Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lord Mahavir & Diwali

ભગવાન મહાવીર અને દિવાળી
All the Jains celebrate the festival of Diwali with joy. Diwali is celebrated on the new-moon day of Kartik. On the night of that day, Bhagwan Mahavira attained Nirvan or deliverance and a state of absolute bliss. The Lord discarded the body and the bondage of all Karmas on that night, at Pawapuri In Uttara-puraana written by Acharya GunBhadra (7th or 8th century) it is mentioned that in the month of Kartika, krashna paksha, svati nakshatra and on the night of the 14th (dawn of the amavasya), lord Mahavira became a Siddha (attained nirvana). Bhagwan Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankaras, attained Nirvana on this day at Pavapuri on Chaturdashi of Kartika:
कत्तिय-किण्हे चौदसिपच्चुसे सादिणामनक्खत्ते|
पवाए णयरिये एक्को विरेसरो सिद्धो ||
Diwali festival was first time mentioned in Harivansha Purana written by Acharya Jinasena, and composed in the Shaka Samvat era in the year 705. Acharya Jinasena mentions that Bhagavan Mahavira, attained nirvana at Pavapuri in the month of Kartika, Krashna paksh, during swati nakshatra, at the time of dawn. In Harivamsha-Purana sloka 19 and in sloka 20 he writes that the gods illuminated Pavanagari by lamps to mark the occasion. Since that time the people of Bharat celebrate the famous festival of "Dipalika" to worship the Jinendra on the occasion of his nirvana.
ततस्तु लोकः प्रतिवर्षमादरात्,
प्रसिद्धदीपालिकयात्र भारते|
समुधतः पूजयितुं जिनेश्वरम्,
जिनेन्द्र निर्वाण विभूतिभक्तिभाक् || (हरिवशं पुराण)

Tatastuh lokah prativarsham-aadarat

Prasiddha-deepalikaya-aatra bharate,
Samudyatah poojayitum jineshvaram
Jinendra-nirvana vibhuti-bhaktibhak.
It means, the gods illuminated Pavanagari by lamps to mark the occasion. Since that time, the people of Bharat celebrate the famous festival of "Dipalika" to worship the Lord Mahavira on the occasion of his nirvana.
An ancient mention of Lord Mahavira's nirvana and lightening of lamps�occurs in Kalpasutra of BhadraBahu, v. 123, "When Lord Mahavira came to Madhyam Pava for his last varshavas, it was the fourth month of the rainy season, seventh paksha, and krashna of kartik. It was then the last day of krashna of kartik. That night Lord Mahavira attained nirvana." Kalpasutra mentions that due to the presense of gods, the night was illuminated. It further says "that on the amavasya night, 16 gana-kings, 9 Malla and 9 Lichchhavi, of Kasi and Kosal, illuminted their doors. They said: "The light of knowledge is gone, we will make light of ordinary matter". Bhagavan Mahavira discarded the body and the bondage of all Karmas on that night of Diwali, at Pavapuri and attained Mukti or deliverance. Thus we have been celebrating Diwali with lights sine the nirvana of Lord Mahavira. It is celebrated with a special worship the next morning. In the early morning after the day of Diwali, Ganadhar Gautam Swami, the first disciple of Lord Mahavira attained absolute enlightenment. This could be another probable cause for celebrating the Diwali as the festivals of lights.
Vira Nirvana Samvat: The Jain year starts with Pratipada following Diwali. Vira Nirvana Samvat 2538 starts with Diwali on October 27, 2011.
ભગવાન મહાવીર નિર્વાણ સ્થળ પાવાપુરી

Pawapuri or Pavapuri also called Apapuri is a prominent Sidha Ksetra Jaina Tirtha situated 8 kms from Bihar and 31 kilometres from Rajgir. By road it is 87 kilometres from Patna. It is located on Bahktiapur Rajgir railway line. Buses and taxies also run from Rajgir to Pawapri.

During ancient times about 2600 year ago, Pawapuri was the part of Magadha Kingdom and was called "Madyama Pawa" or "Apawapuri", Ajatshatru, the son of King Shrenik who was one of the greatest disciples of Lord Mahavira was the King of Magadh during the lifetime of Mahavir. During the reign of Ajatshatru King Hastipal was the King of Pawapuri. When Lord Mahavira came to Pawapuri he stayed in King Hastipal's "Rajikshala".

Having attained omniscience (Kevala- Gnana) on the bank of Rju-kula and after preaching the principle of Jainism through his divine voice (Divya-dhvani), Lord Mahavira toured over different areas of the country and propounded the religious doctrines. Afterwards he reached Pavapuri and seated himself on a clan or pure slab of stone in a park studded with many ponds. He did not move out for two days; and plunged in pure meditation (sukla- dhyana). He quitted the mortal coil and became a Siddha in the last quarter of the night of the 14th day of the black half of the month of Kartika.

There are five main temples in Pawapuri - the Jal Mandir, the Gaon Mandir, the Samosaran, the New Samosaran and apart from these temples there is a Digambar Jain Mandir near Jal mandir.

Jal mandir is a temple in the middle of a lake blooming with lotuses. The main deity of the beautiful temple is a very old "Charan Paduka" of Lord Mahavira. It marks the spot where the mortal remains of Lord Mahavira were cremated. It is believed that this temple was built by King Nandivardhan, elder brother of Lord Mahavira. Jal Mandir is built in the shape of "Vimana" and there is a stone bridge about 600 feet in length across it from the bank to the temple.

Lord Mahavira attained nirvana in a park, near Pavapuri, round about which there were many pounds or lakes. At present the site of the nirvana of Mahavira is accepted near Bihar-Sherif where a magnificent Jaina temple stands in the centre of a big lake. This is accepted as the tirtha-ksetra on all hands. Both the sects, Digambra and Svetambra, have voluntarily accepted this place as the spot of the nirvana of Mahavira. A marble temple, the Jalmandir, was later built in the middle of the tank, where Lord. Mahavira attained salvation. Another beautiful Jain temple of white marble called Samosharan is located at this place. Bhagwawan Mahavira had delivered his sermon here.


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