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Meru Trayodashi

Category: Jain holidays

Meru Trayodashi
19 January 2023  thursday
08 February 2024  thursday
27 January 2025  monday

247 days before

Jainism, traditionally known as Jain dharma, is an ancient Indian religion that prescribes the path of non-violence (ahiṃsā) towards all living beings. Jain philosophy distinguishes the soul (consciousnesses) from the body (matter). Jains believe that all living beings are really soul; intrinsically perfect and immortal. Souls in transmigration (saṃsāra) are said to be embodied in the body like a prison and therefore, experience birth and death. Practitioners believe non-injury (ahimsa) and self-control are the means to liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. The liberated souls are worshipped as God in Jainism. Jain texts reject the idea of a creator or destroyer God and postulates an eternal universe.

Jain cosmology divides the worldly cycle of time into two parts or half-cycles. According to Jains, in every half-cycle of time, twenty-four tirthankaras grace this part of the Universe to teach the unchanging doctrine of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct. The word Tīrthankara signifies the founder of a tirtha which means a fordable passage across a sea. The Tirthankara show the 'fordable path' across the sea of interminable births and deaths. Modern history records the existence of last tirthankara, Mahavira (6th century B.C.) and his predecessor Parsvanatha. Jain texts expound that Jainism has always existed and will always exist.

Rishabhanatha (Sanskrit, lit. "bull lord"), also known as Adinatha (Ādinātha), is said to be the first Tirthankara of the present half cycle of time. Rishabhanatha is known by many names like Adinatha (the first world teacher), Adish Jina (first Jina or conqueror), Adi Purush (first perfect man), Ikshvaku, Vidhata and Srista.

Jains believe that twenty-four tīrthaṅkaras or "ford-makers", teachers who establish the Jain teachings grace every half cycle of time indefinitely. Jains trace their history through a succession of these tirthankaras. Rishabhanatha was the founder of Jainism in the present half-cycle of time. He was born at the end of the third period, suṣama-duḥṣamā (read as Sukhma-dukhma) of present descending (avasarpinî) half cycle of cosmic age.

Parshvanatha, the 23rd Tirthankara was a historical figure, who lived in the 9th century BCE. Historians believe him to be the founder of Jainism. However, the current knowledge about the history of India is not enough to say whether Parshvanatha decisively founded the Jain religion or not.

Meru Trayodashi is a very famous and popular festival according to the Jainism followers or Jain community. On this day the first Tirthankara of the Jain religious Parshvanatha got Nirvana on the Ashtapada mountain. So Meru Trayodashi is the day of his Nirvan Kalyanaka. People celebrated this Meru Trayodashi festival with joy and happiness.

Rishabhanatha traveled far and wide preaching Jainism. He attained Moksha on fourteenth day of Magha Krishna. While traveling, he came across a mountain named Ashtapada, which is famously known as mount Kailash. Deva (heavenly beings) created a divine preaching hall known as samavasarana at this mountain for Rishabhanatha. He attained Moksha on Mount Kailasa at the age of 84 lakh purva (592.704 x 1018 years). His preachings were recorded in fourteen scriptures known as Purva.

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