By: Anil Jain : Ahimsa Foundation
Bhagwan Mahavira Nirvana Divas or Mahavir’s Nirvan Kalyanak Divas is Deepawali day in Jain faith. On this day Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara had attained the bliss of Nirvana on the dawn of Amavasya of the Ashwin month (Hindu calendar), 527 B.C. at Pavapuri. It was a dark night so the sixteen Gana kings , nine Malla and nine Lichchhavi of Kasi and Kosal decided thelight of their master’s knowledge should be kept alive symbolically by lighting the lamps.
Since that time, Jains celebrate the festival of Deepawali to commemorate the attainment of Moksha by Lord Mahavira. The Jain community illuminates their houses and temples with clay lamps to celebrate this event. This act also guides mortals to light up their inner vision by implementing the path preached by Lord Mahavira. Some observe fast for three days in remembrance of the sacrifice of Lord Mahavira. They also recite “Shri Mahavir Swami Sarvajnaya Namah” on every bead of the mala or rosary (108 beads), followed by nineteen malas of the mantra, Shri Mahavir Swami Paragataya Namah on each bead.