NON-VIOLENCE. He told People that HINSA can be overcome by AHINSA only, for PEACE and Tranquility of All. They started Believing in him and wanted to know more. He Preached that ALL Lives have the Right to Live and People have to be Kind even to the smallest of living being, "LIVE AND LET LIVE”. They all have to help each other for Surviving in Harmony.
His life was short, but his Message went far off to People, mostly of Hindu Belief and they believed him as their Deliverer – Guru. As the Tradition goes, they started worshipping him and started building Temples in his name. The Tradition continued even though Mahavir gave the Message of "KARMA”, i.e. Practicing Non-Violence. Many Hindu Learned People became his Messengers whom Jains named as "GANADHARS”, the Chief being Gautam (swami). After the Dynamic Personality of Mahavir’s passing away, The Large Majority of Hindu Followers went back to their original Hindu religious practices.
As the time went on, Jains built the hierarchical formal Organization and the Knowledgeable Acharyas started writing in his name about his Philosophy. Thus we got Jain Scriptures. The Differences in interpretations led to SECTS and Sub-Sects. The Hair-Splitting led to Degeneration as it happened among large Hindu Religion as well.
THE LESSON: We need to Go Back to Times of Mahavir and His amply clear Message of NON-VIOLENCE towards All Living Beings and its PRACTICE. Plant-Based DIET, etc. i.e. VEGANISM is one of the most Important one.
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