Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday greeted the nation on the eve of Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Jainism founder Lord Mahavir, saying his message was a "beacon of hope and salvation for the entire humanity".
In his message, Manmohan Singh said: "Lord Mahavir's life and teachings are constant reminders of the extraordinary power of non-violence, truth and peace.
Lord Mahavir showed us the path to enlightenment in a manner that does not cause hurt to living beings."
"His profound message is a beacon of hope and salvation for the entire humanity," he added.
Lord Mahavir was born on the 13th day of the rising moon of Chaitra in the Hindu calendar in 599 BC near Patna, Bihar.
According to the 2001 census, India has a Jain population of 4.2 million. Mahavir Jayanti, the main Jain festival, falls on March 31 this year.