Mahavir Jayanti celebrated in form and spirit | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Mahavir Jayanti celebrated in form and spirit

Grand processions, offerings to the poor and religious discourses marked the birthday of Lord Mahavir, the Jain apostle of peace, across the country today.

delhi Updated: Apr 16, 2011 21:21 IST

Grand processions, offerings to the poor and religious discourses marked the birthday of Lord Mahavir, the Jain apostle of peace, across the country on Saturday.

Functions were held at many places to pay tributes to the last of the 24 Tirthankaras, who preached non-violence and tolerance nearly 2,500 years ago. Jain temples were adorned with flags as all sections of the community took part in processions on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti.

Jains also made offerings of milk, rice, fruits, lamps and water to the poor, as lectures were organised to preach the path of vitue to mark the day.

In the morning, the statue of Lord Mahavir, who taught the world the essence of life, was given a ceremonial bath called 'abhishek' symbolising the purity of mind and body.

Pilgrims from across the country visited ancient Jain temples at Pawapuri in Bihar and Parsvanath in Jharkhand on the auspicious occasion. As the last Thirthankar, Lord Mahavir revitalised the Jain order and is one of the most important figures of Jainism.

Addressing a gathering in the national capital, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit commended the Jain community in promoting austerity and simplicity at weddings and in combating the evil of female foeticide. President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted the people on the occasion saying "Lord Mahavir's teachings are relevant at all times to ensure peace and happiness through spiritual excellence".