Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday greeted the nation on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira, saying his teachings help us live a "life of happiness and contentment".
Mahavir Jayanti will be celebrated in the country on Sunday.
Lord Mahavir's life and teachings inspire us to be compassionate and simple. His teachings show us the path to a life of happiness and contentment, the prime minister said in a statement.
"Lord Mahavir's profound message remains a beacon of hope in today's world," he said.
On Mahavir Jayanti, Jain temples are decorated with flags and the idol of Mahavira is given a ceremonial bath called the 'abhishek'. The day of his birth is celebrated in a massive procession around the cities. Jains make offerings of milk, rice, fruit, incense, lamps and water to the poor that day.